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Julianna Margulies — Read About the Life and Career of the ‘Good Wife’ and ‘ER’ Leading Lady

The actress can do it all!

Julianna Margulies, the raven-haired 57-year-old actress, has been leaving her mark on movies and TV shows for decades. Whether you know and love her as Carol Hathaway in NBC’s ER or remember her fondly as Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife, there’s absolutely no denying her talent and skill on the big and small screen alike.

Noah Wyle, Sherry Stringfield, Anthony Edwards, Julianna Margulies, George Clooney, Gloria Reuben and Eriq La Salle, 1996
Noah Wyle, Sherry Stringfield, Anthony Edwards, Julianna Margulies, George Clooney, Gloria Reuben and Eriq La Salle, 1996Hulton Archive/Courtesy of Getty Images

The early life of Julianna Margulies

Long before she was a television starlet, Margulies, the daughter of a dance teacher and ad executive, jumped around from place to place throughout her youth, born in Spring Valley, NY, raised in England and Paris, then returning to the states for high school and college.

However, this constant shuffle from place to place, she explained in a Shondaland Audio Go Ask Ali podcast, prepared her for the career she’s excelled in.

I mean, having gone from Paris to England, and from there to the suburbs of New York and then back to England, I was always putting on different shoes, different accents. I never really knew what it was like just to be me because I was always trying to be someone else.”

Julianna Margulies, 1999
Julianna Margulies, 1999SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images

She attended Sarah Lawrence College where she acted in student productions before making her debut in the 1991 film Out for Justice. However, it was her 1994 casting in the medical drama ER that launched her career.

MUST-READ: Cast of ‘ER’ Then and Now: Catch Up With the Stars of the Iconic Medical Drama

Her character was originally set to die after a suicide attempt in the first episode — but luckily for viewers, she brought Carol to life until 2000, winning an Emmy for her time on the show and earning multiple nominations.

Eriq La Salle, Anthony Edwards, Sherry Stringfield, Noah Wyle, George Clooney and Julianna Margulies, 1994
Eriq La Salle, Anthony Edwards, Sherry Stringfield, Noah Wyle, George Clooney and Julianna Margulies, 1994Fotos International/Courtesy of Getty Images

Julianna Margulies forges her own path in movies and TV shows

Stepping away from ER gave her the opportunity to explore different opportunities on the screen, including works like The Mists of Avalon in 2001 and a role in The Sopranos.

MUST-READ: ‘The Sopranos’ Cast: Revisit the Stars Who Brought the Hit Drama To Life

In 2009, however, her career had its next big swell with her role in The Good Wife as Alicia Florrick, a woman whose husband’s public scandal forces her to re-establish her career as a defense attorney to support her family. This role won her Emmys, a Golden Globe and various other accolades.

MUST-READ: See ‘The Good Wife’ Cast Then and Now

Julianna Margulies, 2010, actress in movies and TV shows
Julianna Margulies, 2010Joe Kohen/WireImage

I think about her all the time,” Margulies told Deadline in 2019 of her character. “I think about how she would answer a question. I could be in the middle of a conversation and I wonder, ‘How would Alicia answer this?’ She’s just so much smarter than me. I do think about her. I miss her and I love her.”

In 2017, The Good Fight, a spinoff to The Good Wife, began, and while Margulies was asked to reprise her role for a few episodes in the third season, she unfortunately turned down the offer as CBS would not pay what she was asking.

MUST-READ: 8 Best Binge-Worthy Legal Dramas on Netflix

I’m not a guest star; I started the whole thing with The Good Wife,” she told Deadline in 2019. “I wanted to be paid my worth and stand up for equal pay. If Jon Hamm came back for a Mad Men spinoff or Kiefer Sutherland wanted to do a 24 spinoff, they would be paid.”

MUST-READ: ‘Mad Men’ Cast Then and Now: Where Are They Today?

Julianna Margulies, 2024, actress in movies and TV shows
Julianna Margulies, 2024 Taylor Hill/WireImage/Getty Images

What has Julianna Margulies been up to since The Good Wife?

Since the famed series came to an end in 2016, Julianna Margulies has kept busy. In recent years, she can be seen in series including Dietland, The Hot Zone, Billions, The Daily Show and The Morning Show, and in 2021, she authored an honest and revealing memoir, Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life.

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