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The Good Wife

Lawrence Bush
June 7, 2017

Actress Julianna Margulies, best known for her roles as emergency room nurse Carol Hathaway on NBC’s hospital drama, ER (which launched George Clooney), and as attorney Alicia Florrick on CBS’s legal drama, The Good Wife, was born in Spring Valley, New York on this date in 1966. Margulies has won eight Screen Actor Guild Awards, the most of any actress. Her mother Francesca converted to Christianity when her children were young, but Margulies still identifies as Jewish. The Good Wife, which ran for seven seasons, was described in People magazine as displaying the “intricacies of both the law and politics play[ing] out like an exquisitely choreographed mating ritual among influential people with money, intellect, ambition and superior grooming.” Margulies brought a certain sangfroid, even coldness, to the role of the wife of a philandering politician, which defied even the efforts of the show’s creators to make her into some kind of sexy goddess, and helped elevate The Good Wife into one of network television’s most surprising dramas.

“It’s funny, people always thought I was Greek or Italian -- in fact, I’m Jewish. But as I’ve gotten older, the less ethnic my roles have become. I don’t know -- maybe it’s because I’ve learned to pluck my eyebrows? They used to be really big and bushy.” --Julianna Margulies

​​​​Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.