Margo Martindale

Margo Martindale

Martindale at the Montclair Film Festival, May 2016
Born (1951-07-18) July 18, 1951
Jacksonville, Texas, U.S.
Alma mater University of Michigan
Occupation Actress
Years active 1987–present
Spouse(s) Bill Boals (m. 1986)
Children 1

Margo Martindale (born July 18, 1951) is an American film and stage actress.[1] In 2011, she won a Primetime Emmy Award and a Critics' Choice Television Award for her recurring role as Mags Bennett on Justified and starting in 2013, she has been nominated for an Emmy Award four times for her recurring role as Claudia on The Americans, winning her second and third Emmy in 2015 and 2016. She has played supporting roles in several films, including The Hours, Million Dollar Baby, Dead Man Walking, The Firm, Lorenzo's Oil, ...First Do No Harm, Eye of God, Win Win, Marvin's Room, Forged, Orphan, The Savages, Hannah Montana: The Movie, August: Osage County, and Paris, je t'aime.

Martindale was also nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in 2004 for her performance in the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She also voices herself in the acclaimed Netflix original animated dark comedy BoJack Horseman.

Early life

Margo Martindale was born July 18, 1951 in Jacksonville, Texas, the youngest of three children and only daughter of William Everett and Margaret (Pruitt) Martindale.[2][3] In addition to owning and operating a lumber company in Jacksonville, her father was known as a champion dog handler in Texas and throughout the southern United States.

Her oldest brother is professional golfer and golf course designer Billy Martindale. Middle child, brother Bobby Tim, died in 2004.[2] Margo Martindale participated in golf, cheerleading and drama while in school and was crowned "Football Sweetheart"[4] as well as "Miss Jacksonville High School 1969."[5]

Following graduation from Jacksonville High School in 1969,[6] Martindale attended Lon Morris College, then transferred to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. While at Michigan, she did summer study at Harvard University, appearing onstage with future movie and TV stars Jonathan Frakes and Christopher Reeve.[5]



In the early 1980s, Martindale worked for four years at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in Kentucky. While there she became good friends with fellow actress Kathy Bates.[7] Margo Martindale made her Broadway debut in 2004 as Big Mama in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She received a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play, for her work in the role.[8][9] Prior to that, Martindale had starred in several Off-Broadway stage productions, most notably originating the role of Truvy Jones in the first production of Steel Magnolias Off-Broadway, along with starring in the First National Tour of the play.[10] Other Off-Broadway appearances include Always...Patsy Cline and The Sugar Bean Sisters.


Her film roles include turns as Susan Sarandon's character's fellow nun in Dead Man Walking, and, again with Sarandon, in Lorenzo's Oil. She appeared as Leonardo DiCaprio's character's doctor in Marvin's Room; and as Hilary Swank's character's selfish mother in Million Dollar Baby. Other films include The Human Stain with Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman, 28 Days with Sandra Bullock, Proof of Life with Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan and Practical Magic again with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. She was also featured in Paris, je t'aime, starring in the final segment directed by Alexander Payne. She played Mama Cox in the 2007 film Walk Hard and played Ruby, Miley Stewart's maternal grandmother, in Hannah Montana: The Movie and Miss Elizabeth Ham in the movie Secretariat, starring Diane Lane.

Martindale had a role in August: Osage County (2013), a film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts. She played Mattie Fae Aiken, the sister of lead character Violet Weston (Meryl Streep). Other major cast in the project included Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, and Sam Shepard. Filming took place in the fall and winter of 2012.[11][12]


One of Martindale's first television roles came in the miniseries Lonesome Dove. A series of character and guest appearances followed in a wide range of TV shows. Martindale played recurring character Camilla Figg on the first three seasons of Dexter and had a recurring role in the A&E courtroom drama 100 Centre Street with Alan Arkin. From 2007 to 2008, she had a recurring role as Nina Burns, a neighbor of the Malloy/"Rich" family in The Riches with Minnie Driver and Eddie Izzard.[13]

In 2011, Martindale joined the cast of Justified for the second season. She played the role of Mags Bennett, matriarch of the Bennett crime family which controlled much of the drug activity in the fictional version of Harlan County, Kentucky.[14] She won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her performance.[15] After learning of the nomination, Martindale told CNN she hoped that it would open up more doors for older women in Hollywood. "People really identify with this character [Mags Bennett] and I think it's because it is a character that is powerful and older and extremely mean," said Martindale.[16]

She won Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at the Critics' Choice Television Awards for her role as Mags Bennett. In her acceptance speech Martindale said "Who said turning sixty was a bad thing" and "I'm so excited, and dead on this show," making reference to the self-inflicted demise of her character in the Justified season 2 finale.[17]

In February 2012 it was announced Martindale had been cast in the ABC comedy pilot Counter Culture, which was not picked up.[18][19]

Martindale returned to television in late January 2013 in the spy drama The Americans on FX Network. She plays Claudia, the KGB "handler" of two Soviet spies living in 1980s Cold War America.[20] She also starred in the sitcom The Millers on CBS. In 2015, she began a recurring role as Ruth Eastman, Peter Florrick's new campaign manager on The Good Wife.

Martindale also appears as a fictionalized version of herself on the Netflix animated comedy BoJack Horseman. BoJack and most other characters consistently refer to her as "Esteemed Character Actress Margo Martindale."

Martindale portrayed a Dry-cleaning employee in a Yoplait yogurt commercial.

Personal life

Margo Martindale has been married to musician Bill Boals since 1986. They have a daughter, Margaret.



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Days of Thunder Donna
1991 Rocketeer, TheThe Rocketeer Millie
1992 Lorenzo's Oil Wendy Gimble
1993 Emma and Elvis Jenny
1993 Firm, TheThe Firm Nina Huff
1994 Nobody's Fool Birdy
1995 Dead Man Walking Sister Collegeville
1995 Sabrina Nurse
1996 Marvin's Room Dr. Charlotte
1996 Ghosts of Mississippi Clara Mayfield
1997 Critical Care Constance "Connie" Potter
1997 Eye of the God Dorothy
1998 Twilight Gloria Lamar
1998 Practical Magic Linda Bennett
1999 In Dreams Nurse Floyd
1999 Ride with the Devil Wilma Brown
2000 28 Days Betty
2000 Proof of Life Ivy
2002 Hours, TheThe Hours Mrs. Latch
2003 It's All About Love Betsy
2003 Human Stain, TheThe Human Stain Psychologist
2004 Best Thief in the World, TheThe Best Thief in the World Miss Mason
2004 Million Dollar Baby Earline Fitzgerald
2006 Out There Jeri
2006 Wedding Daze Betsy
2006 Paris, je t'aime Carol
2007 Savages, TheThe Savages Roz
2007 Rocket Science Coach Lumbly
2007 Mo Pam
2007 Death and Life of Bobby Z, TheThe Death and Life of Bobby Z Macy
2007 Rails & Ties Judy Neasy
2007 Feast of Love Mrs. Maggarolian
2007 Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Ma Cox
2008 Management Trish
2009 Winning Season, TheThe Winning Season Donna
2009 Hannah Montana: The Movie Ruby
2009 Orphan Dr. Browning
2009 La soga Flannigan
2010 Forged Dianne
2010 Secretariat Elizabeth Hamm
2010 Main Street Myrtle Parker
2011 Win Win Eleanor
2011 Scalene Janice Trimble
2013 Beautiful Creatures Aunt Del
2013 Bluebird Crystal
2013 August: Osage County Mattie Fae Aiken
2014 Heaven is for Real Nancy Rawling
2016 Sophie and the Rising Sun Anne Morrison
2016 The Hollars Sally
2016 The Boss Sister Agnes Aluminata
2016 Mother's Day Flo
2017 Wilson Completed
2017 Downsizing Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1988 Child Saver, TheThe Child Saver Alma TV film
1989 Lonesome Dove Buffalo Heiffer Episode: "The Plains"
1994 New York Undercover Nurse Warner Episode: "Tasha"
1996 Law & Order Ms. Best Episode: "Atonement"
1996 Ruby Jean and Joe Frankie TV film
1997 ...First Do No Harm Marjean TV film
1999 Homicide: Life on the Street Verna Henderson Episode: "The Same Coin"
1999 Earthly Possessions Libby TV film
1999 Snoops Hannah Larson Episode: "Pilot"
2000 Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: JonBenét and the City of Boulder Linda Hoffmann-Pugh TV film
2001 Welcome to New York Rose Episode: "Dusting Diva"
2001 Girl Thing, AA Girl Thing May TV film
2001 What Girls Learn Lainey TV film
2001–2002 100 Centre Street Michelle Grande (14 episodes)
2002 Laramie Project, TheThe Laramie Project Trish Steger TV film
2003 Ed Amanda Myers Episode: "Partners"
2003 Unexpected Love, AnAn Unexpected Love Maggie TV film
2004 Iron Jawed Angels Harriot Blatch TV film
2004 Plainsong Mrs. Beckman TV film
2005 Silver Bells Mrs. Quinn TV film
2005–2006 Medium Catherine 3 episodes
2006 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Rita Gabler Episode: "Cage"
2006–2008 Dexter Camilla Figg 5 episodes
2007–2008 Riches, TheThe Riches Nina Burns Regular role (20 episodes)
2009 Hung Molly Episode: "The Pickle Jar"
2009–2010 Mercy Nurse Klowden Recurring role (11 episodes)
2011 Harry's Law Gina Powell Episode: "Innocent Man"
2011 Justified Mags Bennett Recurring role (10 episodes)
2011 Chaos Doris Balshik Episodes: "Pilot", "Proof of Life"
2011–2012 Gifted Man, AA Gifted Man Rita Perkins-Hall Main role (16 episodes)
2012 Counter Culture Billie TV film
2012 Suits Nell Sawyer Episode: "Meet the New Boss"
2012 Person of Interest Barbara Russell Episode: "Bad Code"
2013 Smash Miriam Abramson Episode: "The Fallout"
2013 New Girl Bonnie Episode: "Chicago"
2013 Masters of Sex Miss Horchow Episode: "Pilot"
2013–2014 Millers, TheThe Millers Carol Miller Main role
2013–present Americans, TheThe Americans Claudia Recurring role (15 episodes)
2014–present BoJack Horseman Character Actress Margo Martindale (voice) Guest starring (5 episodes), fictionalized version of self
2015 Mike & Molly Rosemary Ritter 2 episodes: "Mudlick or Bust" and "Mother From Another Mudlick"
2015–2016 The Good Wife Ruth Eastman Recurring role (13 episodes)
2015 Sneaky Pete Audrey
2016 BrainDead Dr. Joanne Alaimo Episode: "Back to Work: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Congress and How It Gets Things Done (and Often Doesn't)"

Awards and nominations

List of awards and nominations
Year Award Category Film Result
2004 Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Nominated
Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Play Nominated
2011 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Justified Won
Online Film & Television Association Award[21] Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Won
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film Nominated
Television Critics Association Award Individual Achievement in Drama Nominated
2013 Online Film & Television Association Award[22] Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
2014 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture August: Osage County Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated
2015 Gracie Awards Outstanding Female Actor in a Featured or Guest Role Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Won
2016 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series The Good Wife Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series The Americans Won


  1. "Margo Martindale profile at". October 10, 2012.
  2. 1 2 "Bobby Tim Martindale". Longview News-Journal (Longview, TX). July 18, 2004. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  3. "Martindale Family is Family of Champions". The Cherokeean newspaper (Rusk, Texas). September 9, 1965. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  4. "Margo Martindale". BuddyTV. 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  5. 1 2 "Jacksonville's Margo Martindale wins Emmy for TV show 'Justified'". The Cherokeean Herald. September 21, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  6. "Margo Martindale biography". 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  7. "Justified star Margo Martindale on Mags Bennett". March 30, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  8. "List of nominees for 2004 Tony Awards". USA Today. May 11, 2004.
  9. "Review". The New York Times.
  10. "Review". The New York Times.
  11. Dominic Patten, ‘August: Osage County’ Adds Margo Martindale,, August 1, 2012
  12. "George Clooney Brings Star Power to Oklahoma As He Films New Movie 'August: Osage County' (PHOTOS)".
  13. "Interview: EDDIE IZZARD and MINNIE DRIVER from THE RICHES on FX (March 2008)". March 16, 2008. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  14. "Justified First Look: Margo Martindale Is Raylan's New Nemesis". Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  15. Margo Martindale Emmy Award Winner
  16. "A birthday surprise for Justified actress Martindale". The Marquee Blog, CNN. July 14, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  17. "Showclips:Margo Martindale Wins Award". TV June 14, 2011.
  18. Nellie andreeva (February 29, 2012). "'Justified's Margo Martindale To Star In ABC Comedy Pilot 'Counter Culture'". Retrieved March 1, 2012.
  19. Michael Ausiello (February 29, 2012). "Scoop: Margo Martindale Joins ABC Comedy Pilot Counter Culture – Is A Gifted Man Doomed?". TV Line. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
  20. Prudom, Laura (12 December 2012). "Margo Martindale cast in FX's spy drama The Americans". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  21. "2010-11: The Season of Mildred PIerce". Online Film & Television Association. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  22. "2012-13: The Season of American Horror Story: Asylum". Online Film & Television Association. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
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