Margo Martindale

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Margo Martindale
Born(1951-07-18) July 18, 1951 (age 62)
Jacksonville, Texas, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
Years active1987–present
Spouse(s)Bill Boals (m. 1986; 1 child)
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Margo Martindale
Born(1951-07-18) July 18, 1951 (age 62)
Jacksonville, Texas, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
Years active1987–present
Spouse(s)Bill Boals (m. 1986; 1 child)

Margo Martindale (born July 18, 1951) is an American film, stage, and television actress.[1] In 2011, she won an Emmy Award for her role as Mags Bennett on Justified. She has played supporting roles in several films, including The Hours, Million Dollar Baby as Hilary Swank's character's mother, The Firm, Lorenzo's Oil, Marvin's Room, The Savages, and Paris, je t'aime. She was also nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in 2004.

Early life[edit]

Margo Martindale was born July 18, 1951, in Jacksonville, Texas, to parents William Everett and Margaret (Pruitt) Martindale.[2] 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. Margo was the youngest of three children and only daughter.[3] 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 also 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 as Truvy Jones in the 1987 production of Steel Magnolias.[10] Other Off-Broadway appearances include Always...Patsy Cline and The Sugar Bean Sisters.


Her film roles include turns as Susan Sarandon's fellow nun in Dead Man Walking, and, again with Sarandon, in Lorenzo's Oil. She appeared as Leonardo DiCaprio's doctor in Marvin's Room; and as Hilary Swank'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. Her most recent role was as Miss Elizabeth Ham in the movie Secretariat, starring Diane Lane.

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


Margo Martindale in her Emmy-award winning role as Mags Bennett in the FX series Justified.

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. In 2007-2008, 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 also won Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at the Critics' Choice Television Awards for her role as Mags Bennett in the FX drama Justified. 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]

Personal life[edit]

Margo Martindale has been married to musician Bill Boals since 1986. They have a daughter, Margaret, born in 1988.


1990Days of ThunderDonna
1991The RocketeerMillie
1992Lorenzo's OilWendy Gimble
1993Emma and ElvisJenny
The FirmNina Huff
1994Nobody's FoolBirdy
Dead Man WalkingSister Colleen
1996Ghosts of MississippiClara Mayfield
Marvin's RoomDr. Charlotte
1997Eye of GodDorothy
Critical CareConstance 'Connie' Potter
1998TwilightGloria Lamar
Practical MagicLinda Bennett
1999In DreamsNurse Floyd
Ride with the DevilWilma Brown
200028 DaysBetty
Proof of LifeIvy
2002The HoursMrs. Latch
2003Wedding DazeBetsy
The Human StainPsychologist
2004Million Dollar BabyEarline Fitzgerald
The Best Thief in the WorldMiss Mason
Paris, je t'aimeCarolsegment "14ème Arrondissement"
Wedding DazeBetsy
2007The SavagesRoz
Rocket ScienceCoach Lumbly
The Death and Life of Bobby ZMacy
Rails & TiesJudy Neasy
Feast of LoveMrs. Maggarolian
SuperheroesBen's Mother
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox StoryMa Cox
2008Stop-LossSenator's Secretaryvoice
2009The Winning SeasonDonna
Hannah Montana: The MovieGrandma Ruby
OrphanDr. Browning
La SogaFlannigan
SecretariatMiss Elizabeth Hamm
Main StreetMyrtle Parker
2011Win WinEleanor
ScaleneJanice Trimble
2013CraftiqueMadge Hatch
Beautiful CreaturesAunt Del
August: Osage CountyMattie Fae Aiken
2014Heaven is for RealTBA
1988The Child SaverAlma
1989Lonesome DoveBuffalo HeifferEpisode: "The Plains"
1991Golden YearsEpisode: "Third Time Lucky?"
1994New York UndercoverNurse WarnerEpisode: "Tasha"
1996Law & OrderMs. BestEpisode: "Atonement"
Ruby Jean and JoeFrankie
1997...First Do No HarmMarjean
1999Homicide: Life on the StreetVerna HendersonEpisode: "The Same Coin"
Earthly PossessionsLibby
SnoopsHannah VaughnEpisode: "Pilot"
2000Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: JonBenét and the City of Boulder
2001Welcome to New YorkRoseEpisode: "Dusting Diva"
A Girl ThingMay
What Girls LearnLainey
2002The Laramie ProjectTrish Steger
2001–2002100 Centre StreetMichelle Grande14 episodes
2003EdAmanda MyersEpisode: "Partners"
An Unexpected LoveMaggie
2004Iron Jawed AngelsHarriot Blatch
PlainsongMrs. BeckmanHallmark Hall of Fame episode
2005Silver BellsMrs. Quinn
2006Law & Order: Special Victims UnitRita GablerEpisode: "Cage"
2005–2006MediumCatherine3 episodes
2007–2008The RichesNina Burns20 episodes
2006–2008DexterCamilla5 episodes
2009HungMollyEpisode: "The Pickle Jar"
2009–2010MercyNurse Klowden11 episodes
2011Harry's LawGina PowellEpisode: "Innocent Man"
CHAOSDoris BlashikEpisodes: "Pilot" / "Proof of Life"
JustifiedMags Bennett10 episodes
2011–2012A Gifted ManRita Perkins-Hall16 episodes
2012Counter CultureJoyceEpisode: "Pilot"
SuitsNell Sawyer[21]Episode: "Meet the New Boss"
Person of InterestBarbara RussellEpisode: "Bad Code"
2013SmashMiriam AbramsonEpisode: "The Fallout"
The AmericansClaudia10 episodes
New GirlBonnie MillerEpisode: "Chicago"
The MillersCarol MillerMain Cast
Masters of SexMiss HorchowUpcoming

Awards and nominations[edit]

List of awards and nominations
2004Drama Desk AwardOutstanding Featured Actress in a PlayCat on a Hot Tin RoofNominated
Tony AwardBest Featured Actress in a PlayNominated
2005Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureMillion Dollar BabyNominated
2008Chlotrudis AwardBest Supporting ActressParis, je t'aimeNominated
2011Critics' Choice Television AwardBest Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesJustifiedWon
Online Film & Television Association Award[22]Best Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesWon
Satellite AwardBest Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television FilmNominated
Television Critics Association AwardIndividual Achievement in DramaNominated
2013Online Film & Television Association Award[23]Best Guest Actress in a Drama SeriesThe AmericansNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Guest Actress in a Drama SeriesNominated


  1. ^ "Margo Martindale Biography (1951-)". July 18, 1951. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Bobby Tim Martindale". Longview News-Journal (Longview, TX). July 18, 2004. Retrieved November 1, 2011. 
  3. ^ Martindale "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. ^ a b "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. ^ Masters, Megan (March 26, 2012). "TVLine Items: Hawaii Five-0 Promotes McGarrett’s Gal Pal, Margo Martindale Suits Up and More!". TV Line. Retrieved March 26, 2012. 
  22. ^ "2010-11: The Season of Mildred PIerce". Online Film & Television Association. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "2012-13: The Season of American Horror Story: Asylum". Online Film & Television Association. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 

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