Marg Helgenberger of 'CSI' gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame, talks show exit
Marg Helgenberger, who is leaving the CBS show "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, January 23.
The 53-year-old actress played crime scene investigator supervisor Catherine Willows for the past 12 seasons. Her final episode airs on Wednesday, January 25. She was nominated for two Emmys and two Golden Globes for her role.
Her co-star Jorja Fox and actress Dana Delany braved a rare Southern California rainstorm to attend the ceremony unveiling her Walk of Fame star. Both Helgenberger and Delany, who currently appears on the ABC show "Body of Proof," won Emmys for their parts on the 1980s series "China Beach," which ended in 1991.
"Oh my gosh, I'm already crying. Jorja, Dana, you two are beyond anything," Helgenberger said in her acceptance speech, as a crowd cheered. "Woo! Happy new year, everybody! It is the first day of the Chinese New Year - the Year of the Dragon. It's supposed to be a very lucky rain and the rain was good for the New York Giants last night, so it's good for all of us today!"
On Sunday, the New York Giants NFL team beat the San Francisco 49ers to win the NFC Championship. Helgenberger was born and raised in Nebraska but has lived in New York and is a longtime Giants fan.
"I am incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunities I've had," she said at the ceremony. "To my mother and my brother Kurt and everyone, my family from Nebraska, standing here among all the famous stars on this sidewalk, I am completely humbled."
Helgenberger star is located at 6667 Hollywood Boulevard, in front of the historic Musso & Frank Restaurant and two stars away from her "CSI" colleague William Petersen, who received the honor in 2009.
Helgenberger, a Nebaska native, began her on-screen career in the 1980s. She played Siobhan Ryan Novak on the series "Ryan's Hope" before landing her breakout role as K.C. Kolowski on "China Beach."
At the ceremony, Delany talked to the crowd about her experiences shooting "China Beach" with Helgenberger. The actress was eight months pregnant with her only son Hugh, who is now 21, during a scene that saw Delany's character delivering Kolowski's baby.
Delany added that Helgenberger "had to wear the skimpiest outfits in the world" on the show.
"They were constantly spraying her down with water," she said. "Marg always had the best spirit about it."
Delany also recalled a time when she accidentally decked her co-star during filming.
"There was one scene where I was trying to help her get off of heroin and I had to punch her to knock her out," she said. "Poor Marg, I actually did punch her. On the chin, knocked her out and she was a champ about it. She just got up and started laughing and anyone who knows Marg knows she has the best laugh in the world."
Helgenberger went on to play Roberta "Bobbi" Anderson in the 1993 mini-series "Tommyknockers," based on Stephen King's horror novel. Two year later, she starred in the film "Species." In 1996, she appeared on four episodes of the medical drama "ER," playing Karen Hines, a love interest of George Clooney's character.
Helgenberger later played a cancer patient in "Erin Brockovich" alongside Julia Roberts. The film was released in 2000, the same year "CSI" debuted. She has also appeared in the movies "Mr. Brooks" with Kevin Costner and "Columbus Day" with Val Kilmer.
Helgenberger told the Associated Press that in the near future, she plans to take time off and go "hiking with her dog." The actress, who began her acting career in the theatre and performed in plays as a student at Northwestern University, said she would also like to appear in a Broadway show.
She also added that she is open to the idea of returning to "CSI" as a guest star, adding: "That was one of the reasons why it was a little easier for me to leave the show because the producers said to me practically every day the door is wide open. ...If I'm available and I'm up for it you betcha. You haven't seen the last of me."
CBS announced in November that Elisabeth Shue would replace Helgenberger on the series and will play a new crime scene investigator, fresh from an anger management course and rumored to have been fired by D.B. Russell, Ted Danson's character, when they worked together in Seattle.
Correction: In the January 23 story above, OnTheRedCarpet.com erroneously misspelled Dana Delany's surname. This version of the article has been updated with the correct spelling.