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Fame & Fortune: Marg Helgenberger

Marg HelgenbergerPrior to becoming the captivating star she is on the hit TV show "CSI," Marg Helgenberger had a very interesting career path while living in Nebraska. Besides being the local weather girl, she also worked in the meat packing plant where her father was a meat inspector.

But Helgenberger had bigger plans in her sights. Just two weeks after graduating from Northwestern University with a drama degree, she moved to New York City and landed a role on the daytime soap, "Ryan's Hope." But it was her turn as the drug-addicted prostitute K.C. on the TV series "China Beach" in the late 1980s that really established Helgenberger's career and personal life.

While doing the series, she met actor Alan Rosenberg, whom she is now married. They have a son named Hughie, whose namesake is her dad Hugh, who passed away from multiple sclerosis.

Helgenberger went on to play opposite Julia Roberts as a chemical exposure resident in "Erin Brockovich" and as the clueless-yet-glamorous mogul wife Mrs. Brooks, opposite Kevin Costner in last year's "Mr. Brooks." But it's her current role as Catherine Willows, a former Las Vegas stripper turned criminal detective in "CSI" that has brought her worldwide recognition and job security for the last seven seasons.

The 49-year-old actress credits her disciplined Midwestern values and the support of her husband with the success she's enjoyed.

Bankrate: During the writers strike, you had more than two months off. What did you do with that time?

Helgenberger: I did a bit of everything. I'm in the process of renovating our house right now, so that's kept me very busy. And I got a new puppy, a shepherd mix named Henry. He's a lot of work, but I love him.

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Bankrate: So while everyone was counting their pennies, you were out spending them?

Helgenberger: I've got to say it probably would have been more fun if I knew a salary was coming in, but nonetheless, I knew we would eventually get back to bringing in the cash.

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