Julianna Margulies: Jewess or Just Jew-ish?

My current favorite (Jewish) actress is Julianna Margulies, whose return to the small screen as Alicia Florrick in “The Good Wife” has re-introduced her to the American viewing public.

I’ve been thinking she’s Jewish but this Web site claims that she was raised Catholic.

Say it ain’t so! (It’s all part of my irrational pride in any Jew who does good or does well.)

In any case, Margulies has begun collecting awards (Golden Globe) and nominations for awards (Screen Actors Guild) for her performance as the estranged wife of a high-profile state attorney (played by Chris Noth), who screwed around on her and is in prison after having been convicted of political corruption.

It’s all very of the moment, reportedly inspired by former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s fall from grace two years ago. But Margulies’ character seems even more closely modeled on Jenny Sanford, on-her-way-to-being-ex-wife of former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who is emerging from her husband’s scandalous affair, with a future of her own, starting with a new memoir.

“The Good Wife” is a legal drama but I think the best part is watching Margulies, who plays a new associate at a glossy Chicago law firm, all taut chic in stylish suits and heels. She does a good job of communicating without words that she’s working hard to keep roiling emotions from spilling out – especially when she’s meeting with her imprisoned ex or being archly labeled as his wife by a judge or another lawyer.

Margulies became famous as neurotic Nurse Carole Hathaway (and George Clooney love interest) as part of the original cast of ER. She also played a hasidic woman, “Rachel” in the 1996 film “A Price Above Rubies.”

In real life, Margulies married Keith Lieberthal, whom I presume on account of his last name to be a Member of the Tribe, and two years ago gave birth to their son, Kieran Lindsay Lieberthal.

Here’s doyenne of dish Liz Smith talking about the first time she met Margulies — when she was waiting tables at a downtown restaurant and waited on Smith and Julia Roberts.

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