Today Marg Helgenberger bid farewell to CBS’ “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” bringing yet another loss to the show.
Helgenberger began “CSI” in 2000 along with Billy Peterson, Gary Dourdan, and George Eads. The four were the original cast members of CBS’s breakout show, which focused on the scientific procedures used after a crime.
Helgenberger portrayed investigator “Catherine Willows” for 11 years and 260 episodes. “Willows” was a single mother and faced danger as well as the deaths of several colleagues.
Her departure is the latest in a series of losses, including original cast members Billy Peterson and Gary Dourdan. Ted Danson was recently brought on board to replace Laurence Fishburne.
“CSI” set the precedent for other crime shows such as “N.C.I.S.” and led to three spin-offs: “CSI: New York; CSI: Miami; and CSI Los Angeles.” The original “CSI” has been nominated numerous times for awards and won a Screen Actors Guild award in 2005.
Helgenberger appeared on a variety of TV shows, including “ER” and “Frasier.” She has a career that includes performances in theater and movies but gained prominence on “China Beach,” even winning an Emmy, before moving on to “CSI.”
At the conclusion of taping the final episode, Helgenberger addressed the cast and crew saying: “I’ve been thinking a lot about this moment for a very long time. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the time of my life.”
Helgenberger married actor Alan Rosenberg in 1984, but they divorced in 2010. She has one son, Hugh. Her final appearance as “Catherine Willows” will be on Jan. 25, 2012.