12 times we saw Julianna Margulies on TV in roles other than The Good Wife

By: Start TV Staff    Posted: January 29, 2019, 1:35PM

Image: The Everett Collection

If you've been following Julianna Margulies' TV career, you probably know there's one everlasting question. Which suits the actress more: scrubs or a tailored suit? Whether you love The Good Wife star from her prior work on ER, or discovered her from her more recent hit drama Dietland, you may not realize how many other times she suited up on hit TV shows.

From her first TV role on Law & Order in 1993 to funny appearances on sitcoms like Scrubs and The Larry Sanders Show, there are lots of surprises in Margulies' backlog of TV roles, including sharing scenes with everyone from George Clooney to Anjelica Huston. Let's dig in!


A lieutenant on Law & Order

You can thank Law & Order for giving us Julianna Margulies. Her first TV appearance ever was on the popular legal drama. In "Conduct Unbecoming," Margulies played Lt. Ruth Mendoza, a Navy officer tapped to help with the investigation of another female officer, who died during a raucous party.

Image: NBCUniversal Television Distribution


A lawyer on Murder, She Wrote

On Murder, She Wrote, Margulies plays a lawyer named Rachel Novaro, who goes up against mystery writer Jessica Fletcher. That's because she's also the daughter of a guy who claims Fletcher's latest novel is a thinly disguised version of his life, and wrongly fingers him for the murder of his wife. Margulies' character wants Fletcher to rewrite the book, but we bet you can figure out what happens instead...

Image: NBCUniversal Television Distribution


Herself on The Larry Sanders Show

Julianna Margulies turned up on The Larry Sanders Show as herself in 1995, the year after ER became a smash hit.

In "Larry's on Vacation," Shandling's character is recovering from cosmetic surgery, and when the studio calls him at home to check in, it's Margulies nursing his wounds. The two banter about the superficial nature of cosmetic sugery, with Margulies confirming she'd never, and the segment ends with Shandling asking The Good Wife star for a date. Guess we'll never know her answer...

Image: Sony Pictures Television


Nurse Carol Hathaway on ER

On ER, Margulies played Carol Hathaway, the nurse manager who stood up for all the other nurses doing overlooked work in the emergency room and infamously dated George Clooney's womanizing character Doug Ross. Her do-good nature leads her to eventually open a free clinic, but as fans know too well, a fatal mistake in season 5 forces the proud nurse to step down. On the show, Margulies so deftly managed dramatic arc after dramatic arc with so much stamina, fans followed her to every show she took on after.

Image: The Everett Collection


A fairy in Mists of Avalon

In 2001, a TV adaptation of the fantasy novel The Mists of Avalon was made, starring Julianna Margulies as Morgaine, the fairy sister of "The Lady of the Lake," played by Anjelica Huston. It's an Emmy-winning, magical combination of two bewitching actresses, and more than 30 million viewers tuned in to take in the spectacle. Margulies walked away from the mini-series with yet another Golden Globe nom.

Image: The Everett Collection


An NSA agent on The Grid

In 2004, Margulies took on another mini-series, this time across from the star of that other hit medical drama, Dylan McDermott of The Practice. In the Emmy-nominated series The Grid, the action focused on counterterrorism efforts and Margulies and McDermott jockey for control of an international team Margulies' character Maren Jackson forms. The whole thing culminates in not one, but two terrorist attacks, and if you're curious how Margulies' character handles it, all we need to say is: like a boss. Sorry, Dylan.

Image: The Everett Collection


A malpractice attorney on Scrubs

On Scrubs, Julianna Margulies' character Neena Broderick had a reputation: "the scariest lawyer in the city." She appears in back-to-back episodes in the fourth season, "My Malpractical Decision" and "My Female Trouble." During this brief run, she makes J.D. choose between her and Turk, when she goes after Turk for malpractice.

Image: Buena Vista Television


Owner of "The Nail File" on The Lost Room

The Emmy-nominated fantasy mini-series The Lost Room saw Margulies across from Peter Krause, as he investigated a mysterious motel room that appears to be a portal to an alternate universe. Although Margulies' character is part of The Legion, a religious group obsessed with controlling a bunch of mysterious objects (including a nail file Margulies uses to painlessly control other people's actions). The mini-series ends with Margulies and Krause together, so if you ever wanted to see the Six Feet Under star with your favorite leading lady, this is the show to cue up.

Image: The Everett Collection


Almost Tony Soprano's mistress on The Sopranos

You know you're a badass if you show up on The Sopranos and they use your real name. On the hit HBO drama, Margulies played Julianna Skiff, a realtor who meets Tony Soprano when she tries to buy a building he owns. Things get steamy, but Tony is recovering from an injury his wife helped dress, and it's enough to stop the affair before it can really start.

Instead, she meets Christopher Moltisanti at an AA meeting and the two hit it off, hiding their romance and their drug habits from Tony as long as they can. We last see the character at Christopher's funeral, where Tony mispronounces her name introducing her to his wife.

Image: HBO Entertainment


A defense attorney on Canterbury's Law

In 2008, FOX tried to plug a new show with Julianna Margulies as a mid-season replacement for Prison Break. It was called Canterbury's Law and starred Margulies as a hot-shot defense attorney who always goes to bat for the wrongfully accused. She also had a tragic backstory where her son disappears before the series starts. Unfortunately, the show didn't last, and eventually Bones replaced it in the line-up.

Image: The Everett Collection


A doctor on Sesame Street

In 2010, when Big Bird sprained his wing on Sesame Street, who did he call? Julianna Margulies appeared on the popular children's show as Dr. Berger, who indeed arrives to fix up Big Bird's injury. Margulies said that she decided to do the show because her son was a fan.

Image: PBS


A senior executive on Dietland

Perhaps her most glamorous role came in 2018, when Julianna Margulies joined the cast of AMC's Dietland. She plays an incredibly ambitious magazine head who founded a popular magazine with readers she affectionately refers to as "my girls."

Image: The Everett Collection