One of the Centre’s most trusted handlers, “Claudia,” played by Margo Martindale, presents a kind face but holds a steely resolve. Although she may often appear dangerous and cunning, she has depth and humanity that can be surprising. She has a conflicted history with the Jennings, but knows them better than most – and knows the potential strategic value of their daughter.
Three-time Emmy® winner Margo Martindale is one of the world’s busiest and most acclaimed character actresses. After appearing in a multitude of series and delivering an Oscar®-worthy performance in a recent major motion picture, the remainder of this year will be a big one for Martindale. She just made Emmy history as being the first person to win Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series two years in a row (2015 and 2016) for her role in The Americans. This is coming off an acclaimed major arc on CBS’s beloved The Good Wife final season, where she won the 2016 Critics Choice Television Award for her role as "Willa Eastman," the cunning political strategist.
On the big-screen, Martindale recently starred opposite John Krasinski in the highly praised 2016 Sundance Film Festival entry, The Hollars. She received many kudos at the Festival and from film critics for her portrayal of a woman dying of a brain tumor whose estranged son returns to his home town to be with her. Next she will star opposite Giovanni Ribisi in the new Amazon series Sneaky Pete. The show explores the complex relationship between a mother and her son and the life of crime that they live. The show is being produced by Bryan Cranston and will begin airing in early 2017.
Martindale received the 2011 Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her tour de force performance as "Mags Bennett," the diabolical matriarch on the FX drama, Justified. The role also earned her the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and a 2011 Television Critics Association Award nomination for Individual Achievement in Drama. USA Today described her performance as “smart, chilling, amusing, convincing and unfailingly entertaining.” The Huffington Post called it “the television performance of the year!”
More recently, Martindale was seen on the big-screen in Heaven Is For Real with Greg Kinnear, and last year in The Weinstein Company’s film adaptation of Tracy Lett’s Pulitzer Prize winning play August: Osage County alongside Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. On television, she starred in the CBS comedy The Millers, opposite Will Arnett and Beau Bridges.
A native of Jacksonville, Texas, she began on the New York stage originating the iconic role of "Truvy" in the first Broadway production of Steel Magnolias. She also received a Tony® nomination for her portrayal of "Big Mama" in the 2004 revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Moviegoers will recognize her work in Million Dollar Baby, Secretariat, Dead Man Walking, Nobody’s Fool, Lorenzo’s Oil, The Hours, Practical Magic, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Hannah Montana: The Movie, Paris Je T’aime, Beautiful Creatures, and Win Win, among others. Other standout television appearances include roles in New Girl, Medium, Dexter, The Riches, Hung and A Gifted Man.
Martindale resides in New York City with her husband, Bill. They are the parents of a daughter, Maggie.