Maggie Siff Biography


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Birth Name: Maggie Siff
Born: 06/21/1974
Birth Place: Bronx, New York, USA


Maggie Siff was born in The Bronx, NY on June 21, 1974. Her father was a stage actor in the city, so it was not surprising Siff would be inspired to pursue acting as a later career while sneaking backstage to watch her father's work from the wings. She attended the prestigious magnet high school, Bronx Science, and took her first steps toward performing by competing in the National Forensics League, taking fourth place in the Dramatic Interpretation category at the 1992 National Forensics Tournament. Siff attended Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in English but her passion for the theater could no longer be denied. She enrolled in graduate school at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she received a MFA in acting. Siff then relocated to Philadelphia where she became deeply involved in that city's theater scene, winning awards for her work in such plays as David Mamet's "Oleanna" and Henrik Ibsen's "Ghosts." Siff would spend the better part of a decade working constantly in live theater in Chicago and New York, as well as Philadelphia.

Wishing to expand her CV, Siff made her way to television in 2004 with small roles on such series as "Third Watch" (NBC, 1999-2005) and "Rescue Me" (FX, 2004-2011) but her breakthrough year would be 2007, when she delivered a stunning performance in a three-episode arc on "Nip/Tuck" (FX, 2003-2010). In the role of Rachel Ben Natan, an Israeli woman left severely burned by a Palestinian suicide bomb and her body sprayed by "human shrapnel," the teeth and bone fragments of the bomber himself, Siff conveyed an internal conflict that was both extreme in its dramatics and yet believably contained. That same year, Siff would make her first foray into feature film, with small roles in "Michael Clayton" (2007), starring George Clooney, and "Then She Found Me" (2007), the directorial debut of actress Helen Hunt. The role that would bring Siff to national attention, however, would be on television, playing Rachel Menken, the sexy-smart department store heiress who overcomes both anti-Semitism and Don Draper's inestimable charms on AMC's "Mad Men" (AMC, 2007- ). As the sophisticated beauty that got away, Siff captured Draper's heart and audiences' imaginations.

The actress would make the most of her "Mad Men" attention, pushing forward into film with a trio of roles in 2009, including a psychic surgeon in "Push" (2009), a small supporting role in "Funny People" (2009) with Adam Sandler, and a hilarious turn as Reformed Jewish Rabbi Zimmerman in Tim Blake Nelson's "Leaves of Grass" (2009). Her best work would remain on television, however, as she joined the regular cast of "Sons of Anarchy" (FX, 2008-12) as Dr. Tara Knowles, the former high school girlfriend of Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) who returns to him and to the violent biker club that she had once hoped to escape. Striking while the iron was hot, Siff joined a second series as a regular in 2009 playing Maria, the love interest of series lead, Jason O'Mara, on the critically-praised but short-lived U.S. iteration of "Life on Mars" (ABC, 2008-09). Though "Mars" would suffer declining ratings and an unceremonious cancellation, Siff's work on "Sons of Anarchy" would go on, growing in depth and complexity and garnering notice from audiences and critics alike. Though her "Anarchy" character Tara Knowles would evolve from a promising doctor to a reluctantly complicit member of the SAMCRO biker club's inner circle over five seasons, praise for Siff's acting remained consistent, as did her stamina for constant work. During the 2012 season, Siff managed to shoot a guest appearance on the series "A Gifted Man" (CBS, 2011-12), starring Patrick Wilson, as well as a supporting role in the independent drama "Concussion" (2012), from writer-director Stacie Passon.

By John Crye




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