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Get to know your favorite stars

William Petersen/Gil Grissom
Born February 21, 1953
Evanston, Illinois

William was the youngest of six children born to a family in Evanston, Illinois. While he excelled at sports, his academic grades were poor, so while at Idaho State University his advisors recommended he take acting classes in order to boost his grade point average. Little did they know that William would flourish in the theatrical atmosphere, so much so that after he left school, William and Joanne (his girlfriend who soon became his wife) went to Spain where they started a Shakespeare company. Soon he and his wife (and new daughter) moved back to Evanston, where he dabbled in other jobs, but the lure of the theater took him to Chicago where he earned his Actor's Equity card in 1979 at the Victory Gardens Theater. With longtime friend Cindy Chvatal and actor Gary Cole, they co-founded the Remains Theater, where Petersen honed his acting abilities. His portrayal of Jack Henry Abbott in Belly of the Beast: Letters from Prison earned his the Joseph Jefferson award for best actor, which he reprised at the Kennedy Center and in London. He also received Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for The Tooth of the Crime and The Night of the Iguana. He appeared in a number of regional productions, including The Time of Your Life, A Streetcar Named Desire, Glengarry Glen Ross, Fool for Love and Speed-the-Plow. His Broadway debuted was in a revival of Tennessee Williams' Night of the Iguana.

His talent soon came to the attention of film directors, and he was asked to read for William Friedkin's cop thriller, To Live and Die in L.A. That film led to more, such as Manhunter, Cousins and Fear. In 1990, William and Cindy Chvatal formed High Horse Films. Their first project was Hard Promises, in which William starred with Sissy Spacek.

On television, he has been seen in Long Gone, The Rat Pack, , 12 Angry Men, The Kennedys of Massachusetts (which won a Golden Globe Award), the sci-fi miniseries The Beast and Keep the Change, which he also produced. It was only when CSI came along that Petersen decided to commit to his first television series, which he also produces.

Petersen resides with his wife in Los Angeles, and became a grandfather for the first time in October 2003.

Marg Helgenburger/Catherine Willows
Actress/Blood Splatter Analysis
Born November 15, 1958
Freemont, Nebraska

Marg Helgenberger is known to many TV viewers from her Emmy award-winning performance as K.C. from the ABC series China Beach. Born in Nebraska to Hugh (who worked in a meat packing plant) and Kay (a nurse) Helgenberger, Mary Margaret Helgenberger didn't discover acting until after she graduated high school. During those years, she was active in extracurricular activities, and spent her summer vacations working as a "boner" (a person who strips meat off the bones) at a meat packing plant. Marg attended Kearney State College, then transferred to Northwestern Alumnus School of Speech, where she majored in Speech and Drama. It was during a university production of A Streetcar Named Desire that Marg got hooked on acting.

A scout for the soap opera Ryan's Hope saw Marg perform during a campus production of Taming of the Shrew, then offered her a possible role on the show. Marg, however, wanted to finish college first and joined the soap as Siobhan Ryan. It was in 1984 when actor Alan Rosenberg did a guest spot on the soap as a pimp. He caught her eye, but they lost contact until they ran into each other at a bank in West Hollywood. They began dating, and married in 1989. In 1990 they had a son, Hughie, whom they named in honor of her late father.

Marg is best known for China Beach, but her other TV credits include ER, the telemovie Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, Thanks of a Grateful Nation, and the Stephen King mini-series The Tommyknockers. She appeared in the critically acclaimed Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts, Species, Species II, Fire Down Below, The Last Time I Committed Suicide, Crooked Hearts, and more.

Marg has received the Q Award from the Viewers for Quality Television for three years during her time on China Beach. She has also received nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2001 and 2001, and when someone appears on the talk show circuit to promote CSI, you'll usually find Marg's cheerful face in front of the camera.

Marg is active in speaking out for breast cancer prevention - as her mother is a decades-long survivor of the disease - and each year returns to Council Bluffs, Iowa to host Marg & Alan's Celebrity Weekend, to reconnect with her Midwestern roots and "to draw attention to the fight against breast cancer, and celebrate survivorship."

Jorja Fox/Sara Sidle
Actress/Materials and Element Analysis
Born July 7, 1968
New York, New York

Jorja Fox was born in New York City to French Canadian parents and raised in the small coastal town of Melborne Beach, Florida, but moved back to NYC after she won a modeling contest in Florida. Soon she began a modeling career, which took her various places, including Milan. At eighteen, she decided to concentrate on acting, studying with veteran actor William Hickey at New York's Lee Strasberg Institute. She made her movie debut in the 1989 independent flick, The Kill-Off.

In the 1990s, Jorja obtained roles such as the ABC Afterschool special Summer Stories: The Mall and Dead Drunk: The Kevin Tunell Story, as well as HBO's Lifestories: Families in Crisis. In 1993 she did a primetime series, Law & Order, then landed a regular role on ABC's Missing Persons, but it was her portrayal of Dr. Maggie Doyle on ER that propelled her on to bigger roles. She had a recurring role on NBC's West Wing as Secret Service agent Gina Tuscano, but then CSI came along.

Her film roles have included The Jerky Boys, Dead Funny, Alchemy, the critically acclaimed Memento with Guy Pearce, as well as television miniseries The House of Frankenstein. In addition to those mediums, Jorja is co-founder of the experimental theater group Honeypot Productions, and writes and stars in plays for the Los Angeles-based group. So far, she has written four of the group's five plays. The fourth play, Lovely Stanley, is a comedic romp about the women's bowling circuit.

Jorja lives in Los Angeles, and enjoys travelling, playing guitar, and singing. She has a boxer named Ali, and two cats named Rumplestiltskin and Sid Poitier (they came with those names).

Gary Dourdan/Warrick Brown
Actor/Audio & Visual Analysis
Born December 11, 1966
Philedalphia, Pennsylvania


Six-year-old Gary Dourdan worshipped his older brother Darryl, a DJ at a local Philadelphia radio station, but Darryl died under mysterious circumstances when he fell off a hotel balcony while on a trip to Haiti. It's a mystery that remains unsolved to this day, but Darryl's influence has steered Gary's life. He became a DJ in Philadelphia and now, along with his acting career, produces jazz musicians for a European label.

His break in acting came when he was in Paris and ran into actress and director Debbie Allen on the Champs D'Elysees. He sent her his audition tapes, and kept doing it, until one day he got a callback and landed a role as what he affectionately called a "jive-talking knucklehead" on A Different Strokes.

His career has spanned film and television, with roles such as Malcoln X in the telemovie Muhammad Ali: King of the World, movies Imposter, Alien Resurrection, Playing God, Scarred City, New Jersey Turnpikes and The Weekend. On television, he has appeared in Cold Feet, Soul Food, Beggars and Choosers, and New York Undercover.

When CSI first launched, Gary, like his co-stars, thought it was good but never expected it to last or became the hit series it is now. He's enjoying working on the series, as well as the latitude from the producers so that he can work on both CSI and make movies at the same time.

Gary resides in Venice Beach, California

George Eads/Nick Stokes
Actor/Hair & Fiber Analysis
Born March 1, 1967
Fort Worth, Texas

George Eads grew up in Belton, Texas, born to Arthur Eads, a district attorney, and Vivan, a junior high school principal. George was a typical Texas boy, and became a football player in high school. He acted in school plays, but when he went on to college, he earned his business degree from Texas Tech University. But the business world wasn't for him, and he attended the Texas KD Studio Acting Conservatory.

Like many aspiring actors, George moved to Los Angeles, where he took on a variety of odd jobs to pay the rent, all the time auditioning for roles. He finally landed the role of Travis Peterson on the Aaron Spelling soap, Savannah, but the thrill was short-lived. His character was killed off in the pilot. On the plus side, his appearance tested well with audiences so he returned, in a time-honored soap fashion, as the dead man's twin brother.

A small role on the NBC power drama ER soon beckoned. It started small, but soon George's character became the guy you wanted to hate: he became a block between George Clooney's and Julianna Margulies characters.

Film credits include telemovies such as Monte Walsh with Tom Selleck, Just a Walk in the Park, Crowned and Dangerous, and Evel Knievel. On TV, he was in the CBS series Grapevine and Strange Luck.

In time, CSI was being cast, and Nick got the role after two auditions for the role. Little did he know that he would soon be a familiar face to millions of viewers around the globe. And co-star Jorja Fox labels him the biggest practical joker on the set.

George lives in Hollywood in a two story home with his Labrador Maverick, who even comes to work with him.