Who is Maggie Siff?
Margaret ‘Maggie’ Siff was born on 21 June 1974 in The Bronx, New York City, USA. She is an American actress who gained significant recognition for playing Dr. Tara Knowles in the hit television series “Sons of Anarchy”, and has also appeared in other notable shows such as “Mad Men” and “Billions”. Her talent and range have made her a respected and sought-after actress in the entertainment industry.
Early Life and Education
Maggie was raised in a Jewish family of Irish, Swedish and Ashkenazi ancestry. Her father, David Siff, was a television producer, and her mother, Elayne Maggie, a school teacher. Maggie has always credited her passion for acting to her culturally rich background, and the influences of her parent’s professions.
Maggie’s love for acting began at an early age – she attended The Bronx High School of Science, where she participated in several school plays and theater productions. Upon matriculating, Maggie enrolled at Bryn Mawr College, a private women’s liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, graduating in 1996 with a major in English and a minor in theater.
Her pursuit of acting didn’t stop at the undergraduate level, as Maggie went on to the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, earning a Master’s degree in Fine Arts.
Before she began appearing in TV series and movies, Maggie earned recognition for her work in regional theatre, winning a 1998 Barrymore Award for Excellence in Theater for her work in the Lantern Theatre Company production of “Ghosts”.
Roles in Movies
Maggie’s movie career is a blend of independent films and mainstream cinema. She made her movie debut in 2007 with the independent drama “Then She Found Me”, directed by Helen Hunt, receiving positive reviews for her performance.
One of Maggie’s memorable early film roles came in 2009, with the drama film “Push”. Directed by Lee Daniels, the movie tells the story of Precious (Gabourey Sidibe), a young woman dealing with the challenges of poverty, abuse and illiteracy. Maggie portrayed the character of Mrs Weiss, a compassionate and dedicated teacher who helps Precious find her voice and discover her self-worth.
In the same year, Maggie appeared in the critically acclaimed film “Leaves of Grass” directed by Tim Blake Nelson. The movie follows the lives of identical twins, one a respected professor and the other a small-time drug dealer (both played by Edward Norton).
Maggie’s talent for portraying strong, independent women was evident in the 2013 drama film “Concussion”. Directed by Stacie Passon, the movie revolves around Abby (Robin Weigert), a suburban housewife who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and sexual exploration after a head injury. Maggie played the character of Sam, Abby’s close friend who provides emotional support and becomes entangled in her secret life.
Three years later, Maggie played a leading role in the psychological thriller film “A Woman, a Part” directed by Elisabeth Subrin. In the following years, Maggie appeared in independent movies such as “The Sweet Life” (2016), “One Percent More Humid” (2017), and “Human Terrain” (2019).
Her most recent film role was in the 2019 award-winning drama “The Short History of the Long Road”, written and directed by Ani Simon-Kennedy, and which also starred Danny Trejo and Sabrina Carpenter.
Roles in TV Series
Despite her success in films, it’s her TV series roles that have brought Maggie global recognition. She made her debut in 1998 in an episode of the long-running drama “Sunset Beach”. After a six-year break, Maggie returned to the small screen with episodic roles in popular series such as “Third Watch” (2004), “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2006), and “Grey’s Anatomy” (2007).
One of Maggie’s most notable television roles came in 2008 in the hit drama “Sons of Anarchy”. Created by Kurt Sutter, the show follows the lives of an outlaw motorcycle club called the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original (SAMCRO) based in the fictional town of Charming, California. The series revolves around the character of Jackson ‘Jax’ Teller (played by Charlie Hunnam), a member of SAMCRO who grapples with the moral complexities of the outlaw lifestyle and his desire to steer the club in a more legitimate direction.
— Maggie Siff Web (@maggiesiffweb) March 28, 2018
In the series, Maggie portrayed Dr. Tara Knowles, a skilled surgeon and love interest of Jax. Throughout the show’s seven-season run, her portrayal of Tara showcased her range as an actress, as the character evolved from a compassionate and caring doctor to a resilient and determined woman entangled in the dark world of motorcycle clubs. Maggie’s performance earned her widespread recognition and established her as a fan-favorite in the series. She was nominated for two Critics’ Choice TV Awards for Best Supporting Actress in 2012 and 2014.
Maggie further showcased her talent in the critically-acclaimed period drama “Mad Men”, created by Matthew Weiner, and which starred John Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, and Vincent Kartheiser. The show is set primarily in the 1960s, and follows the lives of advertising executives working on Madison Avenue in New York City. Maggie joined the series in its second season as Rachel Menken, a confident and ambitious Jewish department store heiress.
Since 2016, Maggie has been starring in the Showtime drama “Billions”. Created by Brian Koppelman, David Levien, and Andrew Ross Sorkin, the show revolves around the high-stakes world of finance, power, and legal maneuverings in New York City.
The series primarily focuses on the complex rivalry between two central characters: Bobby ‘Axe’ Axelrod (played by Damian Lewis), a self-made hedge fund billionaire with a ruthless and cunning approach to business, and Chuck Rhoades (played by Paul Giamatti), a relentless and ambitious US Attorney determined to bring down Axe for alleged financial crimes.
Maggie portrays the character of Wendy Rhoades, who serves as a pivotal figure in the series. Wendy is a psychiatrist by profession and the wife of Chuck Rhoades. She is also a performance coach at Axe Capital, where she provides psychological guidance to the traders and plays a critical role in their decision-making processes. Maggie’s performance earned her critical acclaim, and she was nominated for three prestigious Satellite Awards for Best Actress in a Series, in 2017, 2019, and 2021.
Love Life and Relationships
Maggie has always been known for keeping her personal life private, choosing to maintain a low profile off the screen. However, it’s known that she’s married to Paul Ratliff, whom she wed in 2012. The couple shares a daughter, Lucy, who was born in 2014.
Hobbies and Interesting Facts
Aside from acting, Maggie is passionate about yoga and meditation, often attributing her emotional depth in acting to these practices. She is also an avid reader and enjoys literature, philosophy, and psychology.
Interestingly, Maggie is known to take mementos from her TV and film sets. From her time on “Mad Men”, she kept a necklace her character Rachel wore, and from “Sons of Anarchy”, she retained Tara’s wedding ring as a keepsake.
Shortly after graduating college, Maggie briefly worked at a hedge fund, an experience she would later draw on for her role in “Billions”.
As of July 2023, Maggie has an estimated net worth of $8 million, primarily earned through her successful acting career, from her roles in popular TV shows and films, as well as endorsements and other business ventures.