Who is Talia Balsam?

She’s an actress with over 100 acting credits to her name, however, Talia Balsam is perhaps still known best for her recurring role as Mona Sterling in the hit series “Mad Man”. Movie lovers will probably recognize her as Sandra Kurtzman in the comedy-drama “No Strings Attached”, or as Mrs Shapiro in “The Wackness”.

Talia is also well-known for her portrayal of Dallas in the series “Divorce”, and ironically, she went through a media-covered divorce that filled the headlines for months. Let us tell you all about her life and career, and how she healed her broken heart after divorcing one of the hottest Hollywood heartthrobs.

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Early life, family, and education

Born under the zodiac sign of Pisces on 5 March 1959, Talia is today aged 64. A native of New York City USA, she’s the only daughter of famous actors, Joyce Van Patten and Martin Balsam. She holds American nationality, and comes from a family of English, Dutch and Italian descent from her mother’s side, while through her father, Talia has Russian-Jewish heritage. Talia has two half-siblings, namely Zoe and Adam, from her father’s second marriage, while from her mother’s second marriage, she has a half-brother, Casey King, who is also an actor.

Being raised in a family of successful movie and television actors, it isn’t surprising that Talia followed in her parents’ footsteps. Upon matriculating from high school in 1977, Talia enrolled at Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, where she studied acting.

Acting career- beginnings

Talia made her acting debut in the 1977 TV movie “Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn”, then later that year, made her first TV series appearance as Nancy Croft in the musical comedy “Happy Days”. In the following years, Talia was seen in movies made for television such as “The Initiation of Sarah” (1978) and “Survival of Dana” (1979), among several others.

She debuted on the big screen playing Ann Rosario in the 1979 action drama “Sunnyside”, which followed the story of a young street tough who attempts to stop gang violence, written and directed by Timothy Galfas.

The early ‘80s saw Talia co-starring in TV movies “Kent State” (1981), “Calamity Jane” (1984), and “Consenting Adult” (1985), while concurrently guest starring in several hit series, such as “Hill Street Blues” (1982) and “Magnum, P. I.” (1984).

As a young actress Talia struggled, and her first lead role came in the 1989 comedy crime-drama “Trust Me”, in which she starred opposite Adam Ant. The movie had no nominations, but the audience rated it very well (6.2/10).

Most notable TV series and movie roles

As mentioned, Talia had numerous roles, many of which were supporting, so we’ll mention some of the roles significant for her career.

The ’90s saw Talia starring in numerous movies which didn’t gain much success, and it seemed that her career would never take an upward trajectory. Also, Talia’s appearances in TV series were mostly guest roles, and she was seen in an episode or two of many.

During 1998 and 1999, Talia played Julie Lonner in the series “L. A. Doctors”, which was nominated for the TV Guide Award – Favorite New Series, however, the early 2000s were more important for Talia’s career.

She landed the recurring role as Maria Malone in the hit series “Without a Trace”, and was seen in less than ten episodes during 2003 and 2004. Two years later, Talia played Lucy Stark in the thriller drama “All the King’s Men”, based on the novel of the same title by Robert Penn Warren. The stars of the movie were Sean Penn, Kate Winslet and Jude Law, and it won the Gran Premio Internazionale Del Doppiaggio Film Award.

From 2007 through 2014, Talia was seen as Mona Sterling in the multiple Primetime Emmy-awarded drama “Mad Men”, starring Jon Hamm, Vincent Kartheiser and Elisabeth Moss. The show followed one of the most prestigious ad agencies in New York City in the early ‘60s, and its mysterious executive, Donald Daper. It had 406 award nominations and 143 wins, including 16 Primetime Emmys.

Talia followed with her role as Dallas in the comedy-drama “Divorce”, which aired from 2016 through 2019, with Talia appearing in all 24 episodes, starring opposite Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church and Molly Shannon. The show followed the hilarious story of a long, drawn-out divorce, and was nominated for Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour).

In the following years, Talia was seen in movies such as “Worth” (2020), “The Many Saints of Newark” (2021), and “Master” (2022), among many others. Most recently, Talia was cast to play Dorothy in the 2023 movie “Late Bloomers”, in which she starred opposite Loni Ackerman and Danielle Alonzo. This comedy is about a 28-year-old girl, who after breaking her hip, finds herself with an elderly, cranky Polish woman who takes a job caring for her. The girl realizes that we all have to grow up sometime.

That’s not all. We have great news for Talia’s fans. She will return on television playing Bonnie in the announced series “Wilderness”, set to be released by the end of 2023.

How she found love after divorce

According to Vanity Fair, Talia met her first husband George Clooney, a famous actor who needs no special introduction, while they were performing in a local theatre play. They began dating sometime in 1984, and when Talia broke up from him, but they got back together, and soon George proposed to Talia. They married on 15 December 1989, in Las Vegas, Nevada, but in late 1992, George filed for divorce, which was finalized on 17 September 1993. The couple didn’t have children together. Later, in one of his interviews, George stated that he was responsible for the failure of their marriage.

Five years later, on 30 December, Talia married her now-husband, John Slattery, also a popular actor, perhaps known best for his role as Howard Stark in “Ant-Man” and “Captain America: Civil War”. Talia played wife of the John’s character, Roger, in the series “Mad Men”.

The wedding ceremony was held on the island of Kauai, Hawaii in the presence of their closest family members and friends. They have one son together, namely Harry, born in 1999.

As of July 2023, Talia and John are still married, and live in their residence in SoHo, Manhattan, New York. In one of her interviews, Talia stated that she likes being married and that she loves her husband, while John said that he’s the luckiest man in the world, being married to the love of his life.

How rich is Talia Balsam?

It could be said that there are many more successful actresses than her, and that she never had a role that would launch her into the heights of the Hollywood sky, but it can also be said that Talia definitely left her mark in the film industry. Critics believe that she has had a stable acting career, that may still flourish in the days to come.

According to sources, as of July 2023, Talia has a net worth estimated at over $4 million, most of her income she’s earned thanks to her work as an actress.

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