Childhood & Early Life
Maggie Siff was born on June 21, 1974, in The Bronx, New York City. Her father is Russian Jewish, while her mother is an Irish–Swedish Protestant. Siff identifies herself as “culturally Jewish,” as she grew up around her father’s family.
She went to ‘The Bronx High School of Science’ and attended the ‘Bryn Mawr College,’ graduating with a major in English in 1996. She also completed an MFA in acting at ‘New York University’s ‘Tisch School of the Arts.’
Shortly after graduating from ‘New York University,’ Siff worked as a temporary employee at a hedge fund.
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Maggie Siff worked extensively in theater before venturing into films and TV. Her most notable performance in theater was her role in Henrik Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’ in 1998.
In 2004, Siff appeared as ‘Cindy’ in an episode of the American crime-drama series ‘Third Watch’ (1999–2005), titled ‘Obsession.’ The storyline revolved around the lives of police officers of the ‘New York Police Department’ and the firefighters and paramedics of the ‘New York City Fire Department,’ all working in the fictional precinct during the 3pm–11pm shift called the “Third Watch.”
In 2005, Siff appeared in an episode of the American comedy–drama series titled ‘Rescue Me’ (2004–2011), titled ‘Twat.’ The series focused on the professional and personal lives of a group of New York City firefighters.
In 2006, Siff appeared in two TV projects: the crime-drama series titled ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ (as ‘Emily McCooper’ in the episode ‘Gone’ of season 20) and the drama ‘3 lbs’ (as ‘Lisa Kutchem’ in the episode ‘The God Spot’). The latter was canceled after 3 weeks, due to poor ratings.
In 2007, Siff made a guest appearance in the acclaimed medical drama ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (2005–present). She appeared as ‘Ruthie Sales’ in one of its episodes, ‘The Heart of the Matter.’ She also made a guest appearance in three episodes of another medical drama series, ‘Nip/Tuck’ (2003–2010), as ‘Rachel Ben Natan.’ The same year, she made her film debut with the role of an attorney in the movie ‘Michael Clayton,’ opposite George Clooney. She also appeared in the comedy–drama film ‘Then She Found Me,’ playing the role of ‘Lily.’ It was directed by Helen Hunt. However, Siff’s major break came in the recurring role of a Jewish department store heiress named ‘Rachel Menken’ in the period drama ‘Mad Men’ (2007–2015). She appeared in nine episodes of the series.
In 2008, Siff played the role of ‘Attorney Mahaffey’ in an episode of the police-procedural and legal drama ‘Law & Order’ (1990–2010), titled ‘Executioner.’ The same year, she appeared as ‘Tara Knowles’ in six seasons of the crime–tragedy series ‘Sons of Anarchy’ (2008–2013), spanning 79 episodes.
In 2009, Siff guest-starred in the science-fiction crime-drama series ‘Life on Mars’ (2008–2009) in the role of ‘Maria Belanger’ in three episodes. The same year, she appeared in three film projects: ‘Push,’ ‘Leaves of Grass,’ and ‘Funny People,’ playing ‘Teresa Stowe,’ ‘Rabbi Renannah Zimmerman,’ and ‘Rachel,’ respectively.
In 2011, Siff starred in the TV series ‘A Gifted Man,’ essaying the role of ‘Lily’ in the episode ‘In Case of Letting Go.’
In 2013, she appeared as ‘Sam Bennet’ in an autobiographical drama film titled ‘Concussion.
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In 2016, Siff earned another major role on TV: ‘Wendy Rhoades’ in the drama series ‘Billions’ (2016–present). She has appeared in 36 episodes of the series so far. The same year, she appeared in three movies: the science-fiction/action film ‘The 5th Wave’ (as ‘Lisa Sullivan’), the independent drama film ‘A Woman, A Part’ (as ‘Anna Baskin’), and the comedy–drama film ‘The Sweet Life’ (as ‘Ava’).
In 2017, Siff starred in the drama film ‘One Percent More Humid’ (as ‘Lisette’). The film revolved around the reunion of a pair of childhood friends during their summer break from college, while dealing with a traumatizing experience from their past.
In 2019, Siff appeared in another drama film, ‘The Short History of the Long Road,’ playing the character ‘Cheryl.’
Currently, Siff is the TV spokesperson for the robo-advisor service ‘Betterment.’ It is an online investment company based in New York City.
Siff’s first major work in theater was in Henrik Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’ at the ‘Lantern Theatre Company’ in 1998. It is a Norwegian play and was first staged in 1882 in Chicago.
Siff’s next major role came in 2007, when she was cast as the Jewish department store heiress ‘Rachel Menken’ in the TV series ‘Mad Men.’ The series was based on the world of advertising on Madison Avenue in New York in the early 1960s.
Siff’s latest role has been that of ‘Wendy Rhoades’ in the financial drama ‘Billions’ (2016–present). Her character is the psychiatrist wife of ‘Charles "Chuck" Rhoades, Jr.’ (played by Paul Giamatti), an attorney engaged in a dramatic legal battle with a hedge fund manager named ‘Robert "Bobby" Axelrod’ (played by Damian Lewis).
She has worked as an executive producer for the short ‘Human Terrain’ and the film ‘A Woman, a Part.’
She has contributed (as a performer) to the soundtrack of ‘Sons of Anarchy.’
Awards & Achievements
In 1998, Siff received her first major award, the ‘Barrymore Award for Excellence in Theater’ for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play’ for her role in Henrik Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’ at the ‘Lantern Theatre Company.’
In 2008, she was nominated for ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series’ at the ‘Screen Actors Guild Award.’
Siff was nominated for the ‘Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series’ at the ‘Critics’ Choice Television Award,’ in both 2012 and 2014.