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From 'BoJack Horseman' to 'The Americans'. Here’s what makes Margo Martindale the most impressive character actress working in TV today.

Margo Martindale: Probably the best character actress in the world

Margo Martindale may not be a household name, but she’s been in a lot of well-known properties. Her most recognizable roles are as Mags Bennett in Justified, Claudia in The Americans, and herself in adult animated series BoJack Horseman. Here’s what makes Margo Martindale the most impressive character actress working in TV today. 

From funny to serious

Margo Martindale is especially known for her huge range. Martindale has appeared on comedic shows like BoJack Horseman and in dramatic roles such as her first television role in TV miniseries Lonesome Dove. 

No matter the role, Margo Martindale brings sass. She can play BoJack’s right-hand companion in BoJack Horseman then transform into the feisty Bella Abzburg on Mrs. America. Either way, she’s a delight. 

Martindale also excels at serious roles. While she brings fire to Claudia in The Americans, Margo Martindale also delivers a definite no-nonsense weight in this role as a spy wrangler who coaches secret agents on their missions and blending in.

Multiple awards

Margo Martindale has been nominated for eighteen awards and won six. She earned a Critic’s Choice and Primetime Emmy award for her work on Justified, two Primetime Emmys for her performance on The Americans, a Critics’ Choice Television Award for The Good Wife, and a Gracie Award for The Americans. 

Being nominated for these honors within a sixteen-year period means Margo Martindale averaged an award nomination every year and a win every three years. Martindale was also nominated for three Tonys for her performance in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. 

Impressive IMDb page

Try scrolling through everything Margo Martindale’s been in on IMDb: film, television shows, voice work, theater. Since her student days in 70s, Margo Martindale’s goal was to become an actor; she moved to New York to studied at top schools and hone her craft. 

If you thought Margo Martindale’s award nominations were impressive, take a look at her credentials. She’s performed since the early 80s, when she was part of the Actors’ Theater in Louisville, KY. Her first television role was in the late 1980s in Lonesome Dove. Martindale then appeared in her first movie in 1990, Tom Cruise action flick Days of Thunder.

Down-to-earth sensibility

As Margo Martindale explained in an interview on AM to DM, “if you are playing a part, you are playing a character.” She loves her work and the numerous roles she’s taken on over the years. In the interviews she’s appeared in, she always appears calm, collected, and classy. 

Martindale also comes prepared with stories to tell. Our favorite is how Will Arnett got her to come on BoJack Horseman in an interview with BUILD. Arnett told Martindale she was going to “do his cartoon”, but she was concerned about adding a new project to her busy schedule. At that point Arnett pointed out the character was Margo Martindale herself, so who else could play it?

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