Mar. 12, 2006
60 min.
HBO TV Network

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Big Love tv show photo

Big Love

From creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer comes Big Love, the story of a man, Bill Henrickson, living in Salt Lake City with his three wives, three houses, and three families. Polygamy loves company...

Characters: #4 of 24 (Full List)
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Margene Heffman Big Love
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Margene Heffman

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  Played by:
Ginnifer GoodwinGinnifer Goodwin
Jennifer Michelle Goodwin (born May 22, 1978), known professionally as Ginnifer Goodwin, is an American ...

Character Bio

Margene Heffman photo
Margene Heffman is Bill Henrickson's third wife and the mother of two of his sons, Aaron and Lester and daughter Nell.


Margene is the product of a divorced home and was primarily raised by her alcoholic and irresponsible mother, Ginger. Despite this unhappy upbringing, Margene is a consistently positive and generous person. She is unapologetic about her multiple sexual relationships with men throughout her early life.

Before marrying into the polygamous Henrickson family, Margene worked at Henrickson Home Plus and served as a babysitter for the Henricksons. She and Bill fell in love, and Bill and his first wife Barb agree to welcome Margene as the family's third wife (second wife Nicki does not approve, but is out-voted). She converts to Mormonism and adapts to the polygamous lifestyle. Of the whole family, Margene seems to be the most pleased and least conflicted with the arrangement.

Season 1

Margene is much closer in age to the eldest Henrickson children than she is to her husband and sister-wives, and therefore is very close to sixteen-year-old Ben, the eldest boy. It is insinuated that Ben has a one-sided crush on Margene, some examples being how he prefers to sleep on her couch rather than his own bed in his mother's house, which disturbs his mother, and how he becomes jealous after meeting Margene's ex-boyfriend.

Season 2

Margene's mother Ginger comes to visit. At first Margene wanted her to believe that she alone was married to Bill and that she was not in a polygamous relationship. Nicki, however, tells Margene's mother, leading to further conflict. It is revealed that Margene's mother has been competing with Margene her entire life for attention and even boys, which shows as Margene's mother is not shy about the fact she finds Bill attractive and can see why Margene married him. Margene also tells the new neighbor Pam that she is a surrogate mother, after becoming pregnant for the third time, because she didn't want to be seen as an unwed mother. She had previously told Pam that she was a widow.

In episode 9 of Season Two it is revealed that she had a relationship with one of Bill's employees before the two were married and is the deciding vote for him to buy into the gaming machine business. Bill is comfortable with the fact Margene had relationships before him, but his son Ben isn't, which leads to him pushing Margene's ex-boyfriend to the ground and later yelling at Margene, calling her "a big spanker" (in reference to when the ex-boyfriend tells Ben, with spirited body language, that he and Margene used to engage in erotic spanking). Margene accepts the gaming business, because, as she explains, Barb's children are nearly grown but Margene still has two babies and another on the way, and she wants a financially stable future for them just in case Home Plus falls through.

In the finale of Season 2, she tells her neighbor Pam that she will be a surrogate mother after being backed into corner. While Pam sobs that her husband will leave her if she doesn't produce a child, Margene frantically agrees. She then decides that after the third baby, she will truly be a surrogate for Pam. This idea is rejected by Nikki, Bill, and Barb. Barb later reveals the family to be polygamist so Margene wouldn't have to continue with her lie of being a surrogate.

Season 3

Margene gets upsetting news about her estranged mother. Margene decides to launch a jewelry business.

Season 4

Margene and her “Hearts on a Sleeve” line go prime time, but her on-air triumph is tempered by a case of mistaken identity. In episode "The Mighty and Strong", Margene admittes to Bill that she has romantic feelings for Ben.

Margene's Blog

In Margene's official blog on HBO's website, it was stated that Margene had her third child, a girl named Nell. In Big Love's third season premiere, Margene is shown caring for a baby girl, and the entire family welcomes Nell as their youngest member.

Episode Screenshots

02x08 - Kingdom Come
Season 2, Episode 08
04x02 - The Greater Good
Season 4, Episode 02
04x01 - Free at Last
Season 4, Episode 01
03x01 - Block Party
Season 3, Episode 01
[More Episodes]

Margene Heffman Photos

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