• American actress Talia Balsam born in New York City in 1959
• Appeared in 100+ movies and tv series, most notably in 'Mad Men'
• Former wife of actor George Clooney
• Has one son with current husband John M. Slattery Jr
• Net worth estimated at over $4 million

Who is Talia Balsam?

American actress Talia Balsam was born in New York City USA on 5 March 1959, so Pisces is her zodiac sign. She’s appeared in more than 100 movies and TV series, but is perhaps known best for playing Mona Sterling in the popular drama series “Mad Men”, which Matthew Weiner created, and which starred Vincent Kartheiser, Elisabeth Moss and Jon Hamm. It follows a successful advertising executive Donald Draper as he’s working for the best ad agency in New York City in the ‘60s – the series aired from 2007 through 2015, and won 159 of its 565 award nominations.

Talia’s also known for being the former wife of famous American actor George Clooney.

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Education and early life

Talia was raised in New York City by her mother Joyce Benignia Van Patten, a famous American movie and stage actress, and father Martin Henry Balsam, who was a famous American actor, and who passed away aged 76 on 13 February 1996. Talia has three half-siblings.

She fell in love with acting at a very early age, as she was born into a family of actors – her uncle was American actor and comedian Richard Vincent Van Patten, and her cousin is famous American actress Grace Van Patten. Talia lived in Tucson, Arizona during her teenage years where she studied at a boarding school, matriculating in 1977, and then moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in the film industry.

Roles in movies

Talia’s debut film role was in the 1977 drama “Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn”, and some of her following roles were in the horror thriller “The Initiation of Sarah”, the adventure drama “Stickin’ Together”, and the comedy “Fast Lane Blues”, all released in 1978.

She only gained recognition in 1984, by portraying Liz Dolson in the drama “Mass Appeal”, directed by Glenn Jordan, and which starred Jack Lemmon, Zeljko Ivanek and Charles Durning. It follows the life of a priest from Connecticut, and the movie was featured on the 1984 ‘Top Ten Films’ list compiled by the National Board of Review USA. The remainder of the ‘80s saw Talia appear in a couple of movies, such as the horror science fiction thriller “The Kindred” and the  crime thriller “P. I. Private Investigations” both in 1987,and the 1989 crime comedy “Trust Me”.

Talia portrayed Liz Trent in the 1991 drama “Sins of the Mother”, directed by John Patterson, and which starred Elizabeth Montgomery, Dale Midkiff and Heather Fairfield. It follows the life of real estate agent Kevin Coe, who’s also a wanted rapist. Also in 1991, Talia played supporting characters in the crime thriller “Killer Instinct”, the short comedy “The Walter Ego”, and the drama “Pat Imperfect”. The year 1995 saw as Jean Alexander in the popular action thriller comedy “Coldblooded”, written and directed by Wallace Wolodarsky, and which also starred Jason Priestley, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Pete Riegert. The film tells the story of a bookie who’s become a hitman, and it won one of its two award nominations. Talia appeared in a couple of movies in the remainder of the decade, including the 1996 comedy “Camp Stories”, the 1998 fantasy horror comedy “Ghosts of Fear Street” and the 1999 drama “Valerie Flake”.

What marked the 2000s for her was perhaps portraying Jackie Telesco in the evergreen 2005 romantic family comedy “Little Manhattan”, directed by Mark Levin, and which starred Josh Hutcherson, Charlotte Ray Rosenberg and Bradley Whitford – it follows a girl aged 11 and a boy aged 10 who’ve fallen in love in New York City. Talia could then have been seen appearing in the popular 2006 thriller “All the King’s Men”, which starred Sean Penn and won two of its six award nominations, the 2007 romantic comedy “The Cake Eaters”, and the 2008 romantic comedy “The Wackness”.

In 2016, Talia played Audrey in the drama “Little Men”, written and directed by Ira Sachs, and which starred Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Ehle and Paulina Garcia. It follows two best friends whose parents are battling at court – the film won one of its 17 award nominations.

Some of Talia’s most recent roles have been in 2021 in the biographical drama “With/in: Volume 1” and the crime drama “The Many Saints of Newark”, and the 2022 mystery horror “Master”; she’s currently shooting for the upcoming movie “Late Bloomers”.

Roles in TV series

Talia’s debut TV series role was playing Nancy Croft in three episodes of the 1977 family comedy musical “Happy Days”, and the remainder of the ’70 saw her appear in an episode of the crime drama “Rosetti and Ryan”, the romantic drama “Dallas”, and the drama “Insight”.

In 1984, Talia played Randi Mitchell in the family comedy “Punky Brewster”, created by David W. Duclon, and which starred Soleil Moon Frye, George Gaynes and Cherie Johnson. The series follows little girl Punky Brewster who’s been abandoned together with her dog in a supermarket, and has now found herself a new family; the series aired from 1984 through 1988, and won two of its 21 award nominations. Talia could’ve been seen appearing in an episode of various series in the remainder of the decade, including the fantasy comedy “Tales from the Darkside”, the war action “Tour of Duty”, and the romantic drama “Thirtysomething”.

What marked the ‘90s for her was probably playing Teri Marks in the popular crime mystery “Law & Order”, which today stars Dennis Farina, Jerry Orbach and Jesse L. Martin, and was created by Rick Eid and Dick Wolf. The series has been airing since 1990 – Talia appeared in several episodes from 1992 through 1996 – follows a group of detectives solving various crimes, and has won 54 of its 257 award nominations. Some of Talia’s other roles in the ‘90s were in the adventure comedy “Early Edition”, the crime mystery “Profiler”, and the drama “Nothing Sacred”.

She had only a couple of TV series roles in the 2000s, appearing in an episode or two of the crime action “Third Watch”, the comedy “K Street”, and the crime mystery “Without a Trace”.

From 2016 through 2019, Talia starred as Dallas in the comedy “Divorce”, created by Sharon Horgan, and which also starred Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church. It follows a couple as they’re going through a divorce – the series was nominated for three awards.

Talia’s since appeared in only two TV series: the episode “Alf Musik” of the musical comedy “Girls5eva” and the episode “Social Justice Sex Tape” of the comedy “The Premise”, both in 2021; she’s currently shooting for the upcoming series “Wilderness”.

Other credits

Talia directed the 2020 short movie “Campbell Scott”, and the 2021 drama film “Everything I Ever Wanted to Tell My Daughter About Men” – the latter which won a Best Feature Award at the 2022 Cannes International Independent Film Festival.

She’s recently made a guest appearance in the talk-show “Celebrity Page”.

Love life and marriages

Talia and George Clooney knew each other for around two years before they exchanged vows in a private ceremony on 15 December 1989, attended by only a couple of their friends in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two divorced on 17 September 1993, and George went on to reveal in an interview with “Vanity Fair” that he was still too immature for marriage, and in his own way apologized to Talia; he’s been married to Lebanese-British barrister Amal Alamuddin since 2014, and they have twin son and daughter together.

Talia also moved on with her life, and on 30 December 1998, married American actor and director John M. Slattery Jr; she gave birth to their son Harry Slattery on 13 May 1999 – Talia and John played husband and wife in the popular series “Mad Men”.

She hasn’t mentioned any other men whom she’s been with, Talia’s married to her second husband John M. Slattery Jr. as of February 2023, and they have a son together.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Talia’s son was seven years old when he played Piñata Boy in the 2006 romantic comedy movie “Shortbus”, and he also appeared in the 2021 episode “Alf Musik” of the series “Girls5eva”.

She’s today living with her husband in SoHo, Manhattan, New York City.

Talia’s followed by over 4,000 people on Instagram, and has posted more than 120 pictures onto the network.

She’s a philanthropist and has volunteered with a number of charity organizations, including to animal shelters.

She considers herself the shiest amongst her friends and family.

Talia’s passionate about reading; her favorite author’s Khaled Hosseini, and her favorite book “A Thousand Splendid Suns”.

Some of the actresses whom she enjoys watching the most are Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren and Emma Watson, and some of her favorite movies include “The Devil Wears Prada”, “The Debt” and “The Good Liar”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Talia’s age is 63. She has brown eyes and hair, is 5ft 8ins (1.72m) tall, and weighs about 130lbs (61kgs).

Talia’s net worth’s been estimated at more than $4 million as of February 2023 – her former husband George’s is at over $500 million.


As Managing Editor at The Biography, I oversee a skilled team to produce insightful biographies of influential figures. My responsibilities include managing the editorial process, conducting detailed research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our content. At The Biography, we aim to deliver in-depth profiles that provide valuable insights into the realms of business, entertainment, and more. Our commitment to meticulous research and dynamic storytelling highlights the significant journeys and successes of inspiring individuals.

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