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<P>Standing in the doorway of her three-bedroom, Spanish-style house in Santa Monica, actress Marg Helgenberger yells a warning to her 10-year-old son Huey as he runs out to meet a friend: "Make sure you tie your shoes!" A few minutes later, when her husband, actor Alan Rosenberg, comes down the stairs with his arms full of laundry, Helgenberger stops him so she can Isabel Marant Shoes Sale find a certain green sweater, then sends him off to the dry cleaner. "My little house-husband," she jokes.</P> <P>Such snapshots of Helgenberger's domestic life may seem jarringly at odds with the gruesome crime scenes she encounters weekly as forensic Willows on CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, the season's highest-rated new TV drama. But Helgenberger, 42, views her role as less about morbid analysis than about Willows's struggle to balance career and parenthood, something the actress knows well. "It's tough enough trying to work a day shift and figure out the babysitter situation," she says. Willows, who, fittingly, works the graveyard shift, has it "extremely hard. So I want to make her as heroic as I possibly can in all aspects of her life."</P> <P>Her maternal instincts prevail even when playing a woman as controversial as Patsy Ramsey in last year's miniseries Perfect Murder, Perfect Town. Although questions remain about Ramsey's involvement, if any, in still-unsolved 1996 slaying, Helgenberger refused to pass judgment. "I just cleared the slate and thought of her as a mother and went from there," she says. Similarly, while tackling the part of a cancer patient aided by Julia Roberts as legal crusader Erin Brockovich, Helgenberger approached her character not as a dying woman but as a "good-hearted working-class mother who wanted to keep her family happy and healthy to the point of Isabel Marant Sale being in denial."</P> <P>For inspiration Helgenberger could perhaps look to her own mother, Kay, 65, a high school nurse in North Bend, Neb., where Marg and her sister and brother grew up. Kay married her onetime high school sweetheart, Hugh Helgenberger, a meat inspector, and cared for him during his five-year bout with multiple sclerosis until his 1986 death. "To the end he was such a believer in the human spirit," says Marg. "He never complained."</P>