Chicago is one of the most popular American television series. The medical drama airs on NBC, and it is part of the Chicago franchise created by Dick Wolf, alongside Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. The medical drama TV series follows the lives of doctors, nurses, and staff at the fictional Gaffney Chicago Medical Center. And Maggie is one of the most popular characters.

When the show returned for the eighth season, fans instantly noticed how Maggie looked slimmer. And it was all because of the weight loss journey the actress behind the character took.

What do we know about Maggie Chicago Med’s weight loss experience? The actress portraying nurse Maggie Lockwood, Marlyne Barrett, had the same experience in real life and in the show. Fans went on as far as going to Reddit and commenting about the change in the appearance of Maggie.

So, let’s clear the air.

Get To Know Marlyne

When the eighth Chicago Med season premiered, fans went as far as saying they didn’t recognize Barrett. But she is the one portraying nurse Maggie Lockwood.

How much do you know about Marlyne? Born in September 1978 in Brooklyn, New York, she grew up with a passion for performing arts. Her parents recognized her talent early on and encouraged young Marlyne to pursue her dreams.

Despite financial challenges early on, her determination and resilience prevailed. Marlyne attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts in New York City. There, she mastered her skills in entertainment and got the foundation for acting. She would later go on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from Hofstra University.

She began her career appearing on stage and television before she got her first big break in the 2003 romantic comedy, Love, Sex, and Eating the Bones. The actress then continued guest starring in shows like Law and Order, including spin-offs like Special Victims Unit, Trial By Jury, and more. From 2006 to 2008 she portrayed Nerese Campbell in the HBO crime drama The Wire.

It wasn’t until 2015 that she got the role of her life, portraying Nurse Maggie in the NBC medical drama Chicago Med. Her portrayal of the famous nurse has earned her critical acclaim and a big fan base. Marlyne portrays Maggie and her readiness to go above and beyond for her patients to perfection.

Fans praise her exceptional talent as an actress, and her ability to convey a wide range of emotions with authenticity and depth. Marlyne is also praised and admired for her advocacy and philanthropic work. The American actress has been vocal about issues like mental health awareness, diversity in the entertainment industry, and the need for equality.

Why Did She Lose Weight?

Many people lose weight because they want to change how their body looks. Others, lose weight because of an underlying health issue.

In the case of Maggie Chicago Med weight loss journey, it was all about health. She was diagnosed with cancer, and chemotherapy made her weaker. Her body took a toll, and it manifested in lost pounds.

Barrett has two children with her husband Gavin Barrett, has drastically changed her body between season 7 and season 8 of Chicago Med. During that period, she also shaved her head, but that is less obvious. After all, she has always worn a wig to play Maggie.

Speaking about her experience, she said, “Work brings me a lot of joy right now. It brings me a lot of reprieve to think about something other than when is my next chemo shift and how am I going to hug my children”.

Marlyne had to go through a similar experience, albeit on the big screen. Her character Maggie had a cancer scare in 2019 that she was able to overcome. But the real-life experience is much different.

But she said, “When my character went through breast cancer, I had a sea of people reach out to me through social media. They brought me courage, and so I felt a sense of inevitability to meet their hearts where they met me”.

Fighting Cancer With Support From Colleagues

As we said before, Chicago Med is one of the most-watched primetime television series. It boasts a variety of diagnoses and doctor-themed drama. But the characters in the TV show are not the only ones going through problems. Things that happen at the fictional Gaffney Chicago Med Center happen in real life as well.

Chicago Med star Marlyne Barrett went through a similar journey as her character. And it was almost at the same time. Maggie went through breast cancer and aggressive chemotherapy in 2019. Then, Marlyne went through the same treatment in 2021, between season 7 and season 8 of the popular TV show.

She publicly shared her cancer diagnosis in September 2022, speaking to People magazine. Marlyne was diagnosed in the summer, after a health issue in April 2022. She said, “After a hernia repair, I had this accumulation of fluid in my abdomen that I couldn’t shake. I looked like I was nine months pregnant. And I also had shortness of breath, but no pain, which was interesting”.

Speaking about the official diagnosis in July, she said, “The initial experience was a shock, a shock to my womanhood. I didn’t believe them, but when they showed me the CT scan, I went, ‘Oh my word.’ The first questions were, ‘Am I going to live?’ I just fell into my husband’s arms. It still takes my breath away when I think about it”.

Chemo was a challenge. Speaking about it, the Chicago Med star said, “I didn’t want to give the power to chemo. My hair has always been an essence of beauty. But I took my own razor and I shaved my head. I did it in front of my babies, so they’d see I was still Mommy. I wept, I wept, I wept. But it was a beautiful experience to do it in front of them”.

Despite all the challenges, Marlyne had the Chicago Med cast to support her. And of course, fans who reacted to Maggie Chicago Med’s weight loss story.

In the end, Marlyne said, “I’m an extremely private person, but I felt a responsibility to tell my story. When my character went through breast cancer, I had a sea of people reach out to me through social media. They brought me courage, and so I felt a sense of inevitability to meet their hearts where they met me”.

Other people have shaved their heads in support. And in the end, work brings her pleasure and joy.