Burn Notice Biography of

Madeline Westen


Madeline Westen (Sharon Gless)

Photo of Sharon Gless playing Burn Notice TV character Madeline Westen
The mother of Michael and his younger brother Nate who made home at 947 Shady Lane in Miami Florida. She is a very manipulative, hypochondriac chain-smoker who put up with an abusive husband, Frank, apparently through a lot of pretending. For example when her husband stole electrical cable and wood for an addition onto their house, she called it 'finding.' They had a secret hiding place behind a secret panel in their closet for her husband to keep his 'confidential' things - neither M or Nate ever found out about it. She helped her sons negotiate around the situation, with their drunken abusive father, through a series of verbal codes and by overlooking their increasing daliances with the law. She was accepting (at least tolerant) of Michaels childhood “delinquent” behavior; but, not above using it to blackmail him for her own purposes. She did recognize that M was smart enough to get himself into real trouble if he didn't get out of the situation he was in; so, forged her husband's signature on a parental permission form which allowed M to get into the military service early, at seventeen. She recognized that Michael's leaving put a great deal of stress on Nate who then had to deal with their father alone. She later told Mike that 'after you left, Nate went to pot.' Sometime afterward, Frank, who had heart trouble, began 'asking about Michael out of the clear blue. And within a week he was dead from getting drunk and taking an overdose of heart medicine.' Her hypochondriasis increased as did her smoking; and, although she didn't communicate with Michael for months or years at a time, he usually did call on her birthday and she did receive money from him for doctor bills.
Little is known about her parents or childhood except that she described Michael as having an 'Aunt Jo' (sister or sister-in-law?) who she had missed for a long time, and who had invited her to come stay with her.
[Episode 96 shows her drivers license: Class: E, Number: L252-784-65-554-1, Madeline Westen, 947 Baypoint Terr, Miami Fl 33145-1424, Sex: F, Hgt 5'5', DOB 5-31-1953, Issued: 6-17-2001, Expires: 03-15-2012,  Duplicated: 4-15-2007]
Marriage and Motherhood:
Photo of Burn Notice Character: Madeline Westen
- She lived with her abusive husband Frank for thirty years until his death, eight years before Michael was burned and returned to Miami.
- She told M that she had thought about leaving his dad but wanted to keep the family together.
- She told M that when he had stolen the groceries and come home with a black eye when he was nine, he had looked so proud that she didn’t think he wanted her to know he had stolen them; so didn’t say anything.
- Her husband used to steal (she called it borrow) equipment by using a city inspectors shirt which they kept behind a secret panel in their closet that even M didn’t know about.
- She had a secret code with M for when his father was on a rampage. She would call him and tell him: “I want you to come home right now!'
- When Michael left home Nate told her that he promised he'd take her away from Miami. 'He was such a dreamer. He wanted to go walk the pyramids and ski the alps. (96)
- For a time she kept her car at Mrs. Gartelman's, a neighbor; why, she never said.
- She also lives next door - through the back fence - to Mrs. Reynolds.
- Although being quite familiar with a pump action shotgun, and keeping one in her attic next to her christmas decorations, she had never shot anyone until defending herself and Jesse from a paranoid-schizophrenic, ex-ranger (81)
Helen Foxvog [Congressman Cowley's pretend acquaintance] (51), Smokin’ Mamma [CB handle] (52), Shelly [CDC nurse] (83), Phyllis [rental company inspector] (96),

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