Veteran actress Mary Mara has died after an apparent drowning. She was best known for her roles on Ray Donovan and ER. New York State Police responded on June 26 at 8:10 a.m. in the town of Cape Vincent, where they found Mary’s body in the St. Lawrence River, the New York State Police confirmed to Closer in a statement they shared. Mary was a resident Syracuse, New York, and had been staying at her sister’s summer home. She was 61 years old.
“The preliminary investigation suggests the victim drowned while swimming. The victim’s body showed no signs of foul play and was transported to the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office pending an autopsy to determine an official cause of death. The investigation is continuing,” the press release added.
“Mary was one of the finest actresses I ever met,” her rep, Craig Dorfman, told In Touch in a statement. “I still remember seeing her on stage in 1992 in Mad Forest off-Broadway. She was electric, funny and a true individual. Everyone loved her. She will be missed.”
While primarily a character actress, Mary starred in nine episodes of ER between 1995 and 1996 as Loretta Sweet. The show premiered in 1994 and quickly became NBC’s highest rated drama.
Mary soon found a new role on CBS’ Nash Bridges, playing Inspector Bryn Carson on TV icon Don Johnson‘s police procedural. She appeared in 23 episodes between 1996 and 1997. In the late 1990s and early aughts, Mary guest-starred on such hit shows as NYPD Blue, Law & Order, Ally McBeal, The West Wing, The Practice, Third Watch and Star Trek: Enterprise.
She played Valerie Hodges on Showtime’s Dexter in 2009 and guest starred on the cable network’s Shameless in 2013. She remained with Showtime by appearing on Ray Donovan the same year as Mrs. Sullivan.
Mary grew up in Syracuse, New York, and was the fourth and youngest child in her family. She became involved with theater while in high school, starring in numerous plays. She moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 1980, where she cofounded a local theater group and attended San Francisco State University, according to her obituary. Mary went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of drama in 1988. After living in New York City and Los Angeles throughout her career, Mary retired from acting in 2020 and returned to live in upstate New York.
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