Mary Mara, ‘ER’ and ‘Law and Order’ Actor, Dies at 61 in Apparent Drowning.
Mary Mara, the actor best known for her recurring roles in “ER” and “Law & Order,” died in Cape Vincent, N.Y. Sunday from an apparent drowning. She was 61.
In a report published Monday, the New York State Police confirmed that Mara was discovered in the St. Lawrence River in Cape Vincent around 8:10 p.m. on Sunday by various officers. According to a statement from a representative, Mara was staying at the summer home of her sister Martha.
A preliminary investigation suggested Mara died by drowning while swimming. Her body has been transported to Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office, where an autopsy will be performed to determine an official cause of death.
In a statement to Variety, Mara’s manager Craig Dorfman confirmed her death.
“Mary was one of the finest actresses I ever met,” Dorfman wrote. “I still remember seeing her onstage in 1992 in ‘Mad Forest’ off Broadway. She was electric, funny and a true individual. Everyone loved her. She will be missed.”
Mara was born and raised in Syracuse, N.Y. before going on to study at San Francisco State University and Yale. She began her film and TV career in the 1989 with the television movie “The Preppie Murder,” and would go on to amass over 80 screen credits.
Her notable productions include “ER,” which saw her play recurring patient Loretta Sweet, and police procedural “Nash Bridges,” which saw her act in the main cast as inspector Bryn Carson. Other notable television credits include “NYPD Blue,” “Ally McBeal,” “Farscape,” “Law & Order,” “The West Wing,” “Monk,” “Shameless,” “Ray Donovan,” “Dexter” and “Criminal Minds.”
Mary Mara, a character actor known for her work on Nash Bridges, ER, Law & Order: SVU, Nip/Tuck\ and dozens of other TV shows and films, drowned Sunday in the St. Lawrence River in Cape Vincent, NY, according to New York State Police. She was 61.
A State Police press release says Mara was found in the river Sunday morning by troopers and Cape Vincent Fire and Ambulance following a report of a possible drowning. A preliminary investigation indicates she drowned while swimming in the river. Police said there was no indication of foul play and that an autopsy will be conducted to determine an official cause of death. The investigation is continuing.
A family spokesperson said Mara was staying at the summer home of her sister, Martha Mara, of Syracuse. The property fronts the river outside the Village of Cape Vincent, in the Thousand Islands region, where the St. Lawrence separates Canada and the U.S.
Mara, who in 1989 debuted in the made-for-television movie The Preppie Murder, worked mainly as a character actor in scores of film and TV roles, and on the stage off-Broadway and in Los Angeles but was a series regular role as Inspector Byrn Carson for the first two seasons of CBS’ Don Johnson-Cheech Marin police drama Nash Bridges.
She specialized in complex portrayals of often-troubled characters. She might be best known for her recurring role as Loretta Sweet, a sympathetic, down-and-out prostitute and single mother, on the NBC series ER.