Mary Mara, ‘ER’ and ‘Law and Order’ Actor, Dies at 61


Mary T. Mara, a veteran of television dramas including “ER,” “Nash Bridges” and “Law & Order,” was found dead in a river, New York State Police said Monday.

Police believe the actor, 61, drowned while swimming in the St. Lawrence River in the town of Cape Vincent on Sunday morning, state police said in a statement.

State troopers and Cape Vincent emergency medical service workers made the discovery after 8 a.m., they said.

“Mary was one of the finest actresses I ever met,” Mara’s manager, Craig Dorfman, said by email. “She was electric, funny and a true individual. Everyone loved her. She will be missed.”

Mara had been staying with a sister in her hometown of Syracuse on property that fronts the river outside Cape Vincent, he said.

The actor made her television debut in 1989 in the made-for-TV movie “The Preppie Murder,” the same year she hit the big screen with a small role Jamie Lee Curtis’ “Blue Steel.” 

According to her bio, she worked as a character actor off-Broadway and in Los Angeles.

The 1990s brought her recurring roles on “ER” and “Nash Bridges,” as well as guest appearances on “Law & Order,” “NYPD Blue” and “West Wing.”

In the 2000s, she scored roles on “The Practice,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Lost” and “Dexter.”

She won the Monaco International Film Festival’s 2003 Angel Film Award for best second supporting actress for her work in the briefly distributed “Em and Me.”

Mara studied acting at San Francisco State University and the Yale School of Drama. At San Francisco State, she established the theater company HART (Haight Ashbury Repertory Theatre), according to the book “Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television.”

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