Mary Mara death: Ray Donovan star dies age 61 after drowning


Mary Mara was known for characters like Loretta Sweet in ER and Mrs Sullivan in Ray Donovan

American actress Mary Mara, known for roles in the likes of ER, Ray Donovan and Law & Orderhas died age 61 in an apparent drowning incident in New York.

The investigation into her death is still ongoing, however the preliminary report states that there were “no signs of foul play”.

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Who was Mary Mara?

Mara was an American actress who was born in Syracuse, New York, on 21 September 1960.

She studied at San Francisco State University and the Yale School of Drama before going on to make her film debut in 1989 in the Kathryn Bigelow thriller BlueSteelstarring Jamie Lee Curtis (HalloweenKnives Out).

Her other films include mr saturday night (1992), Bound (nineteen ninety six), A Civil Action (1998), Lloyd (2001), undoing (2005) and prom night (2008), to name a few. Her most recent on screen role was that of Molly in the 2020 film break event.

Mara is best known for her role as Inspector Bryn Carson on Nash Bridges in its first two seasons from 1996 to 1997.

Mary Mara in the 1992 film Mr Saturday Night (Photo: Columbia Pictures)

Throughout her career she also appeared in a number of other high profile TV shows, such as Law & Order, NYPD Blue, ER, Ally McBeal, The Practice, The West Wing, Star Trek: Enterprise, Joan of Arcadia, Monk, Nip/Tuck, Bones, Dexter, Lost, Lie to Me, Ray Donovan, Shameless, Criminal minds and General Hospital.

As well as her on screen roles, Mara performed on stage in a number of Manhattan Theater Club productions, including Kindertransport, Dream of a Common Language and Forest Mod. She also starred in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of Twelfth Night alongside Michelle Pfeiffer (The First LadyFrench Exit) and Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic World DominionDark Dice).

In 1990, she co-starred with William Hurt (Goliath, Black Widow) in the Yale Repertory Theater production of Ivanov by Anton Chekhov.

Mara is survived by her stepdaughter, Katie Mersola; her sisters of her Martha Mara and Susan Mara; brother-in-law Scott Dailey; and a nephew, Christopher Dailey.

What have police said?

On Monday (27 June), New York State Police published a report in which officials confirmed that Mara’s body had been found in the St Lawrence River in Cape Vincent, New York, on Sunday (26 June) morning.

At 8:10am, state police responded to a call for a reported possible drowning and, upon arriving at the scene with Cape Vincent Fire and Ambulance, found that the victim was already deceased.

The statement from the police confirms that the victim has been identified as a 61-year-old Mara.

The report states: “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 still ongoing.

What has her family said?

Mara’s manager, Craig Dorfman, confirmed her death in a statement in which he remembered her as “one of the finest actresses I ever met.”

He said: “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 she will be missed.”

According to Peoplea statement from Mara’s brother-in-law, Scott Dailey, said that the actress had been staying at her sister Martha’s summer home when the “apparent swimming accident” occurred.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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