Mary Mara, prolific TV and film star, dies in apparent drowning at 61

A woman with short hair smiling
Mary Mara attends the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival screening of “Swedish Auto” at the Crest Theatre in Los Angeles.
(Matthew Simmons / WireImage)

Actor Mary T. Mara, who appeared in “ER,” “Ray Donovan” and “Mr. Saturday Night,” has died. She was 61.

The TV veteran and film star died in an apparent drowning in upstate New York near the Canadian border, according to a Monday statement from New York State Police.

Police and fire officials said they responded Sunday morning to a reported possible drowning near Cape Vincent, N.Y. They later identified the body of the woman found in the St. Lawrence River as that of Mara, a Cape Vincent resident.

The investigation is ongoing, police said, and an official cause of death is pending an autopsy by the Jefferson County coroner’s office. But New York State Police said there were no signs of foul play and that it appeared the “Dexter” actor died while swimming.


Mara’s manager, Craig Dorfman, described her as “electric, funny and a true individual” who was well-loved, as well as a tremendous actress, according to the Associated Press.

Her entertainment career spanned decades and was filled with recurring and guest roles on the small screen. Her first credited work is the 1989 film “The Preppie Murder.” Mara also starred in “Prom Night,” “A Civil Action” and “K-PAX.” She last appeared in the 2020 film “Break Even.”

Her other TV roles included stints on “Law & Order,” “Nash Bridges,” “Lost,” “Shameless,” “Nip/Tuck,” “The Practice,” “Gideon’s Crossing” and “Star Trek: Enterprise.”