Actor Mary Mara died by accidental drowning, investigators say

A woman with short hair smiling
Actor Mary Mara in 2006.
(Matthew Simmons / WireImage)

The death of veteran television actor Mary Mara has been ruled an accident.

New York State Police said that the “ER” and “Ray Donovan” TV star, whose body was found Sunday in the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York, died due to asphyxiation and water drowning. The department cited a postmortem exam conducted by the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office and said that the investigation is continuing.

The Medical Examiner’s Office did not release any further information when contacted Thursday.

The 61-year-old actor’s body was found by state troopers near Cape Vincent, N.Y., close to the Canadian border. At the time, officials said there were no signs of foul play and that it appeared the “Dexter” actor died while swimming.


New York State Police identified the body of a woman found in the St. Lawrence River on Sunday as that of ‘ER’ and ‘Ray Donovan’ actor Mary Mara.

June 28, 2022

A family spokesperson told Deadline that Mara was staying at her sister’s summer home when the accident occurred.

Mara’s decade-spanning career in entertainment also included credits on “Mr. Saturday Night” with Billy Crystal, “Love Potion No. 9” with Sandra Bullock, “A Civil Action” with John Travolta and “K-PAX” with Kevin Spacey. Mara received her first credit on the 1989 film “The Preppie Murder” and last appeared in the 2020 film “Break Even.”

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