Adele Mara dies at 87; film and television actress

Adele Mara, a film and television actress whose many credits included the 1949 John Wayne film “Sands of Iwo Jima,” died of natural causes Friday at her home in Pacific Palisades, her family said. She was 87.

Born Adelaide Delgado on April 28, 1923, in Highland Park, Mich., she started dancing as a youth and was discovered by bandleader Xavier Cugat.

She moved with her parents to Philadelphia to dance with Cugat’s band, then moved to Hollywood and began working in movies regularly in the 1940s.

Her other credits included “Angel in Exile” in 1948 and films starring Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.


In 1953, she married Roy Huggins, a writer and producer who created such hit television shows as “77 Sunset Strip,” “Maverick” and “The Fugitive.”

“My father kept bringing her out of retirement to be in his TV shows,” her son John Huggins said.

Her television credits included roles in “Maverick” in 1958-60 and “77 Sunset Strip” in 1959-60.

Roy Huggins died in 2002.

Mara also is survived by sons James and Thomas Huggins and six grandchildren.