‘ER’ actress Mary Mara dies in drowning, NY officials say


Mary Mara, a 61-year-old actress who played Loretta Sweet on “ER,” died in an apparent drowning, New York officials say.

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Mary Mara, a 61-year-old actress who appeared in dozens of television series throughout the 1990s and 2000s, died in an apparent drowning, New York officials say.

Mara’s body was discovered around 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 26, in the St. Lawrence River in the town of Cape Vincent, New York State Police said.

Her body showed no signs of foul play, and troopers believe she drowned while swimming. Mara was staying at the summer home of her sister, Martha Mara, according to Variety.

“Mary was one of the finest actresses I ever met,” her manager, Craig Dorfman, said in a statement to Variety. “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 will be missed.”

Mara was most known for her nine-episode stint in “ER,” playing Loretta Sweet. Her character was a prostitute who was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

She also appeared in 23 episodes of “Nash Bridges,” and had roles on “Spin City,” “NYPD Blue,” “Ally McBeal,” “Law & Order,” “Judging Amy,” “Becker,” “The West Wing,” “Boston Public,” Star Trek: Enterprise,” “Dexter” and more.

An obituary obtained by People said Mara “specialized in complex portrayals of often-troubled characters.”

Screenwriter Bob Saenz said on Twitter he remembers Mara as a “consummate pro (who was) funny, sharp, kind (and) a first-class human being.”

Her last acting role was in the 2020 movie “Break Even.” She had recently retired and lived “a bicoastal life in New York City and Southern California,” People reported.

Mike Stunson covers real-time news for McClatchy. He is a 2011 Western Kentucky University graduate who has previously worked at the Paducah Sun and Madisonville Messenger as a sports reporter and the Lexington Herald-Leader as a breaking news reporter.
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