Actress Mary Mara of ‘ER,’ ‘Law & Order’ fame dies at age 61

The film and television worlds were saddened this week when news emerged that well-known ER and Law & Order actress Mary Mara died at age 61 in a suspected drowning while swimming in the St. Lawrence River in New York, as Fox News reports.

Police were reportedly called to an address on Old Farm Road in Cape Vincent on Sunday evening, and upon their arrival, found a deceased female in the water, who was ultimately identified to be Mara.

A spokesperson for the actress’ family revealed that she had been staying at a summer residence owned by her sister, situated right on the river in the Thousand Islands region near the border of Canada.

According to preliminary reports, it appeared to authorities that Mara drowned while swimming in the river, and no foul play was suspected in her death, though an autopsy was slated to be performed.

Confirming Mara’s death to Variety was her manager, Craig Dorfman, who said, “Mary was one of the finest actresses I ever met. 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.”

A native of Syracuse, New York, Mara studied at both San Francisco State and Yale Universities, and launched her professional acting career in the 1989 made-for-tv film The Preppie Murder.

Eventually, Mara’s resume boasted more than 80 screen credits including appearances on television series such as ER, Nash Bridges, Law & Order, NYPD Blue, The West Wing, and more.

Mara’s film roles included parts in Love Potion No. 9, A Civil Action, Break Even, and Mr. Saturday Night with Billy Crystal, as Variety further noted.

Left to mourn Mara’s death and cherish the memory of her life are sisters Martha Mara and Susan (husband Scott) Dailey, stepdaughter Katie Mersola, nephew Christopher Daily, and millions of fans who have admired her work for decades.