Actress Mary Mara, who appeared on TV shows like 'Law and Order', 'NYPD Blue' and Ray Donovan' has died after reportedly drowning in the St. Lawrence River. She was 61 years old. Her body was discovered on Sunday morning in the town of Cape Vincent, according to a New York State Police report. Mara death was also confirmed by her representative.
The Jefferson County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the precise cause of death. Tributes have been pouring in since her death was confirmed by her representative and the state police. However, a lot of details about her death remain shrouded in mystery.
According to a spokeswoman for Mara, the ER actress had been to her sister's summer home in the Thousand Islands, which is near one of New York State's northernmost borders and has chilly water year-round. Mara jumped in to exercise in the St. Lawrence River and got drowned while swimming, according to TMZ.
Her body was found in the sea in the town of Cape Vincent, New York after authorities received a complaint about a probable drowning at around 8:10 am on Sunday.
Her death was later confirmed by her representative. "Mary's body was found this morning in her beloved St Lawrence River. She drowned while swimming."
"Mary was one of the finest actresses I ever met. She had a terrific sense of humor and a unique outlook on life. I still remember the first time that I saw her onstage in Mad Forest in 92. She was utterly captivating, well loved, and will be missed," the representative added.
Police also confirmed in a statement that the victim was Mara. "When Troopers, along with Cape Vincent Fire and Ambulance arrived on the scene, they discovered a female deceased in the St. Lawrence River," a release from the department stated.
"The victim has been identified as 61-year-old Mary T. Mara from Cape Vincent, NY."
Initial investigations indicated that Mara drowned while swimming and that there were "no traces of foul play" on her body.
Police Launch Investigation
Although there are no signs of foul play, a lot of details about her death remain unclear. Police have launched an investigation and further details are awaited.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the water temperature right now is roughly 66 degrees Fahrenheit in the vicinity of where she was discovered.
Instagram posts show that Mara loved spending time on and swimming in the St. Lawrence River. One Instagram post from July 2019 shows Mara stepping off a dock into the water. She wrote: "63 degrees! Life affirming river swim, first one of the season."
Mara was a native of Syracuse and lived in Cape Vincent. She attended Yale University, where she received a master's degree in fine arts, and San Francisco State University after graduating from Corcoran High School. These institutions provided her with the training necessary for her more than three decades of professional experience.
Mara continued acting in more than 20 films and 40 television programs, including "The West Wing," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "ER," "Nash Bridges," "The Practice," "Star Trek: Enterprise," "Lost," and "Shameless," to name a few.
She also acted alongside Sandra Bullock in the movies "Love Potion No. 9" and "Mr. Saturday Night," which both featured Billy Crystal.
'She specialized in complex portrayals of often-troubled characters; perhaps the most familiar was her recurring role in the 1990s of Loretta Sweet, a sympathetic, down-and-out prostitute and single mother on the NBC series, 'ER,'' an obituary obtained by People read.
The actress' final role was in the 2020 movie Break Even. She is survived by her stepdaughter Katie Mersola, her sisters Susan and Martha Mara, her brother-in-law Scott Dailey, and her nephew Christopher Dailey.