'ER' actress Mary Mara 'may have slipped' before she drowned

REVEALED: ‘Ray Donovan’ and ‘ER’ actress Mary Mara ‘suffered blunt force trauma and may have slipped’ before she drowned in St. Lawrence river while swimming

  • Actress Mary Mara, 61, died after drowning in the St. Lawrence River on Sunday
  • Mara’s rep told TMZ that New York State police she may’ve slipped while getting out of the water, which caused her to hit her head and fall into the water 
  • Mara had an extensive career in Hollywood and television, working alongside some of the biggest names in the business 

Actress Mary Mara may’ve slipped and hit her head resulting in her heartbreaking drowning following a swim in an Upstate New York river on Sunday. 

Mara’s representative, Craig Dorfman, told TMZ that investigators informed her family about the new evidence, shining a light on their heartbreaking loss. 

Mara, 61, and actress known for her roles on ‘ER,’ ‘Ray Donovan’ and ‘Shameless,’ drowned after going for a swim in the St. Lawrence River in Cape Vincent on Sunday. 

Now, investigators believe Mara was getting out of the river after her swim, slipped and hit her head, which caused her to fall back into the water and drown. 

Investigators say Mara’s face was covered with abrasions. It’s not yet known what she hit her head on to cause the injury, but investigators believed she came in contact with an object that rendered her unconscious.

Investigators have ruled out the idea of foul play, TMZ reported. Mara’s rep also says he and Mary’s family believe drugs or alcohol did not play a role in her death.

Actress Mary Mara died at age 61 after drowning in the St. Lawrence River

A July, 2019 Instagram post from Mara, which shows her stepping into the St. Lawrence river for a swim. She captioned it ’63 degrees! Life affirming river swim, first one of the season.’ The river in the farthest reaches of upstate New York is chilly even in the summer

Her body was discovered in the water in the town of Cape Vincent, New York, on Sunday morning, after police received a call for a possible drowning at around 8:10am.

Her rep said she had been visiting her sister’s summer home in the Thousand Islands region – on one of the northern-most borders of New York state – where water temperatures are cool even in the summer. 

Water temperatures near where she was found are currently about 66 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Posts on Mara’s Instagram account show that she enjoyed spending time on and swimming in the St. Lawrence River, including one from July 2019 which showed her stepping down a dock into the water and wrote ’63 degrees! Life affirming river swim, first one of the season.’

Dorfman issued a statement to People calling her ‘electric, funny, and a true individual,’ adding that ‘everyone loved her’ and ‘she will be missed.’ 

Mara (second from right) appears alongside William H. Macy (far right), and Tony Shalhoub (far left) in the 1998 film A Civil Action

Police confirmed her death in a statement.

‘When Troopers, along with Cape Vincent Fire and Ambulance arrived on the scene, they discovered a female deceased in the St. Lawrence River,’ a statement from police read, ‘The victim has been identified as 61-year-old Mary T. Mara from Cape Vincent, NY.’

‘The preliminary investigation suggests the victim drowned while swimming. The victim’s body showed no signs of foul play,’ it continued. 

An autopsy will be performed at the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office for an official cause of death.

‘Mary was one of the finest actresses I ever met. She had a terrific sense of humor and a unique outlook on life,’ Mara’s manager, Craig Dorfman said in a statement, ‘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.’

‘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. 

Mary Mara (left) and one of her sisters. Mara was visiting her sister’s summer home the St. Lawrence river when she drowned

Mara had extensive career in Hollywood, television, and on stage, and worked alongside some of the biggest names in the business.  

She played Susan in the 1992 Billy Crystal film Mr. Saturday Night, and played Loretta Sweet on nine episodes of ER, from 1995 to 1996.

Over the years, she had roles in The West Wing, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Star Trek: Enterprise, Nip/Tuck, and The Practice.

In 2013, she played Mrs. Sullivan on Ray Donovan, and Nance on Shameless.

Her last role was in the 2020 film Break Even.

Mara is a native of Syracuse, New York. She attended San Francisco State University and the Yale school of drama.

She is survived by a stepdaughter, Katie Mersola, her sisters Martha Mara and Susan Mara, her brother-in-law Scott Dailey, and her nephew, Christopher Dailey. 

 Mary Mara pictured in 2001 at the premiere of Stranger Inside at the Galaxy Theater in Hollywood 

Mary Mara pictured in 2018 at the opening of the play Sweat in Los Angeles, at the Mark Taper Forum

 Billy Crystal, who performed opposite Mara in the 1992 movie Mr. Saturday Night, dedicated Tuesday’s edition of the Broadway adaptation to the late actress.

Writer-actor Bill Corbett said he was ‘reeling and heartbroken’ to learn of Mara’s passing.

‘One of my soulmates for life, early theater collaborators and a constant help/inspiration in my recovery from addiction,’ Corbett said. ‘I love you Mary.’

He added a picture he took with her with the caption, ‘Hadn’t seen Mary for a few years since we met up after I saw her perform in Lynn Nottage’s SWEAT at the Mark Taper Forum. She was brilliant.’

Billy Crystal, who performed opposite Mara in the 1992 movie Mr. Saturday Night, dedicated Tuesday’s edition of the Broadway adaptation to the late actress 

Writer-actor Bill Corbett said he was ‘reeling and heartbroken’ to learn of Mara’s passing 

The Office star Rainn Wilson said, ‘I was greatly saddened to hear about the passing of actor Mary Mara. We had our first professional gigs together in 12th Night at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Hadn’t seen her since but remember her talent and infectious spirit fondly. R.I.P.’

Smallville actress Annette O’Toole tweeted that Mara ‘was funny, kind, brilliantly talented,’ adding, ‘I am terribly sorry she has left us.’

General Hospital actor Jon Lindstrom said he was ‘crushed to learn of Mary Mara’s untimely passing’ alongside a photo of the pair together

General Hospital actor Jon Lindstrom said he was ‘crushed to learn of Mary Mara’s untimely passing’ alongside a photo of the pair together.

‘We performed in a play together back in 2008, Malcolm Danare’s In Heat at the Lost Playhouse in LA,’ he said. ‘She had beaten cancer and was somehow fighting through the aftereffects of Chemo when we worked. She was brave, brilliant, funny and just plain Uber-talented.

‘I last saw her in a play at the Music Center in DTLA delivering a typically brilliant performance, just before she moved back to NY State. This world will be a much less-colorful place without her. R.I.P.’

Authorities with the New York State Police on Monday said that Mara was found after 8 a.m. Sunday in the St. Lawrence River near Cape Vincent.

‘The victim’s body showed no signs of foul play and was transported to the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office pending an autopsy to determine an official cause of death,’ police said.

Mara is survived by stepdaughter Katie Mersola, sisters Martha Mara and Susan Mara, brother-in-law Scott Dailey and nephew Christopher Dailey.

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