Mary Mara, a veteran film and television actress, who guest-starred in three episodes of “Star Trek: Enterprise,” has died at the age of 61, according to multiple news reports, including Variety, Syracuse.com, and People Magazine. According to the reports, New York State Police confirmed that Mara drowned in the St. Lawrence River in the town of Cape Vincent, New York, during a swim on the morning of June 26, 2022.
The entertainment trade paper Variety reported Mara’s death on June 27, 2022. Its coverage included a written statement from Mara’s longtime manager, Craig Dorfman, confirming her death. “Mary was one of the finest actresses I ever met,” Dorfman said. “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.” The police report stated that, “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.”
WSYR-TV in Syracuse, New York, reported that Mara resided in Cape Vincent and was a Syracuse native. The station said she graduated from Corcoran High School before heading to San Francisco State University and Yale University. According to the New York Post, she earned a master’s degree in fine arts from the Yale School of Drama “to learn the skills she used in her more than three-decade professional career.”
Mara Died in an Apparent Swimming Accident in Cape Vincent, New York
The Internet Movie Database lists 83 films and television credits for Mara. Those credits date back to 1983 and include “The Preppie Murder,” “Blue Steel,” “Mr. Saturday Night” (as the daughter of Billy Crystal’s character), “Love Potion No. 9,” a series-regular role on “Nash Bridges” (during its second season), recurring parts on “ER,” “Dexter, and “Ray Donovan.” Among her additional credits were “Farscape,” “Law & Order,” “The Practice,” “The West Wing,” “Joan of Arcadia,” the 2008 remake of “Prom Night,” two episodes of “Lost,” “The Sphere and the Labyrinth,” and “Doubt.”
Her most recent film, according to the site, was the independent feature, “Break Even,” which was released in 2020 and co-starred recent two-time “Star Trek: Picard” guest-star James Callis. Mara also was a theater veteran. According to the New York Post, Mara acted alongside Michelle Pfeiffer and Jeff Goldblum in the 1989 Shakespeare in the Park production of “Twelfth Night,” while Playbill references a 1998 staging of Paula Vogel’s “How I Learned to Drive,” and Theater Mania cites her performance as Tracey in a 2018 production of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, “Sweat,” at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
‘Enterprise’ Tapped Mara to Play the Sphere-Builder Presage in Three Episodes
According to Memory Alpha, Mara entered the “Star Trek” universe in 2004, when she played the makeup-heavy role of a Sphere-Builder Presage in a trio of third-season “Star Trek: Enterprise” episodes, “The Council” (directed by David Livingston), “Countdown” (directed by Robert Duncan McNeill), and “Zero Hour” (directed by Allan Kroeker). Those episodes were episodes 22, 23, and 24 of the season, with “Zero Hour” serving as the season finale. Memory Alpha notes that “Sphere-Builders were an alien race from a trans-dimensional realm, who attempted to manipulate the Xindi into destroying Earth. No proper name was ever given for any Sphere-Builder. This presage was consulted by the other Sphere-Builders on multiple occasions to examine alternate timelines and to gain insight on how the future would be affected by events occurring in the present. She advised the other Sphere-Builders that, due to the actions of the crew of Enterprise NX-01, the possibility of their success was quickly diminishing, leading them to take a more direct hand in attempting to destroy Enterprise.”
Mara Was a Film & Television Actress with 80-Plus Credits
According to Variety, Mara retired from acting after completing “Break Even.” The actress posted regularly on Instagram until January 2021. Her last two posts paid tribute to fellow actors Cloris Leachman and Chadwick Boseman, both of whom had died. She posted less frequently on Twitter, where she described herself as “nickname : wildpeanut, actor, wife, (oops which comes first?), writer, puppeteer, sister, and human.” People Magazine obtained a copy of her obituary, which, in part reads, “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.'”
Mara, according to Variety, is survived by her stepdaughter Katie Mersola, sisters Martha Mara and Susan Dailey, brother-in-law Scott Dailey and nephew Christopher Dailey.