Mary Mara, Actress in 'ER' and 'Law & Order,' Dead at 61 After Drowning In St. Lawrence River

Mary Mara
Matthew Simmons/WireImage

While a preliminary investigation by the NY State Police suggests that Mara drowned while swimming, her official cause of death is TBD.

Actress Mary Mara, who appeared on television shows such as ERLaw & Order: SVU, Nip/Tuck and more, is dead after drowning in New York's St. Lawrence River. She was 61.

Per the NY State Police, on June 26, at 8:10 a.m., State Police responded to a call in the town of Cape Vincent for a reported possible drowning. When Troopers, along with Cape Vincent Fire and Ambulance arrived on the scene, they discovered a female deceased in the St. Lawrence River, who was later identified as Mara.

Police said that a preliminary investigation suggests the 61-year-old actress drowned while swimming. While there appears to be no signs of foul play, Mara was transported to the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office pending an autopsy to determine an official cause of death.

An investigation into Mara's death is ongoing.

Mara, who lived in Cape Vincent, was born in Syracuse, New York. She graduated from Corcoran High School and later attended San Francisco State University and Yale School of Drama, where she earned a master's degree. Mara founded a theater group in the Bay Area as well.

Her film, television and stage career spanned more than three decades, with Mara going on to act in over 20 movies and 40 TV shows, including The West WingLaw & Order: Special Victims Unit, ER, Nash Bridges, The Practice, Star Trek: Enterprise, Lost, ShamelessAlly McBeal, Judging Amy, The West Wing, 7th Heaven, Monk, Nip/Tuck and Bones among others.

She also appeared in the films Mr. Saturday Night, starring Billy Crystal, and Love Potion No. 9, opposite Sandra Bullock.

Mara's work in theater included playing opposite Michelle Pfeiffer and Jeff Goldblum in the 1989 Shakespeare in the Park production of the Bard’s Twelfth Night, as well as a string of appearances in the '90s at NYC’s Manhattan Theatre Club.

Her most recent credit according to her IMDb page, was 2020’s Break Even.

Mara's manager, Craig Dorfman, reflected on his relationship with the late actress in a statement to Variety, calling her the "finest actress" he ever met.

"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."