Mary Pat Gleason, 'Mom' and 'A Cinderella Story' Actress, Dies at 70
By Jackie Willis
Actress Mary Pat Gleason died on Tuesday. She was 70.
ET has learned that Gleason died following a recurrence of uterine cancer. She is survived by a "large, loving extended family."
Gleason's nephew, John Brostrom, told ET that the actress had originally beat uterine cancer in 2015. The disease recently came back, and Gleason spent a month in the hospital. She was taken to rehab for therapy around the time of the coronavirus outbreak.
Due to the pandemic, family and friends were unable to visit her, Brostrom tells ET. In late April, Gleason was moved to a friend's home, where she spent the last five weeks of her life.
"They took wonderful care of her. It was really bittersweet but her family could not have asked for better care," Brostrom said, describing the first three and a half weeks of hospice with his aunt as "loving and communicative." He said it's meant so much to find out as a family "how loved and respected she was in the Hollywood community."
According to Brostrom, Gleason did not request a service. Instead, her family will have a personal memorial and she will be cremated. The family asks that fans honor Gleason and her legacy by donating to a charity that supports research and funding for bipolar disorder, which the actress "challenged" during her adult life.
Gleason starred on the CBS sitcom Mom as AA member Mary, who was often interrupted by Bonnie (Allison Janney) during the meetings.
Janney took to Instagram Wednesday evening to pay tribute to Gleason, sharing "We said goodbye to Mary Pat Gleason yesterday. She was part of our @mom_cbs family and we loved her so much. She was one of our favorite guest stars. Her kind heart and warm smile will be missed. RIP dear Mary Pat 💔."
Her Mom co-star Mimi Kennedy also paid tribute on Instagram after hearing of her death.
"I’m saddened to learn that Mary Pat Gleason (Mary on @mom_cbs) passed away," Kennedy captioned a photo of the actress. "From her nephew, 'Her curtain closed at 10:20 Tuesday evening.' I’m sure she was met with thunderous applause and a great party backstage. My love to you Mary and to your loved ones."
Gleason's Pencil Town co-star, George Steeves, also tweeted in her honor and shared some pics from their time working together. "Last night I was saddened to hear about the passing of my colleague and friend Mary Pat Gleason. I had the honor of working with Mary Pat in Pencil Town last year," he wrote. "It was truly an honor to be in her presence. Thank You for the conversations and the words of encouragement. #RIP"
Last night I was saddened to hear about the passing of my colleague and friend Mary Pat Gleason. I had the honor of working with Mary Pat in “Pencil Town” last year. It was truly an honor to be in her presence. Thank You for the conversations and the words of encouragement. #RIPpic.twitter.com/lh8CQbdbUi
Born Feb. 23, 1950, in Lake City, Minnesota, Gleason has over 170 acting credits on IMDB, including roles on Will & Grace, Desperate Housewives and Life in Pieces. She also won a Daytime Emmy in 1986 while on the writing team for The Guiding Light and also starred in the soap opera as Jane Hogan.
In addition to her decades-long work in television, Gleason is known for her film roles in 1996's The Crucible, 2003's Intolerable Cruelty,and 2004's A Cinderella Story.
One of her final movie roles was in the 2018 Netflix movie Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, in which she played a high school guidance counselor to Sierra (Shannon Purser) and her classmates.