Reflecting on Mary Mara's Work on 'ER' in the Wake of Her Death

Mary Mara's 'ER' character, Loretta Sweet, had a short but pivotal role in the show. Here's what we know about the actress who played her.

Chris Barilla - Author

Jun. 28 2022, Published 11:31 a.m. ET

In the wake of the news of actress Mary Mara's tragic death, fans worldwide are reflecting on the accomplishments that she had under her belt throughout her career. Over the course of roughly 30 years working in the industry, Mary took on a variety of notable roles spanning stage and screen, solidifying her star power for years to come.

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One of Mary's most remembered roles was that of Loretta Sweet on ER, a role that helped shape her acting career in more ways than one. Keep reading for a detailed look at Mary's work on the show as well as other related details regarding her life.

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Mary Mara played the 'ER' character Loretta Sweet in 1995.

Back in 1995, Mary took on the recurring role of Loretta Sweet on NBC's hit medical drama series ER.

Loretta's character is a prostitute who infrequently shows up as a patient in the emergency room where all of the main characters work.

Season 2 Episode 5, which is titled "And Baby Makes Two" and originally aired on Oct. 19, 1995, was the first time that fans met Loretta. In that episode, nurse Lydia Wright (Ellen Crawford) can be seen helping Loretta get ready for an upcoming job interview.

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Loretta then pops up randomly on two other occasions: in Season 2 Episode 11, titled "Dead of Winter," and then in Season 2 Episode 14, which is titled "The Right Thing."

It's in the latter episode that Loretta learns some disturbing information about her health. Doctor Mark Green (Anthony Edwards) tells her that she has cervical cancer. The character fades out of the storyline after that, but Mary's work across Season 2 still resonates with fans to this day.

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What was Mary Mara's cause of death?

Per a Variety report on June 27, 2022, New York State Police officials confirmed that Mary's body was discovered in the St. Lawrence River in Cape Vincent, N.Y. at roughly 8:10 p.m. local time on June 26, 2022. A preliminary report done on her body has found that she likely died as a result of drowning. The actress was staying with her sister, Martha, at her summer home at the time of her passing.

Mary is survived by her stepdaughter Katie Mersola, sisters Martha Mara and Susan Dailey, brother-in-law Scott Dailey and nephew Christopher Dailey. Our thoughts are with Mary's family, friends, and fans during this difficult time.

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