Mary Mara’s Family Remembers the Late ‘Law & Order’ Actress: ‘Everyone Loved Her’

by Taylor Cunningham

Friends, family, and fans are paying tribute to Mary Mara after she suddenly lost her life this past weekend.

In her obituary, shared by PEOPLE, Mara’s family praised the 61-year-old as “a gifted character actor.”

During her career, she played on TV, on film, and off-Broadway. And she was especially talented in “complex portrayals of often-troubled characters.”

“Her 32-year career in film and television resembled that of a veteran utility infielder who just missed stardom but always played for winning teams,” it reads.

The Yale School of Drama graduate starred in over 20 movies and 40 television shows during her lifetime. Some of her most notable projects include Law & Order, ER, and Criminal Minds. People may also remember Mary Mara for her roles in the blockbuster hits The Hard Way alongside Michael J. Fox and True Colors with John Cusack.

In a statement, Mara’s representative told Fox News Digital that the actress “was utterly captivating, well-loved, and will be missed.”

And since word has spread of her passing, those words have proven to be true.

Former Co-Stars Pay Tribute to Mara

In the past day, Mary Mara’s former castmates have taken to social media to grieve their lost friend and honor her memory.

Billy Crystal wrote on Twitter that he’s dedicating tonight’s showing of his Broadway musical, Mr. Saturday Night, to Mara. In 1992, she played his daughter in the film that inspired the play.

And Annette O’Toole also paid tribute by posting that “Mary Mara was funny, kind, [and] brilliantly talented.”

“I am terribly sorry she has left us,” she added.

Mary Mara Found Dead After an Apparent Drowning

New York State Police officers found Mary Mara’s body washed ashore on the St. Lawrence River in the town of Cape Vincent early Sunday morning (June 26). According to TMZ, she had gone swimming for exercise while visiting her sister. Police pronounced Mara dead on the scene.

“When Troopers, along with Cape Vicent Fire and Ambulance arrived on the scene, they discovered a female deceased in the St. Lawrence River,” the department wrote in a press release.

Officials do not believe that foul play was involved in Mara’s death. However, the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office will complete a full autopsy. The investigation is currently ongoing.

“Mary was one of the finest actresses I ever met,” her representative continued. “She had a terrific sense of humor and a unique outlook on life.”

Mary Mara left behind her sisters Martha Mara and Susan Mara, stepdaughter Katie Mersola, brother-in-law Scott Dailey, and nephew Christopher Dailey.