Who is Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio?

American actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio was born in Lombard, Illinois, on 17 November 1958, making Scorpio her zodiac sign. She has 34 acting credits, but is perhaps still known best for playing the lead character Lindsey Brigman in the hit 1989 adventure mystery movie “The Abyss”, which also starred Ed Harris and Michael Biehn, and was written and directed by James Cameron. It follows a diving team which is searching for a lost nuclear submarine, but has instead found an alien aquatic species; the movie won nine of its 24 award nominations, including an Oscar win for Best Effects, Visual Effects.

Mary hasn’t had any roles in the past two years, but hasn’t officially retired from acting.

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Education and early life

Mary was raised in Oak Park, Illinois alongside her one younger and three older sisters, by their mother Mary Dominica (nee Pagone) and father Frank A. Mastrantonio, both of whom were originally from Italy; Frank was the operator of a bronze foundry, and Dominica was a housewife.

Mary fell in love with acting while attending Oak Park River Forest High School, appearing in most of the plays performed at the school, as well as in several performed at a community theatre. She matriculated in 1977, and then enrolled at the University of Illinois, from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1981; to pay for the tuition, Mary worked at the Opryland USA theme park while attending college.

Roles in movies

Mary’s debut film appearance was in the critically acclaimed 1982 crime comedy “The King of Comedy”, which starred Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis, and was directed by Martin Scorsese. It follows aspiring comedian Rupert Pupkin who’s kidnapped his idol, and the film won three of its 11 award nominations.

The following year saw Mary play Gina in the evergreen crime drama “Scarface”, which starred Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer, and was directed by Brian De Palma. The movie follows a Cuban immigrant who wants to become a mafia boss, and it was nominated for eight awards. Some of Mary’s following roles were in the 1986 sports drama “The Color of Money”, which won an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Paul Newman), the 1987 crime mystery “Slam Dance” and the 1989 action crime comedy “The January Man”.

In 1991, she starred as Marian in the popular action adventure “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”, which also starred Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman, and was directed by Kevin Reynolds. It follows the life of outlaw Robin Hood, who steals from the wealthy and gives to the poor, and the movie won 16 of its 40 award nominations, including an Oscar nomination for Best Music, Original Song, actually Bryan Adams smash hit “Everything I do”. Some of Mary’s roles in the remainder of the ‘90s were in the 1992 crime mystery “Consenting Adults”, the 1999 adventure thriller “Limbo” and the 2000 action adventure “The Perfect Storm”.

She appeared in only four movies in the 2000s, and the most popular amongst these was the 2008 drama “The Russell Girl”, which starred Jennifer Ehle and Amber Tamblyn, and was directed by Jeff Bleckner; it follows the life of an aspiring 23 years old medical school student.

Mary’s since appeared in only two movies: she played Dorothy in the 2015 thriller “Amok”, and Senator Helen Barret in the 2017 drama “Salamander”.

Roles in TV series

Mary’s debut TV series role was playing Edda Mussolini-Ciano, one of the lead characters in all three episodes of the 1985 biographical historical mini-series “Mussolini: The Untold Story”, which also starred Virginia Madsen and George C. Scott, and follows the life and death of Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini; the mini-series was nominated for three awards.

Mary’s following role came in 1991, when cast to play Yelena in the episode “Uncle Vanya” of the drama “Performance”, and she then voiced Eileen in the 1995 episode “Martin Does It His Way” of the comedy “Frasier”.

In 2005 and 2006, she portrayed Anne Cassidy in 10 episodes of the crime mystery “Without a Trace”, which starred Enrique Murciano and Anthony LaPaglia, and was created by Hank Steinberg. The series aired its 140 episodes from 2002 through 2009, follows a police squad which searches for missing people, and it won 21 of its 68 award nominations.

Mary went on to play Captain Zoe Callas in 14 episodes of the 2010 crime action “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”, Sophia Lanza in the 2013 episode “Inside Jobs” of the crime action “Blue Bloods”, and Mary Kincaid in eight episodes of the 2014 mystery thriller “Hostages”. In 2015 and 2016, she played Nasreen Pouran in all 22 episodes of the crime comedy “Limitless”, which starred Jennifer Carpenter and Jake McDorman, and was created by Craig Sweeny. It follows a 28 years old man who’s capable of using the full extent of his brain’s capabilities, and has now begun working for the FBI; the series was nominated for just a single award.

Mary’s appeared in only three other TV series: she played Kelly Burkhardt in seven episodes of the crime fantasy “Grimm” from 2012 through 2017, Marion James in four episodes of the crime action “The Punisher” from 2017 through 2019, and Madeline Burke in 22 episodes of the crime action “Blindspot” from 2018 through 2020.

Other credits

Mary sang the songs “Calendar Girl” and “Auld Lang Syne” in the 1989 movie “The January Man”.

She received special thanks for a 2000 episode of the documentary series “HBO First Look”.

Some of her recent talk-show appearances have been in “The Directors”, “Buzz: at&T Original Documentaries” and “The Broadway.com Show”.

Awards and nominations

Mary’s won only one of her eight award nominations: a 2005 Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Female Lead in a Drama Special, for her performance in “The Brooke Ellison Story”.

She was also nominated for a 1987 Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, for “The Color of Money”.

Love life and husband

There’s only a single man whom Mary’s been with, that we know about. She met Irish movie producer and director Patrick ‘Pat’ O’Connor sometime in the second half of the ’80s, and they exchanged vows in a small and private ceremony in 1990; the exact date of the wedding remains undisclosed. Pat has 17 directing credits, and is perhaps still known best for directing the 1992 romantic movie “The Ballroom of Romance”, and the 1990 romantic film “Fools of Fortune”.

Mary gave birth to their first son Jack O’Connor in 1992, and their second son Declan O’Connor followed in 1997; neither has pursued a career in the film industry, and their professions remain undisclosed.

Mary’s married to Pat O’Connor as of July 2023, and they have two sons together.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Mary suffered a mental breakdown while shooting for the 1989 movie “The Abyss”; the film director James Cameron later admitted that he knew it would be a hard shoot, and that it turned out a lot harder as the cast spent six days, 70 hours a week on an isolated set for half a year.

Mary wasn’t the original choice for the lead role in the 1991 movie “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”, but replaced Robin Wright who became pregnant.

During her teenage years, she wanted to become an opera singer.

She has the longest name amongst all the people who’ve ever been nominated for an Oscar for acting.

Joaquin Phoenix is one of Mary’s favorite actors, and some of her favorite movies include “Gladiator”, “Her” and “Joker”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Mary’s age is 64. Her hair and eyes are brown, she’s 5ft 5ins (1.66m) tall and weighs around 120lbs (55kgs).

Mary’s net worth’s been estimated at over $2 million, as of July 2023.

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