Mary was born in Monterey Park, California, USA. She received formal training at the University of Maryland and the Boston Conservatory of Music, leading to various parts in musical theatre in Washington, D.C.
After training in New York, doing everything from Soap Opera to dinner theatre, she relocated to Los Angeles to star in Duet (1987) for the Fox Network. She went on to headline other series including Baby Talk (1991), Camp Wilder (1992), features include Deception: A Mother's Secret (1991), and Those She Left Behind (1989) opposite Colleen Dewhurst. She had co-starred in such films as The Negotiator (1998) opposite Kevin Spacey, and the political thriller Ulterior Motives (1992), which she also produced.
Mary lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband, actor Thomas Ian Griffith, and their two sons.
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