Law And Order Actress Dead

An actress who appeared on the hit show 'Law & Order' has passed away. An announcement from the Steppenwolf Theatre Company confirmed that a longtime member of its ensemble, Mariann Mayberry, has lost her battle with cancer at the age of 52. Mayberry is a familiar face to fans of both the big and small screens, and she has been a member of the theatre company’s ensemble since 1993.

Mayberry most recently appeared in a pair of Steppenwolf productions named 'Russian Transport' and 'Good People.' Chicago theatre director Mary Zimmerman offered up some thoughts via email to the Chicago Tribune.

“This is a serious loss. ... There’s not another like her. Her body was so entirely, so beautifully inhabited by her spirit, from head to toe. She had a kind of taut, sprung energy, a vitality on stage,” Zimmerman wrote. “And then so playful, so modest, so unassuming in rehearsal, full of wonder and invention; so in love with the story, with the act of dressing up, the act of pretend; so embracing of her colleagues, always on the brink of laughing. Free as a bird.”

Mayberry joined Steppenwolf after graduating from college. She attended Illinois' Wesleyan University on an acting scholarship. Her family had moved to the Chicago area during her younger days, and she had her sights set on becoming a professional actress.

"I grew up very blue-collar and really poor," she said during a 2012 interview with the Tribune. "Even now, my parents don't really understand what it is that I do."

Actor Gary Sinise is one of the founding members of Steppenwolf, and he offered up some insight on how the name was chosen.

“As we approached the time to open … and programs were going to be printed, we were sitting around in a meeting in one of the rooms at the church and I suggested that we come up with a name that we could put on the program as a company presenting the play,” Sinise explained. “We started kicking names around and then Rick held up a book he was reading and said, 'How about this?' The book was Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse and we all agreed that it would be fine and then we moved on to rehearsing the play. So, no big philosophical reason for selecting that name. It just sounded good at the time.”

In addition to her work on the stage, Mayberry took on a number of roles on the small screen, including appearances on several episodes of 'Law & Order.' Other television shows on which she has appeared include 'Are We There Yet,' 'Mercy,' 'The Pennsylvania Miner's Story,' 'Person Of Interest,' and 'The Dave Chappelle Show.'

On the big screen, Mayberry has appeared in films such as 'War of the Worlds,' 'Since You've Been Gone,' 'Dogman,' and 'The Company.' Her stage work has included roles in 'August: Osage County,' 'How I Learned to Drive,' 'The Last of the Boys,' and 'Argonautika'.
No word on funeral arrangements at this time, but Steppenwolf canceled a scheduled performance in the wake of her passing.

Photo: YouTube

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