Mary Mae Ward
|Mary Mae Ward|
|General Hospital character|
|Portrayed by||Rosalind Cash|
|First appearance||January 7, 1994|
|Last appearance||October 6, 1995|
|Created by||Claire Labine|
|Introduced by||Wendy Riche|
|Book appearances||Robin's Diary|
|Occupation||Operator of Ward Orphanage
Mary Mae Ward (née Courtnee; previously Powers) is a fictional character from the ABC soap opera General Hospital from 1994–1995. Introduced as a grandmother character running an orphanage, it was revealed through backstory that she had formerly been the mistress of Edward Quartermaine, with whom she had the son Bradley Ward II, and other descendant characters such as granddaughter Keesha Ward and great-granddaughter Maya Ward. The role of Mary Mae Ward was originated by Rosalind Cash (1938–1995) in 1994, who played her as a proud matriarch character who had triumphed over racism and tragedy. When Cash died of cancer in 1995, the Mary Mae Ward character was written out of the series, with an explanation of having died of natural causes. In 1996, Cash was posthumously nominated for an Emmy Award, for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
Mary Mae met Buddy Powers when she was 16 years old and they married in 1944, when she was 18. Mary Mae took her cue from her late husband Bradley Powers, who was a musician before the war and started making a living for herself as a blues singer in Virginia. While working one night, she met a navy man, Edward Quartermaine. They both related to one another but the music drew them together most. They had a brief affair until Edward was shipped overseas but they kept in touch through letters. Mary Mae wrote him a letter and told him that she was pregnant and that she would raise his child on her own. She named the child Bradley, after her late husband. Mary Mae married Dan Ward in 1946 and relocated to Port Charles with her family, not knowing that Edward lived in Long Island, New York. She and Dan had another son, David Ward, and a daughter, Idios. Dan Ward dies in June 1969 from a stroke. She didn't see Edward again until July 1, 1974 when she visited him at his apartment in Port Charles. When her son came home looking shaken up, she knew what she had to do to save his life. She told Edward who she was and that their son was in danger because Jack Boland, one of Edward's business partners was working with mob boss, Frank Smith. Bradley had been causing trouble for the criminals. Edward did all he could to keep Bradley safe but Jack murdered him in cold blood that very same night. Jack left the scene and the gun in Bradley's hand leading Mary Mae to believed he'd committed suicide. She buried his body in the backyard of their home at 24 Royal Street in Port Charles. Mary Mae made Edward promise that the investigation into Bradley's death wouldn't destroy everything he'd worked so hard for. Edward used his money and influence to stop the investigation which led to the rumor that he had murdered Bradley. In June 1994 after Bradley's body is discovered, Edward is put on trial forcing Mary Mae to tell everyone the truth, Edward & Bradley were father and son. Edward could have never put a gun to his own child's head. Edward is later acquitted of the charges.
Mary Mae found herself singing the blues again when Lois Cerullo offered her a job at her record label, L&B. Mary Mae was a hit at Luke's club where everyone would go to listen to her beautiful voice. Mary Mae was adored by many in Port Charles. When she died in her sleep in January 1996, the whole town turned out to pay their respects to their beloved Mary Mae.
- Jacobs, Damon L. (November 6, 2009). "Soap's Hope: The Claire Labine Interview, Part Four". We Love Soaps. welovesoaps.com. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
- "Rosalind Cash obituary". Los Angeles Times. November 2, 1995. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Gussow, Mel (November 3, 1995). "Rosalind Cash, 56, at Home on Stage and Screen". The New York Times. p. 22. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- "Rosalind Cash". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Associated Press (April 6, 1996). "Emmy nominations for daytime announced". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Mary Mae Ward profile Soapcentral.com