Mariette Hartley

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Mariette Hartley
Hartley co-hosting The Morning Program in 1987
Born (1940-06-21) June 21, 1940 (age 83)[1]
EducationCarnegie Institute of Technology (BFA)
Years active1962–present
John Seventa
(m. 1960; div. 1962)
Patrick Boyriven
(m. 1978; div. 1996)
Jerry Sroka
(m. 2005)
  • Paul Hartley (father)
RelativesJohn B. Watson (grandfather)

Mary Loretta Hartley (born June 21, 1940) is an American film and television actress. She is possibly best known for her roles in film as Elsa Knudsen in Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country (1962), Susan Clabon in Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie (1964), and Betty Lloyd in John Sturges' Marooned (1969). She has appeared extensively on television, with notable roles as Claire Morton in the ABC soap opera Peyton Place (1965), various roles in the CBS television western drama series Gunsmoke, and a series of commercials with James Garner in the 1970s and 1980s.

Early life[edit]

Hartley was born in Weston, Connecticut on June 21, 1940, the daughter of Mary "Polly" Ickes (née Watson), a manager and saleswoman, and Paul Hembree Hartley, an account executive. Her maternal grandfather was John B. Watson, an American psychologist who established the psychological school of behaviorism.[3] She grew up in Weston, Connecticut, an affluent Fairfield County suburb within commuting distance to Manhattan.[4]

She graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1965.[5]


Early appearances[edit]

Hartley with Dennis Weaver in Gunsmoke (1962)

Hartley began her career as a 13-year-old in the White Barn Theatre in Norwalk, Connecticut. In her teens as a stage actress, she was coached and mentored by Eva Le Gallienne. She graduated in 1957 from Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut, where she was an active member of the school's theater group, Staples Players. While a student at Staples, she boldly telephoned screenwriter Rod Serling to ask him to speak in her class. Serling answered the call himself, chose to visit and speak in her classroom, and years later remembering their previous interaction, cast Hartley in an episode ("The Long Morrow") of The Twilight Zone.[6] Hartley also worked at the American Shakespeare Festival.[7]

Her film career began with an uncredited cameo appearance in From Hell to Texas (1958), a Western with Dennis Hopper. In the early 1960s, she moved to Los Angeles and joined the UCLA Theater Group.[2]

Hartley's first credited film appearance was alongside Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea in the 1962 Sam Peckinpah Western Ride the High Country; the role earned her a BAFTA award nomination.[8] She continued to appear in film during the 1960s, including the lead role in the adventure Drums of Africa (1963), and prominent supporting roles in Alfred Hitchcock's psychological thriller Marnie (1964) — alongside Tippi Hedren and Sean Connery — and the John Sturges drama Marooned (1969).

Hartley also guest-starred in numerous TV series during the decade, with appearances in Gunsmoke (5 times including the title character in “Cotter’s Girl” in 1962), The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, Death Valley Days, Judd, for the Defense, Bonanza, and Star Trek (as Zarabeth, Spock's love interest in S3 E23 "All Our Yesterdays", which aired on 3/13/1969) [9] among others. In 1965, she had a significant role as Dr. Claire Morton in 32 episodes of Peyton Place.

1970s and 1980s[edit]

Hartley in 1977
Bob Saget, Rolland Smith and Hartley on the CBS "Morning Program"

Hartley continued to perform in film and TV during the 1970s, including two Westerns alongside Lee Van Cleef, Barquero (1970) and The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1972), and TV series including The Love Boat, The Streets of San Francisco, Emergency!, McCloud, Little House on the Prairie, Love American Style, Police Woman, and Columbo — starring in two editions of the latter alongside Peter Falk; Publish or Perish co-starring Jack Cassidy (1974) and Try and Catch Me with Ruth Gordon (1977). Hartley portrays similar characters as a publisher's assistant in both episodes.

In 1977, Hartley appeared in the TV movie The Last Hurrah, a political drama based on the Edwin O'Connor novel of the same name; and earned her first Emmy Award nomination.

Her role as psychologist Dr. Carolyn Fields in "Married", a 1978 episode of the TV series The Incredible Hulk – in which she marries Bill Bixby's character, the alter ego of the Hulk, won Hartley the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She was nominated for the same award for her performance in an episode of The Rockford Files the following year.

In 1983, Hartley reunited with Bixby in the sitcom Goodnight, Beantown, which ran for two seasons and brought her another Emmy Award nomination. (She worked with Bixby again in the 1992 TV movie A Diagnosis of Murder, the first of three TV movies that launched the series Diagnosis: Murder).

In 1987, she co-hosted CBS's The Morning Program weekday morning news show alongside Rolland Smith, for ten months.[10]

Later career[edit]

In the 1990s, Hartley toured with Elliott Gould and Doug Wert in the revival of the mystery play Deathtrap. Numerous roles in TV movies and guest appearances in TV series during the 1990s and 2000s followed, including Murder, She Wrote (1992), Courthouse (1995), Nash Bridges (2000), and NCIS (2005). She had recurring roles as Sister Mary Daniel in the soap opera One Life to Live (1999–2001; 10 episodes), and as Lorna Scarry in six episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2003–2011).

From 1995 to 2015, she hosted the long-running television documentary series Wild About Animals, an educational program.

In 2006, Hartley starred in her own one-woman show, If You Get to Bethlehem, You've Gone Too Far, which ran in Los Angeles. She returned to the stage in 2014 as Eleanor of Aquitaine (with Ian Buchanan as Henry) in the Colony Theater Company production of James Goldman's The Lion in Winter.

In January 2018, Hartley began a recurring role on the Fox first-responder drama 9-1-1 as Patricia Clark, the Alzheimer's-afflicted mother of dispatcher Abby Clark (Connie Britton).


Hartley at the 2005 Voice Awards

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Hartley appeared with James Garner in a popular series of television commercials advertising Polaroid cameras. The two actors had such natural on-screen chemistry that many viewers erroneously believed that they were married in real life. Hartley's 1990 biography, Breaking the Silence, indicates that she began to wear a T-shirt printed with the phrase "I am not Mrs. James Garner."[11] (Hartley went as far to have a shirt made for her infant son, reading "I am not James Garner's Child" and even one for her then-husband: "I am not James Garner!" James Garner's actual wife then jokingly had a T-shirt printed with "I am Mrs. James Garner.") Hartley guest-starred in an episode of Garner's television series The Rockford Files in 1979. The script required the two to kiss at one point and unbeknownst to them, a paparazzo was photographing the scene from a distance. The photos were run in a tabloid trying to provoke a scandal.[citation needed] An article that ran in TV Guide was titled: "That woman is not James Garner's wife!"[citation needed]

Between 2001 and 2006, Hartley endorsed the See Clearly Method, a commercial eye exercise program, whose sales were halted by an Iowa court after a finding of fraudulent business practices and advertising.[12][13]


Hartley received an honorary degree from Rider College in 1993.

Personal life[edit]

Hartley has been married three times. Her first marriage was to John Seventa (1960–1962). She married Patrick Boyriven on August 13, 1978, with whom she had two children, Sean (born 1975) and Justine (born 1978).[14] The couple divorced in 1996. In 2005, Hartley married Jerry Sroka.[15] Hartley and Sroka co-wrote and starred in a romantic comedy based on their lives titled Our Almost Completely True Story, released in 2022.[16]

In her 1990 autobiography Breaking the Silence, written with Anne Commire, Hartley talked about her struggles with psychological problems, pointing directly to her grandfather's (Dr. Watson) practical application of his theories as the source of the dysfunction in his family. She has also spoken in public about her experience with bipolar disorder and was a founder of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.[17] She currently serves as the foundation's national spokesperson.[2]

In 2003, Hartley was hired by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline to increase awareness of bipolar medications and treatments. She frequently promotes awareness of bipolar disorder and suicide prevention.[18]

Her brother, Paul Hartley, has a PhD in research philosophy and is the author of the book The Seventh Tool: a novel in 3 volumes (2013).[citation needed]

In 2009, Hartley spoke at a suicide and violence prevention forum about her father's suicide.[19]



Year Title Role Notes
1958 From Hell to Texas Uncredited
1962 Ride the High Country Elsa Knudsen Nominated—BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles
1963 Drums of Africa Ruth Knight
1964 Marnie Susan Clabon
1969 Marooned Betty Lloyd
1969 The Vendors Hooker
1970 Barquero Anna
1971 The Return of Count Yorga Cynthia Nelson
1972 Skyjacked Harriet Stevens
1972 The Magnificent Seven Ride! Arrila
1981 Improper Channels Diana Martley
1982 O'Hara's Wife Harry O'Hara
1988 1969 Jessie Denny
1992 Encino Man Mrs. Morgan Also known as California Man
1996 Snitch Kinnison
2003 Baggage Emily Wade
2006 Novel Romance Marty McCall
2009 The Inner Circle Sister Madeleine
2016 Three Days in August Maureen
2016 Silver Skies Harriet
2017 Counting for Thunder Tina Stalworth
2019 The Message Esther Barnes
2022 Our Almost Completely True Story Mariette


Year Title Role Notes
1962 Stoney Burke Laura Grayson Episode: "Bandwagon"
1963–1964 Breaking Point Various 2 episodes
1963–1974 Gunsmoke Various 5 episodes
1963 Dr. Kildare Ellen Hendricks Episode: "Face of Fear"
1963 Ben Casey Julie Carr Episode: "For I Will Plait thy Hair with Gold"
1963 The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters Hagar Menifee Episode: "The Day of the Misfits"
1963 Channing Evelyn Crown Episode: "The Last Testament of Buddy Crown"
1964 The Twilight Zone Sandra Horn Episode: "The Long Morrow"
1964 The Virginian Various 2 episodes
1964 My Three Sons Mary Kathleen Connolly 2 episodes
1965–1968 Death Valley Days Various 4 episodes
1965–1971 Bonanza Various 4 episodes
1965 Peyton Place Claire Morton 32 episodes
1966–1967 The Hero Ruth Garret 16 episodes
1966 The Legend of Jesse James Polly Dockery Episode: "A Burying for Rosey"
1967 He & She Dorothy Webb Episode: "The Coming-Out Party"
1968–1970 Daniel Boone Various 2 episodes
1968 Judd, for the Defense Erica Cosgrove Episode: "No Law Against Murder"
1968 Cimarron Strip Jessica Cabot Episode: "Big Jessie"
1969 The Outsider Mary Smith Episode: "The Girl from Missouri"
1969 Star Trek: The Original Series Zarabeth S3:E23, "All Our Yesterdays"
1970–1973 The F.B.I. Various 2 episodes
1970–1975 Insight Various 2 episodes
1970 Love, American Style Ruth Dabb Episode: "Love and the Fighting Couple"
1970 Marcus Welby, M.D. Maggie Lynch Episode: "To Carry the Sun in a Golden Cup"
1971 Cade's County Frances Pilgrim Episode: "The Armageddon Contract"
1971 Earth II Lisa Karger TV movie
1972 Mannix Nurse Cara Guild Episode: "Death Is the Fifth Gear"
1972 Night Gallery Prof. Diana Parker/Terry Parker Episode: "Eye of the Haunted"
1972 Sandcastles Sarah TV movie
1972 The Delphi Bureau Sarah Bowmont Episode: "The White Plague Project"
1972 Ghost Story Sheila Conway Episode: "Cry of the Cat"
1972 The Bold Ones: The New Doctors Helen Burke Episode: "A Purge of Madness"
1973–1974 The Streets of San Francisco Various 2 episodes
1973 Mystery in Dracula's Castle Marsha Booth TV movie
1973 The Magical World of Disney Marsha Booth 2 episodes
1973 The F.B.I. Doe Riley Episode: The Double Play
1973 Genesis II Lyra-a TV movie
1973 The Bob Newhart Show Marilyn Dietz Episode: "Have You Met Miss Dietz?"
1973 Emergency! Vera Mannering Episode: "Zero"
1973 Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law Roberta Laughlin Episode: "Snatches of a Crazy Song"
1974–1977 Columbo Various 2 episodes
1974 The Wide World of Mystery Various 2 episodes
1974 Friends and Lovers Sandra Episode: "Moran's the Man"
1974 Barnaby Jones Various 2 episodes
1975 McCloud Ann Lassiter Episode: "Lady on the Run"
1976 Little House on the Prairie Elizabeth Thurmond Episode: "For My Lady"
1976 The Killer Who Wouldn't Die Heather McDougall TV movie
1976 The Quest Vay Episode: "Shanklin"
1976 Most Wanted Lt. Ruth Massey Episode: "The Corrupter"
1977 Police Woman Gloria Turner Episode: "Banker's Hours"
1977 Delvecchio Angela Atkins Episode: "Dying Can Be a Pleasure"
1977 The African Queen Rose Sayer TV movie
1977 Kingston: Confidential Kathleen Morgan Episode: "Shadow Game"
1977 The Last Hurrah Clare Gardiner TV movie
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
1977 The Oregon Trail Susan Episode: "Wagon Race"
1978 Logan's Run Ariana Episode: "Futurepast"
1978 The Incredible Hulk Dr. Carolyn Fields Episode: "Married"
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
1979 M*A*S*H Dr. Inga Halvorsen Episode: "Inga"
1979 A Rainy Day Stephanie Carter Short
1979 Stone Mrs. Diane Stone Pilot
1979 The Rockford Files Althea Morgan Episode: "Paradise Cove"
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
1979 The Halloween That Almost Wasn't The Witch Short
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program
1980 The Love Tapes Barbara Welles TV movie
1980 The Secret War of Jackie's Girls Jackie TV movie
1981 No Place to Hide Adele Manning TV movie
1982 Drop-Out Father Katherine McCall TV movie
1983–1984 Goodnight, Beantown Jennifer Barnes 18 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
1983 M.A.D.D.: Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Candy Lightner TV movie
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
1983 The Love Boat Martha Chambers 2 episodes
1984 Silence of the Heart Barbara Lewis TV movie
1985 The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible Rahab Episode: "Joshua and the Battle of Jericho"
1986 One Terrific Guy Mrs. Burton TV movie
1986 My Two Loves Gail Springer TV movie
1989 Passion and Paradise Lady Oakes TV movie
1990–1991 WIOU Liz McVay 14 episodes
1990 Murder C.O.D. Sally Kramer TV movie
1992 A Diagnosis of Murder Kate Hamilton TV movie
1992 Murder on Sycamore Street TV movie
1992 Child of Rage Dr. Rosemary Myers TV movie
1992 Murder, She Wrote Susan Lindsay Episode: "Night of the Coyote"
1993 Perry Mason: The Case of the Telltale Talk Show Host Dr. Sheila Carlin TV movie
1994 Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III Prudence Miniseries
1995–2015 Wild About Animals Hostess 70 episodes
1995 Freefall: Flight 174 Beth Pearson TV movie
1995 Courthouse Judge Katherine Wilkes Episode: "Justice Delayed"
1996 Caroline in the City Margaret Duffy Episode: "Caroline and the Twenty-Eight-Pound Walleye"
1998 Conan the Adventurer Queen Veeta Episode: "Heir Apparent"
1998 To Have & to Hold Ellen Cornell 8 episodes
1999–2001 One Life to Live Sister Mary Daniel 10 episodes
1999 Kismet Mother Short
1999 The Brothers Flub Voice 16 episodes
1999 Twice in a Lifetime Brooke Canby/Janet Bryant Episode: "O'er the Rampants We Watched"
2000 Nash Bridges Libby Episode: "Manhunt"
2001 Kate Brasher Gloria Raskin Episode: "Simon"
2003–2011 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Lorna Scarry 6 episodes
2004 Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus Joanna TV movie
2005 NCIS Hanna Lowell Episode: "SWAK"
2005 Meet the Santas Joanna TV movie
2007 Love Is a Four Letter Word Audrey TV movie
2007 Dirt Dorothy Spiller 2 episodes
2008 Saving Grace Emily Jane Ada Episode: "You Are My Partner"
2008 Grey's Anatomy Betty Kenner 2 episodes
2008 Cold Case Gloria Flagstone '08 Episode: "Wings"
2009 The Cleaner Jane O'Hara Episode: "Hello America"
2010 Nurses Who Kill... Paulette Short
2011 Big Love Major Episode: "A Seat at the Table"
2013 The Mentalist Elise Vogelson Episode: "Red Lacquer Nail Polish"
2014–2015 The Comeback Kids Richie's Mom 4 episodes
2014–2018 Fireside Chat with Esther Various 10 episodes
2015 The Dentros Joan Dentro Short
2018 9-1-1 Patricia Clark 7 episodes
2019 Homeless at 17 Marnie TV movie
2019 House on the Hill (aka He's Out to Get You) Ellen Snow TV movie
2020 "Escaping My Stalker" Grandmother TV movie


  1. ^[dead link]
  2. ^ a b c "Mariette Hartley Professional Biography". Mariette Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  3. ^ Champlin, Charles (October 30, 1990). "Mariette Hartley Breaks the Silence on Her Legacy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  4. ^ "Weston History & Culture Center". Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  5. ^ "Carnegie Mellon Alumni" (PDF). CMU Alumni. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2017. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  6. ^ Thomas, Nick (September 30, 2015). "Getting to know Rod Serling". The Spectrum. Retrieved November 19, 2023.
  7. ^ Delong, Thomas (2009). Stars in Our Eyes. Westport Historical Society. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-9648759-4-4.
  8. ^ "Most Promising Newcomer To Leading Film Roles in 1963". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  9. ^ "Mariette Hartley Cherishes 'All Our Yesterdays'". November 2, 2011. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
  10. ^ Sharbutt, Jay (November 11, 1987). "Hartley Makes an Early Exit From CBS' Ill-Fated 'Morning Program'". Los Angeles Times.
  11. ^ Hartley, Mariette, and Anne Commire. Breaking the Silence. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1990, p. 185.
  12. ^ Shin, Annys; Mui, Ylan Q. & Trejos, Nancy (November 6, 2006). "Seeing the See Clearly Method for What It Is". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 10, 2006. Retrieved March 14, 2009.
  13. ^ Richards, David (August 2008). "See Clearly Method Investigation". Independent Investigations Group. Retrieved May 29, 2009.
  14. ^ Klein, Alvin (February 6, 1994). "A Bittersweet Homecoming for Mariette Hartley". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Reilly, Sue. "It Didn't Happen in 60 Seconds, but Her Ads with Jim Garner Developed Mariette Hartley's Career". People. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  16. ^ "Our (Almost Completely True) Story".
  17. ^ "Leadership". 2013 Annual Report. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. pp. 40–41. Archived from the original on January 7, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  18. ^ Morgan, John; Shoop, Stephen A. (August 1, 2003). "Mariette Hartley triumphs over bipolar disorder". Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  19. ^ "Suicide and Violence Prevention: Creating a Safer Community". Santa Barbara Therapy. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2016..

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