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Mary Ellen Trainor

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Mary Ellen Trainor
Born(1952-07-08)July 8, 1952
DiedMay 20, 2015(2015-05-20) (aged 62)
Years active1979–2007
(m. 1980; div. 2000)

Mary Ellen Trainor (July 8, 1952[1] – May 20, 2015) was an American character actress best known for her roles as LAPD psychiatrist Dr. Stephanie Woods in the Lethal Weapon films, newscaster Gail Wallens in Die Hard and Ricochet, and working mother Irene Walsh in The Goonies. She also appeared in numerous other well-known films including Romancing the Stone, The Monster Squad, Death Becomes Her, Forrest Gump, and Freaky Friday (2003).

Early life[edit]

Trainor attended San Diego State University, where she studied broadcast journalism.[2]


Trainor started her career working at radio stations KSDO as well as KCBS.[2] Her first television appearance came in the 1983 Cheers episode "Father Knows Last", and her big-screen debut came the following year in Romancing the Stone. She frequently appeared in the films of Richard Donner and her ex-husband Robert Zemeckis.

In addition to her film work she had recurring television roles as Judy Lewis in Parker Lewis Can't Lose (Pilot 1990; 1991–1993), as Eve Lukens in Relativity (1996–1997), and as Diane Evans in Roswell (1999–2002).

She has appeared in three films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: The Goonies (1985), Die Hard (1988) and Forrest Gump (1994).

Personal life and death[edit]

Trainor was married to director Robert Zemeckis for 20 years,[citation needed] with whom she had a son, Alexander.[citation needed] She was good friends with producer Kathleen Kennedy,[3] who worked with Steven Spielberg extensively and serves as President of Lucasfilm. Trainor introduced the two.[4]

Trainor died on May 20, 2015, at her home in Montecito, California, from complications of pancreatic cancer, at age 62.[2][5]



Year Title Role Notes
1984 Romancing the Stone Elaine Wilder
The Stone Boy Doris Simms
1985 The Goonies Mrs. Walsh
1987 Lethal Weapon Dr. Stephanie Woods
The Monster Squad Emily Crenshaw
1988 Action Jackson Liz Massetori, Secretary
Die Hard Gail Wallens
Scrooged Ted
1989 Ghostbusters II Brownstone Mother
Lethal Weapon 2 Dr. Stephanie Woods
Back to the Future Part II Officer Reese uncredited
1990 Fire Birds Janet Little
1991 Ricochet Gail Wallens
Grand Canyon Ms. Green
1992 Kuffs Nikki Allyn
Lethal Weapon 3 Dr. Stephanie Woods
Death Becomes Her Vivian Adams
1994 Greedy Nora McTeague
Forrest Gump Jenny's Babysitter uncredited
Little Giants Karen O'Shea
1995 Congo Moira
1996 Executive Decision Allison, Flight Attendant
1998 Lethal Weapon 4 Dr. Stephanie Woods
1999 Anywhere But Here Homeowner
2001 Amy's Orgasm Amy's Mom
2002 Moonlight Mile Mrs. Meyerson
2003 Freaky Friday Diary Reading Patient
2005 The Music Inside Monica Amado
2007 Cake: A Wedding Story Jane Andrews (final film role)


Year Title Role Notes
1983 Cheers Mary Episode: Father Knows Last
1985 Crazy Like a Fox Connie Olsen[6] Episode: Fox and Hounds
1986 CBS Schoolbreak Special Helen Dawson Episode: The Drug Knot
1986–1987 Remington Steele Estelle Becker 3 episodes
1987 Amazing Stories Mara Webster Episode: Moving Day
1989 Tales from the Crypt Wife Episode: And All Through the House
Fear Stalk Jennifer TV movie
1990 Rock Hudson Female Agent TV movie
The Outsiders Unknown Episode: The Stork Club
1990–1993 Parker Lewis Can't Lose Mrs. Lewis 16 episodes
1995 Seduced and Betrayed Charlotte TV movie
1996 A Face to Die For Mrs. Gilmore TV movie
1996–1997 Relativity Eve Lukens 17 episodes
1997 Hope Maize Burns TV movie
1998 Someone to Love Me Jocelyn Hart TV movie
1999–2002 Roswell Diane Evans 23 episodes
2006 or 2008* McBride: Requiem Elizabeth Lucas TV movie (final television role) (*some sources and databases list first air date in 2006, others in 2008)


  1. ^ "MARY ELLEN TRAINOR". E Times. Times of India. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  2. ^ a b c Dagan, Carmel (8 June 2015). "Mary Ellen Trainor Zemeckis Dead: 'Lethal Weapon' Actress Was 62". Variety. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  3. ^ Masters, Kim (30 January 2013). "Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy on 'Star Wars,' 'Lincoln' and Secret J.J. Abrams Meetings (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  4. ^ Barnes, Mike (8 June 2015). "Mary Ellen Trainor, Actress in All Four 'Lethal Weapon' Films, Dies at 62". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  5. ^ Pedersen, Erik (9 June 2015). "Mary Ellen Trainor Dies: Actress In 'Lethal Weapon' Pics, 'Die Hard' & 'Goonies'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Die Fälle des Harry Fox Staffel 1, Folge 11: Der Schnüffler an der Leine".

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