Mary McCormack

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mary McCormack
McCormack in 2012
Mary Catherine McCormack

(1969-02-08) February 8, 1969 (age 54)
EducationTrinity College (BA)
Years active1994–present
(m. 2003)
RelativesBridget Mary McCormack (sister)
Will McCormack (brother)

Mary Catherine McCormack (born February 8, 1969[1]) is an American actress. She has had leading roles as Justine Appleton on the series Murder One (1995–1997), as Deputy National Security Adviser Kate Harper on The West Wing (2004–2006), as Deputy U.S. Marshal Mary Shannon on In Plain Sight (2008–2012), and as Peggy on the comedy series The Kids Are Alright (2018–2019).

McCormack's film roles include Private Parts (1997), Deep Impact (1998), True Crime (1999), Mystery, Alaska (1999), K-PAX (2001), Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003) and 1408 (2007).

Early life[edit]

McCormack was born in Plainfield, New Jersey.[1] She is the daughter of clinical therapist Norah and car dealership and ice cream parlor owner William McCormack.[2] Her parents divorced in 1990.[3] Her sister Bridget was the chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court[4] and a professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School.[5] Her brother William is an actor, writer and producer[6] who has appeared in a recurring role as FBI agent Robert O'Connor on In Plain Sight.

In 1987, McCormack graduated from the Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison, New Jersey. In 1991, she received her BA in comparative arts, specifically painting and creative writing, from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.[7]


McCormack began her acting career at age 12, performing in Gian Carlo Menotti's Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors.[8] She continued her stage work in musicals and finished an acting program at the William Esper Studio.[3] She has worked in New York theater productions, including The Atlantic Theater Company, Alice's 4th Floor, and Naked Angels,[1] where she appeared in Jon Robin Baitz's A Fair Country.[9]

McCormack portrayed Justine Appleton on Murder One (1995–1997)[3] and also starred in the HBO series K Street.[10] She starred in Howard Stern's movie Private Parts in 1997.[3] In 2004, McCormack joined the cast of The West Wing as Deputy National Security Advisor and ex-CIA officer Kate Harper. Her character soon became a recurring role throughout the last three seasons.[11]

McCormack starred in the USA Network series In Plain Sight. She portrayed Mary Shannon, a deputy United States marshal attached to the Albuquerque, New Mexico, office of the Federal Witness Security Program (WITSEC), more commonly known as the Federal Witness Protection Program. On July 28, 2010, the show was renewed for its fourth and fifth seasons, to run in 2011 and 2012.[12] The show was ended in 2011, making the fifth season its last.[13] After its end, McCormack was cast as the lead in Kari Lizer's untitled comedy pilot on ABC.[14]

McCormack was nominated for the 2008 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for the role of Gretchen in the 2008 Broadway revival of Boeing Boeing.[15]

McCormack appeared seven times as a guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. On her fourth visit in 2009, she gave the host, Craig Ferguson, a novelty coffee mug in the shape of a rattlesnake from the gift shop of the American International Rattlesnake Museum in Albuquerque. Ferguson promised to use this mug on all future shows and kept his promise.[16][17] After his last show, he donated the mug back to the museum.[18]

In 2012, McCormack reunited with the cast of The West Wing to film a video that served both as a reminder that U.S. voters should vote for nonpartisan candidates when they cast their ballots and as a video promoting McCormack's sister's ultimately successful judicial candidacy for the Michigan State Supreme Court.[19]

In October 2013, McCormack started filming scenes for The Crash (previously titled A Conspiracy on Jekyll Island) alongside Frank Grillo, AnnaSophia Robb, Minnie Driver, Dianna Agron, John Leguizamo, Ed Westwick, Christopher McDonald and Maggie Q.[20] The film is directed by Aram Rappaport and produced by Hilary Shor, Atit Shah and Aaron Becker.[21][22][23] The film had a direct-to-VOD and limited release on January 13, 2017, in North America.[24]

In 2016, McCormack played a supporting role in the exclusive special An American Girl Story – Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas alongside Alyvia Alyn Lind, who played the title character.

In 2018, McCormack began starring in the ABC sitcom The Kids Are Alright as Catholic family matriarch Peggy Cleary. ABC canceled the series after one season.[25]

Personal life[edit]

In July 2003, McCormack married director and producer Michael Morris.[26] Together they have three children.[27]

McCormack and Morris are executive producers of the game show 25 Words or Less, hosted by Meredith Vieira. McCormack is a frequent celebrity panelist on the show, as are fellow executive producers Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky.

McCormack is the godmother of In Plain Sight co-star Fred Weller's daughter.[28]



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Miracle on 34th Street Myrna Foy
1995 Backfire! Sarah Jackson
1997 Colin Fitz Lives! Moira
1997 Private Parts Alison Stern
1997 Fathers' Day Virginia Farrell Uncredited
1997 The Alarmist Sally
1998 Deep Impact Andrea Baker
1998 Harvest Agent Becka Anslinger
1999 Getting to Know You Leila Lee
1999 True Crime Michelle Ziegler
1999 Mystery, Alaska Donna Biebe
1999 The Big Tease Monique
2000 Other Voices Anna
2000 The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy Anne
2000 Gun Shy Gloria Minetti-Nesstra
2000 East of A Daphne
2001 BigLove Phoebe Short film
2001 High Heels and Low Lifes Frances
2001 World Traveler Margaret
2001 K-PAX Rachel Powell
2002 Full Frontal Linda
2003 Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Grace Finney
2005 Madison Bonnie McCormick
2006 Right at Your Door Lexi
2006 For Your Consideration Pilgrim Woman
2007 1408 Lily
2009 Streetcar Casting Director Short film
2012 Should've Been Romeo Ellen
2014 Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery Ms. Richards
2015 A Country Called Home Amanda
2016 An American Girl Story – Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas Kay Larkin
2017 The Crash Sarah Schwab
2017 Drone Ellen Wistin
2017 Alien Code Rebecca Stillman
2020 Unpregnant Debra Clarke


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Law & Order Rickie Episode: "Doubles"
1995 The Wright Verdicts Beth Eckhart Episode: "Family Matters"
1995–1997 Murder One Justine Appleton Main role; 41 episodes
1997 Murder One: Diary of a Serial Killer Justine Appleton TV mini-series
2001 More, Patience Patience More TV movie
2002 Julie Lydecker Julie Lydecker TV movie
2003 K Street Maggie Morris Main role; 10 episodes
2003, 2006 ER Debbie Recurring role; 6 episodes
2004 Traffic Carole McKay TV mini-series
Nominated – Prism Award for Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries (2005)
2004–2006 The West Wing Kate Harper Recurring role (season 5); main role (seasons 6–7); 48 episodes
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2005, 2006)
2008 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Deputy US Marshal Mary Shannon Episode: "Contract"
2008–2012 In Plain Sight Deputy US Marshal Mary Shannon Lead role; 61 episodes
Nominated – Prism Award for Performance in a Drama Episode (2009)
2013 Welcome to the Family Caroline Yoder Main role; 5 episodes
2013 Escape from Polygamy Leann TV movie
2014 Scandal Lisa Elliot Episode: "The State of the Union"
2014 The Newsroom Molly 2 episodes
2015 House of Lies Denna Altshuler Recurring role; 7 episodes
2016 Divorce Kathy DeSantis Episode: "Weekend Plans"
2016–2017 Chelsea Herself Recurring role; 8 episodes
2016–2017 Angie Tribeca Abigail Liukin Recurring role; 3 episodes
2017 When We Rise Roberta Kaplan TV mini-series
2017 Loaded Casey Main role; 8 episodes
2018–present 25 Words or Less Herself Recurring guest, also executive producer
2018 Falling Water Taylor Bennett Recurring role; 8 episodes
2018–2019 Will & Grace Janet Adler 2 episodes
2018 For the People Chloe Daniels Episode: "The Library Fountain"
2018–2019 The Kids Are Alright Peggy Cleary Main role, 23 episodes
2019 Into the Dark Lilith Episode: "Treehouse"
2021–present Heels Willie Day 16 episodes[29][30]
As a producer
Year Title Notes
2010 In Plain Sight Episode: "Father Goes West"


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Cabaret Sally Bowles Replacement
2008 Boeing-Boeing Gretchen


  1. ^ a b c "Mary McCormack". Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  2. ^ Mary McCormack Biography (1969-) Film
  3. ^ a b c d Michael A. Lipton (April 7, 1997). "Buddy Mary". Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  4. ^ Mike Householder (November 9, 2012). "GOP Holds on to Michigan Supreme Court Majority". Insurance Journal. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  5. ^ "Bridget M. McCormack, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, Clinical Professor of Law" Archived 2012-09-24 at the Wayback Machine Bio at Michigan Law
  6. ^ Frazier Moore (June 1, 2008). "'In Plain Sight': Mary McCormack relishes chance to play a character with flaws". The Herald. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  7. ^ "Trinity College Alumni Pages Class of 1991". Trinity College. Archived from the original on September 28, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  8. ^ "Mary McCormack talks to female soldiers at Memorial Day concert". Lansing State Journal. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  9. ^ "Mary McCormack | National Memorial Day Concert | PBS". Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2012-02-19). "Mary McCormack Set As The Lead In Kari Lizer's ABC Comedy Pilot". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  11. ^ James Hibberd (February 19, 2012). "'West Wing' actress to star in ABC comedy pilot". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  12. ^ Seidman, Robert (July 28, 2010). "'In Plain Sight' Renewed by USA for Two More Seasons". Archived from the original on August 1, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
  13. ^ James Hibberd (August 11, 2011). "USA cancels In Plain Sight". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  14. ^ Vlada Gelman (February 19, 2012). "Mary McCormack Cast in ABC Comedy Pilot". Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  15. ^ Nominations Tony Awards
  16. ^ A guide to Craig Ferguson’s weirdest traditions you’ll never see on late-night TV again after this year, The Washington Post, 29 April 2014
  17. ^ Mary McCormack – Mother Of The RattleSnake Mug – 7/7 Visits on Youtube
  18. ^
  19. ^ Dawson Bell (September 20, 2012). "West Wing casts reunites for Bridget Mary McCormack". Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  20. ^ Kroll,Justin (29 October 2013). "'The Butler' Producer Sets up Next Pic Starring Frank Grillo and Minnie Driver (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  21. ^ Kroll, Justin (29 October 2013). "'The Butler' Producer Sets up Next Pic Starring Frank Grillo and Minnie Driver (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  22. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 29, 2013). "'The Butler' Producer Sets up Next Pic Starring Frank Grillo and Minnie Driver (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  23. ^ Kroll, Justin (December 2, 2013). "Mary McCormack Joins Ensemble 'Conspiracy on Jekyll Island'". Variety.
  24. ^ "Frank Grillo Tries To Stop An Economic Cyber Attack In Trailer For 'The Crash'". 13 December 2016.
  25. ^ Mason, Charlie (May 10, 2019). "The Kids Are Alright Cancelled at ABC". TVLine. Archived from the original on May 10, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  26. ^ Jordan, Julie (April 22, 2011). "Mary McCormack Expecting Third Child". People.
  27. ^ Jordan, Julie (September 11, 2011). "Mary McCormack Welcomes a Daughter". People. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  28. ^ Brian Gallagher (June 1, 2008). "Mary McCormack and Frederick Weller Dish on In Plain Sight". Movieweb. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  29. ^ Petski, Denise (January 27, 2020). "'Heels': Kelli Berglund Joins Starz's Wrestling Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood.
  30. ^ "Independent Wrestling Drama 'Heels' Sets Series Debut Date on Starz". May 3, 2021.

External links[edit]