It’s hard to admit that we have to lose some of the brightest and most talented sometimes when it comes to show business, but it’s even harder to think that some folks might not recognize actors such as Mary Pat Gleason these days since she’s been around for some time and yet hasn’t always been the shining star in every production she’s been in. What’s great about Mary though is that she sought to enrich everything she touched and give it just a little more character, a little more class, in her own unique way, and didn’t seek the spotlight at all times as she contributed to the overall effect that a show or a movie would have on people. As those at MovieWeb would likely agree she was the type of actress that enjoyed what she did and loved working with the various people she had the chance to meet and get to know throughout the years. Unfortunately Mary passed away recently after a long battle with cancer, and the acting world is just a little dimmer for it as the loss of any talented individual reminds the lot of us that there is a time and a place when we have to say goodbye. For those that worked with her and knew her best this is a hard time that might require a moment of introspection and remembrance as they do their best to move forward and keep her memory alive. After all, one of the best ways to honor someone that was so invested in their work is to keep pushing forward and remember that the show must go on.
One thing you can certainly say about Mary with great assurance is that she was not an idle person. At the age of 70 she might have been a bit worn down and a little tired, a battle with cancer will do that to pretty much anyone, but she was still the talented actress that many people had had the pleasure to work with for so long. Looking at her filmography it’s obvious that she didn’t want to sit still that often since between movies and TV shows Mary was constantly on the go, taking time here and there to relax and catch her breath but otherwise finding one project after the next to move onto and continue her craft. Some might say that’s the mark of someone looking for a continual payday, but in truth it’s someone that loves what they do, otherwise it might be possible that she would have taken a lot more time off or never come back at one point. Too many people mistake passion for work as just wanting to find another paycheck. It’s true that many people who love what they do also want to get paid, but it’s also just as true that those us lucky enough to enjoy our work come back for the fun of it since we actually enjoy what we’re doing and can’t imagine doing anything else. That appears to have been the case with Mary, who was around long enough to see a great deal of change in the business and to roll along with it as the years passed and the landscape changed in several ways.
Dating back to the 80s her career spanned almost four decades as she took on one role after another, bolstering one show or movie as well as she could and proving to be either a valued extra or a great supporting actress that was highly valued for her comedic and dramatic talents. In a way she played a perfect motherly and grandmotherly role since just looking at Mary one could see that she would likely be perfect for the nurturing and caring roles that some expect and even the slightly loud and overbearing roles that would lean more towards the comedic side and be absolute gold. That kind of versatility is worth a lot more than people tend to think since it opens up a great number of roles for individuals that can cross the line from comedy to drama in such short order that they can prove to be invaluable when they’re absolutely needed. In her own way Mary was perfect when it came to certain roles and was able to help a lot of projects move along. At one point she even became a writer and added her expertise to the writing team of The Guiding Light, where she won her Daytime Emmy Award as part of the team. Obviously this woman had a great deal of talent and was a very wise addition to many a cast, no matter how big her part might have been. Hollywood dims a bit each time a star or valued member is lost, and yet it shines all the brighter when one remembers just what they meant to the fans.