Mariette Hartley

Mariette Hartley

Show Count: 1
Series Count: 0
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Born: June 21, 1940
Old Time Radio, Weston, Fairfield County Connecticut, U.S.

Mary Loretta "Mariette" Hartley (born June 21, 1940) is an American character actress.

Personal life

Hartley was born in Weston in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States, North America, the daughter of Mary Ickes "Polly" (née Watson), a manager and saleswoman, and Paul Hembree Hartley, an account executive. Her maternal grandfather was psychologist John B. Watson (through Watson's daughter from his first marriage), and her maternal grandmother was the sister of politician Harold L. Ickes.

In her 1990 autobiography Breaking the Silence, written with Anne Commire, Hartley talked about her struggles with psychological problems, pointing directly at Watson’s practical application of his theories as the source of the dysfunction in his family. She has also spoken in public about her experience of bipolar disorder and was a founder of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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


Hartley began her career in her teens as a stage actress, coached and mentored by the noted Eva Le Gallienne. Her film career began with Ride the High Country (1962), a western with actors Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea, and directed by Sam Peckinpah. In 1962, she appeared in an episode ofCBS's Gunsmoke as a mountain girl. She was cast in an episode of the Jack Lord adventure/drama series about the rodeo circuit, Stoney Burke. Hartley had a supporting role in Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie in 1964.

In the 1963-64 television season, she appeared in an episode of ABC’s drama about college life, Channing and in two episodes of NBC's The Virginian. In 1963, she was cast as the character Hagar in "The Day of the Misfits" of the ABC western series, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, starring child actor Kurt Russell in the title role. In 1966, she appeared as Polly Dockery in the series finale, "A Burying for Rosey", of ABC's The Legend of Jesse James. She also made three guest appearances on NBC's Bonanza, one in 1965 (“Right is the Fourth R”), another one in 1968 (“The Survivors”), and the last one in 1970 (“Is There any Man Here?”).

With Dennis Weaver in Gunsmoke (1962)

She worked with Rod Serling and Gene Roddenberry, two creators of television science fiction. She first appeared in an episode of The Twilight Zone("The Long Morrow"). She played the character 'Ellie' in episode 118 (1964) of Gunsmoke. She appeared in two episodes of the NBC series Daniel Boone, "Valley of the Sun" in 1968 and as a nun in "An Angel Cried" in 1970. In 1969, she appeared in the penultimate episode of NBC's Star Trek, "All Our Yesterdays". She appeared in several science fiction films, Marooned (1969), Earth II (1971), and the pilot for the post-apocalyptic Genesis II(1973), another Roddenberry production.

On television, she portrayed Dr. Claire Morton on the primetime adaption of ABC's Peyton Place. In 1971, Hartley had a guest appearance with Glenn Corbett on the Gunsmoke episode "Phoenix". In 1974, she guest-starred in the "Moran's the Man" episode of Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers. In 1975, she appeared on McCloud, starring Dennis Weaver entitled "Lady on the Run". In 1978, she appeared in the television series Logan’s Run (based on thefilm of the same name) and in CBS's The Incredible Hulk in two episodes. As Dr. Carolyn Fields, she marries Bill Bixby's character, the alter ego of theHulk; for her performance, Hartley won an Emmy Award. Hartley appears in an episode of M*A*S*H as Dr. Inga Halverson (Series 7, Episode 17, "Inga"). She also co-starred with Bixby in the 1983 situation comedy Goodnight, Beantown. She appeared in two episodes of the NBC mystery seriesColumbo, starring Peter Falk as the rumpled detective. One episode was Try and Catch Me. In 1979, she portrayed the Witch in ABC's holiday telefilmThe Halloween That Almost Wasn't, a.k.a. The Night Dracula Saved The World.

In the 1990s, she toured with Elliott Gould and Doug Wert in the revival of the mystery Deathtrap. She hosted the television documentary series Wild About Animals. 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 played Dorothy Spiller, the mother of Courteney Cox's character on Dirt and is featured as Ceptembre Sage Weller in Shhh ..., a spoof based onThe Secret. Hartley has had a recurring role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Lorna Scarry.


During the late 1970s and into the early 1980s, Hartley appeared with James Garner in a popular series of television commercials advertising Polaroid cameras. The two actors had such on-screen chemistry that it was often (erroneously) believed that they were married in real life. Her biography contains a photo of her in a T-shirt proclaiming: "I am not Jim Rockford's wife"Hartley guest-starred in a memorable episode of Garner’s TV series The Rockford Files during this period. The script required them to kiss at one point. Unknown to them, a paparazzo was photographing the scene from a distance. The photos were run in a tabloid trying to provoke a scandal, causing a good deal of attention. An article that ran in TV Guide was entitled: "That woman is not James Garner’s wife!"

Between 2001 and 2006, Hartley endorsed the See Clearly Method, a commercial eye exercise program, for which sales were ultimately halted by a court, which found that it had been marketed dishonestly.

Source: Wikipedia