elcome to Mary McDonnell Vault, your online resource dedicated to actress Mary McDonnell. You better know Mary for her role as Captain Sharon Raydor for the TNT crime series The Closer & Major Crimes. But she also did others like Battlestar Galactica, Independence Day, Donnie Darko, Dances with Wolves, Sneakers and many others. Site is comprehensive of a big photogallery with events, photoshoots, magazines, stills, an extensive press library to collect all the articles and interviews on her and a video gallery section for recorded interviews, sneak peeks and trailers of her projects. We claim no rights to know her personally and it's absolutely respectful of her privacy and paparazzi-free!!!

Profile | Mary McDonnell: ‘Closer’ spinoff yields a meatier role

Nancy Mills

August 27, 2012

Article taken from The Columbus Dispatch

When Mary McDonnell first appeared on The Closer three years ago, her character, Capt. Sharon Raydor of internal affairs, had one simple job — and not a nice one.

“My sole purpose was to be a thorn in Brenda Leigh Johnson’s side,” McDonnell said.

That series, starring Kyra Sedgwick, ended on Aug. 13.On its Monday spinoff, Major Crimes, Capt. Raydor is the leading character.

McDonnell has a knack for playing unsympathetic roles: In Dances With Wolves (1990), for which she received an Academy Award nomination as supporting actress, her character was aptly named Stands With a Fist. On Battlestar Galactica (2004-09), she played the tough president, Laura Roslin, who had to deal with breast cancer while trying to save the human race.

“I’ve never avoided unsympathetic roles,” the 60-year-old actress said.

“We are in the age of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It’s very important that we get used to seeing women in the top-dog position. Young girls need to see it, men need to see it, and women need to do it.”

On Major Crimes, Raydor, who has left Internal Affairs, is in charge of the renamed Major Crimes squad room.

The Closer centered around Brenda,” McDonnell said. “She had a genius for being able to elicit a confession. My job was to get her to stop doing things in a way that would cost so much money.

“On Major Crimes, the confession is there, quite often, but it’s not the centerpiece of solving the crime. We don’t have ‘a closer.’  ”

Instead, they have the plea bargain.

“What’s wonderful about the show is that it addresses the policies of the day,” McDonnell said. “ Plea bargaining is part of the fabric of the new world. The ultimate goal . . . is getting bad people off the street.”

Major Crimes offers McDonnell the chance to turn Raydor into a three-dimensional character.

The Closer didn’t explore Sharon’s workplace, the people who worked under her or what kind of boss she was,” she said. “That’s a very limited view of a person.”

McDonnell grew up in Ithaca, N.Y., in a house that was rarely less than chaotic but that brought out the best in her.

“I was raised in a family of five sisters and eventually a brother,” she said. “As girls, we were taught we could do anything, and that is ingrained in me.

“I was an athlete as a child, a competitive swimmer,” she added. “I had a lot of good, solid training in a competitive male world.”

She didn’t consider acting until she enrolled at State University of New York-Fredonia, and even then it wasn’t her idea.

“My family thought I was dramatic,” McDonnell recalled, “but sports people and the drama department were very different cliques. When I was choosing courses for college, my father said, ‘ Why not take “Introduction to Theater”?’  ”

She followed his advice and never looked back.

After graduation, McDonnell moved to New York. While looking for acting work, she supported herself by selling Fuller brushes door to door in Rockefeller Center.

In the classic struggling-actress tradition, she also worked as a waitress.

The stage was her road to success. In 1978, she played the lead in Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child. Starring roles inStill Life (1980) and The Heidi Chronicles (1989) followed.

The actress, who is married to actor Randle Mell, also took some time off to raise two children: 25-year-old Olivia, a singer and an actress; and 19-year-old Michael.Motherhood slowed her career, but she insisted she has no regrets.

“Being a parent has been one of the great joys of my life.”

Script developed by Never Enough Design