Stuart, Mary 1926-2002
STUART, Mary 1926-2002
Born 1926, in Miami, FL; died of complications from a stroke February 28, 2002, in New York, NY; daughter of Guy M. and Mary (Stuart) Houchins; married Richard Krolik, August 1, 1951 (divorced); married Wolfgang Neumann, 1986; children (first marriage): Cynthia, Jeffrey. Religion: Episcopalian.
Actor and vocalist. Appeared in leading roles in Search for Tomorrow, NBC, 1951-86; continuing role as Meta in Guiding Light, 1996-2002; songwriter and singer under contract with Columbia Records, 1956, and Bell Records, 1973; New York BookPALS, founder and president, 1992-2002.
Screen Actors Guild, Actors Equity, AFTRA, ASCAP.
Emmy Award, 1962; inducted into Soap Opera Hall of Fame, 1995.
Both of Me, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1980.
Also author of teleplay When Squirrels Fly, produced for Canadian television, 1982.
Mary Stuart was a well-known actor in television soap operas. Onscreen beginning in 1946, she appeared in the films No Leave, No Love; This Time for Keeps; The Hucksters; Dark Delusions; Good News; Adventures of Don Juan; The Big Punch; The Girl from Jones Beach; Thunderhoof; Caribou Trail; Henry the Rainmaker; and Father Makes Good; as well as the soap operas Search for Tomorrow and Guiding Light. She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award four times and was inducted into the Soap Opera Hall of Fame in 1995.
Stuart was born in Miami, Florida, and began her career as an eighteen-year-old "camera girl" at the Hotel Roosevelt in New York City, where she took photographs of couples dancing to big-band music. She was discovered by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) producer Joe Pasternak, who liked the way Stuart looked and offered her a screen test. She did so well on the screen test that she got a contract with MGM, beginning a lifelong acting career.
Stuart appeared in over twenty feature films for major studios. In September of 1951, she was cast in the leading role in the soap opera Search for Tomorrow, and continued acting in the show until it was canceled in 1986. In 1996, she was cast as Meta in the soap opera Guiding Light.
In 1980, Stuart published the autobiography Both of Me, which describes her career as an actor as well as her lesser-known life as a wife, mother, friend, and lover. In Kirkus Reviews, a contributor wrote that fans of Search for Tomorrow would "probably eat up every word" of the book, and in Publishers Weekly, a reviewer commented that BothofMe "looks like a bestseller."
In 1992, Stuart founded New York BookPALS, a program in which members of the Screen Actors Guild read books to children in New York City public schools. She died in New York City on February 28, 2002, of complications from a stroke.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 1980, review of Both of Me, p. 901.
Library Journal, September 1, 1980, Susan Beth Pfeffer, review of Both of Me, p. 1728.
Publishers Weekly, July 4, 1980, review of Both of Me, p. 82.
Back Stage, March 15, 2002, p. 49.
Broadcasting and Cable, March 11, 2002, p. 50.
Daily Variety, March 5, 2002, p. 34.
Variety, March 11, 2002, p. 51.*