- 75 years old
- Born Nov 26, 1935
- Died Apr 27, 2011
- Newbury Park, California, United States
Marian Ethel Mercer (November 26, 1935 – April 27, 2011) was an American actress and singer.
Born in Akron, Ohio, she graduated from the University of Michigan, then spent several seasons working in summer stock. She made her Broadway debut in the chorus of the short-lived musical, Greenwillow in 1960. She drew critical notice for her performance in New Faces of 1962, and won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance, and the Theatre World Award for her performance as Marge MacDougall in Promises, Promises(1968). Additional theatre credits include Hay Fever and the short-lived 1978 revival of Stop the World – I Want to Get Off with Sammy Davis, Jr. In 1979 she starred as Deirdre in Bosoms and Neglect.
Mercer was a regular on The Dom DeLuise Show, The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters, The Sandy Duncan Show, A Touch of Grace (starring Tony, Oscar, and Emmy-winning actress Shirley Booth), The Andy Williams Show, and the sitcom It's a Living where she played the humorless restaurant hostess, Nancy Beebe. (Mercer was one of four members of the cast who lasted through the series' network and syndicated runs, the others were Gail Edwards; Paul Kreppel; and Barrie Youngfellow) She also had recurring roles on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, its sequel, Forever Fernwood, St. Elsewhere, and Empty Nest. During the second season of It's a Living, she was reunited with former Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman co-star, Louise Lasser, who played waitress Maggie McBurney.
She made guest appearances on such shows as Love, American Style; Archie Bunker's Place; Mama's Family; Benson; The Golden Girls; Murder, She Wrote; Touched by an Angel; and Suddenly Susan, among many others. She had a featured role in the 1979 television movie The Cracker Factory, which starred Natalie Wood. Her screen credits include Nine to Five where she played Missy Hart, the sweet-natured wife of Franklin Hart (Dabney Coleman). This movie reunited Coleman and Mercer (who played Merle Jeeter and Wanda Rittenhouse Jeeter, respectively, on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and Forever Fernwood).
Mercer was a resident of the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. until shortly before her death on April 27, 2011, from Alzheimer's disease, in Newbury Park, California at the age of 75. She was survived by her second husband, her daughter, Deidre Whitaker, and a sister.