The Incredible Hulk
“I know I am associated with television and I can't seem to break that. It seems to be my lot. You could do worse. I could be not working at all!” Mariette Hartley
Mariette Hartley first attracted public attention with her BAFTA nominated turn as the runaway bride on the film “Ride the High Country” (1962). A six-time Emmy nominee, Hartley took home her first nomination for her role in the TV film “The Last Hurrah” (1977) and won the award the following year for the Bill Bixby vehicle “The Incredible Hulk: Married” (1978), where she starred as Dr. Carolyn Fields. Her subsequent nominated performances were in “The Halloween That Almost Wasn't” (1979), “The Rockford Files” (1979), “M.A.D.D.: Mothers Against Drunk Drivers” (1983) and “Goodnight, Beantown” (1983). Hartley also gained attention in the 1980s for her appearance in TV commercials for Polaroid cameras, from which she netted three Clio Awards. More recently, she is known for playing Sister Mary Daniel on the drama series “One Life to Live” (2001) and the recurring role of Lorna Scarry in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2003-2006). In addition to “Ride the High Country” (1962), Hartley has also acted in several other movies, including “The Return of Count Yorga” (1971), “Skyjacked” (1972), “Improper Channels” (1981), “Encino Man” (1992), “Baggage” (2003) and “Novel Romance” (2006).
Hartley wrote a best-selling autobiography called “Breaking the Silence” in 1990. The book shared her private memories as a child in a home ruptured by alcoholism and sadness. She has been a national spokesperson for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and an active supporter for such organizations as the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, SOJOURN, and M.A.D.D. She has received many awards for her dedication to fighting mental illness, including a Humanitarian Award, the PSYCHE Award from the L.A. County Psychological Association and the Larry Stewart Leadership and Inspiration Award from the Entertainment Industries Council.
Hartley has been married twice. She has two children with second husband Patrick Boyriven, whom she was married to from 1978 to 1996.
Lack of Nurture
Childhood and Family:
Mariette Hartley was born Mary Loretta Hartley on June 21, 1940, in Weston, Connecticut, to Paul Hembree Hartley, an account executive and Mary Ickes Hartley, a saleswoman and manager. As the granddaughter of behavioral psychologist John B. Watson, she was raised with the values adopted by her grandfather who taught that children must be trained, not nurtured or touched. The lack of love in her family led Hartley to attempt suicide at age 15. Eight years after the incident, her father shot himself in the head.
A product of a home torn apart by depression and alcoholism, Hartley found salvation in theater. The head of her high school drama department, she received her early training at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before studying with one-time Academy Award-nominated actress Eva LeGalleine at Lucille Lortel's White Barn Theatre and renowned couch John Houseman at the Repertory Stratford.
Hartley was married to John Seventa from 1960 to 1962. She was then married to producer/director Patrick Boyriven from August 13, 1978 to 1996. Hartley and Boyriven have two children, son Sean Paul Boyriven and daughter Justine Emilia Boyriven (born in 1979).
Ride the High Country
Starting out in theater at age 10 in a play called “Alice in Wonderland,” Mariette Hartley joined John Houseman at the Repertory Stratford touring productions of Shakespeare Festival's “A Midsummer Night's Dream” and “A Winter's Tale” in the mid-1950s. After relocating to Los Angeles, the Connecticut native became a member of the UCLA Theater Group, with which she starred in such productions as “To Clothe the Naked,” “Antigone” and “Measure for Measure.” She later netted a Drama-Logue Award for “Trojan Women” and an Ovation nomination for “Enchanted April.”
Hartley received a lead role in director Sam Peckinpah's second movie, “Ride the High Country” (1962), opposite Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea. She was then seen in MGM's “Drums of Africa” (1963), Alfred Hitchcock's thriller “Marnie” (1964), Bobby Darin's “The Vendors” (1969) and John Sturges' “Marooned” (1969, starred Gregory Peck). In addition to film, she guest starred in such hit series as “Gunsmoke,” “The Twilight Zone,” “The Virginian,” “Bonanza,” “Death Valley Days” and “Star Trek,” and during 1965-1966, she collected fans as Claire Morton on the nighttime soap opera “Peyton Place.” She went on to receive notice as Richard Mulligan's wife, Ruth Garrett, on the short-lived comedy series “The Hero” (1966-1967).
Hartley appeared in countless TV shows, including “Love, American Style,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” “Ghost Story,” “Emergency,” “McCloud,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “The Streets of San Francisco” and “M*A*S*H,” and in 1973, she appeared as futuristic heroine Lyra-a in the TV pilot “Genesis II.” Although her part in the pilot gained attention from the press, Hartley did not enjoy her true TV success until she was cast as Dr. Carolyn Fields in the TV film “The Incredible Hulk: Married” (1978), starring Bill Bixby in the title role. Under the direction of Kenneth Johnson, she was handed a 1979 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She also received Emmy nominations for her work in the made-for-TV films “The Last Hurrah” (1977) and “The Halloween That Almost Wasn't” (1979) and in an episode of “The Rockford Files.” Meanwhile, Hartley revisited the big screen in the movies “Barquero” (1970), “The Return of Count Yorga” (1971), “Skyjacked” (1972), “The Magnificent Seven Ride” (1972) and “A Rainy Day” (1978).
The following decade, Hartley further increased her popularity on television thanks largely to her six-year tenure with James Garner on commercials for Polaroid cameras. She resumed her film career by starring with Alan Arkin in the indie-comedy “Improper Channels” (1981), where her portrayal of Diana Martley won a Genie nomination for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress. Two years later, the actress picked up an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Special for her work in the acclaimed TV film “M.A.D.D.: Mothers Against Drunk Drivers” (1983). She received an additional Emmy nomination for her starring role as news reporter Jennifer Barnes in the well-cast, but ill-fated, comedy series “Goodnight, Beantown” (CBS, 1983-1984). A co-host of NBC's “Today Show” in 1980, Hartley took the same duty in 1987 for CBS’ “The Morning Program.” The following year, she teamed up with Robert Downey Jr., Kiefer Sutherland, Bruce Dern and Winona Ryder for the drama film “1969” before returning to the stage in a 1969 production of “King John” at the NYSF Central Park.
1990-1991 saw Hartley play the regular role of Liz McVay on the short-lived soap opera “WIOU.” After the cancellation of the show, she was seen in such TV movies as “Diagnosis Murder” (1992), “Child of Rage” (1992), “Perry Mason: The Case of the Telltale Talk Show Host” (1993), “Falling from the Sky: Flight 174” (1995), the miniseries “Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III” (1994) and the hit comedy film “Encino Man” (1992), starring Sean Astin and Pauly Shore and directed by Les Mayfield. She returned to series TV in a recurring role in the 1998 drama “To Have and To Hold,” which also had a short life. Other TV credits included guest appearances in such shows as “Murder, She Wrote,” “Caroline in the City” and “Twice in a Lifetime.” Hartley was next discovered on stage playing a lead role in the L.A. Production of “The Lion in Winter” (1998).
A guest spot in an episode of “Nash Bridges” was Hartley's opening project in 2000. She went on to serve as a host on the TV show “Healthy Solutions with Mariette Hartley” (2001) and play Sister Mary Daniel in the long-running drama series “One Life to Live” (2001) before taking the recurring of Lorna Scarry on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” a gig she held from 2003 to 2006. While working on the series, she also starred as Emily Wade in the drama film “Baggage” (2003), had a supporting role in the made-for-TV film “Meet the Santas” (2005) and acted alongside Traci Lords, Paul Johansson and Sherilyn Fenn in the 2006 comedy film “Novel Romance.” On the stage, she toured with Len Cariou in the award-winning stage play “Copenhagen” (2001) and won the Broadway Ovation Award for her work in the show. Other recent Broadway credits include “Ancestral Voices,” “Sylvia' and “Cabaret.”
In 2007, Hartley was cast as Audrey in a TV film helmed by Harvey Frost called “Love Is a Four Letter Word” and guest starred as Dorothy Spiller on two episodes of “Dirt,” a drama series starring Courteney Cox as tabloid editor Lucy Spiller and Ian Hart as her insane best-friend photographer. She recently completed filming the drama film “The Inner Circle” (2008), directed and written by Camille Poisson.
Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, “The Incredible Hulk,” For episode “Married,” 1979