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Marian Mercer
Marian Mercer

Marian Mercer in 1980's photo

Vital information
Birthname: Marian Ethel Mercer
Born: (1935-11-26)November 26, 1935
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, U.S.
Died April 27, 2011(2011-04-27) (aged 75)
Death Location Newbury Park, California, U.S.
Career information
Years active: 1969-2000
Family/Personal information
Spouse(s): Martin Cassidy (?–?; divorced)
Patrick Hogan (19??–2011; her death) (1 child)
Series connection
Appeared on/Involved with: The Golden Girls
Empty Nest
Characer/appeared as: Magda Yitchinson / Ursula Dietz
Episodes appeared in: "Sisters and Other Strangers" (The Golden Girls Season 5)
"The Unimportance of Being Charley" (Empty Nest, Season 4)
"My Mother, My Self" (Empty Nest, Season 5)
"Love a la Mode" (Empty Nest, Season 6)


Marian Ethel Mercer (November 26, 1935 – April 27, 2011) was an actress and singer. Marian made a guest appearance on The Golden Girls as Magda Yitchinson, Stanley's Czechoslovakian cousin who visits Dorothy and the girls in the Season 5 episode "Sisters and Other Strangers". She also appeared in the recurring role of Ursula Dietz in three episodes of Empty Nest, "The Unimportance of Being Charley" in Season 4, "My Mother, My Self" in Season 5, and "Love a la Mode" in Season 6.

Born in Akron, Ohio, she graduated from the University of Michigan, then spent several seasons working in summer stock theatre. She made her Broadway theatre 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 ABC-TV/syndicated sitcom It's a Living[1] where she played the 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.

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 made-for-TV 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 misanthropic corporate executive Franklin Hart (Dabney Coleman).

Marian had been reunited with two former co-stars of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (in which she played Wanda Rittenhouse Jeeter) in two separate projects. She was reunited first with Dabney Coleman (he had played Merle Jeeter) in the movie Nine to Five; and then with Louise Lasser (who played Mary) on It's A Living when she played Nancy's employee, waitress Maggie McBurney.

Mercer was a resident of the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.[2] until shortly before her death on April 27, 2011, from Alzheimer's disease, in Newbury Park, California at the age of 75.[3] She was survived by her second husband, her daughter, Deidre Whitaker, and a sister.

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