Mary Catherine McCormack
February 8, 1969
Plainfield, New Jersey, U.S.
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut (BA, Comparative Arts, 1991)|
|Relatives||Bridget Mary McCormack (sister)|
Will McCormack (brother)
Mary Catherine McCormack (born February 8, 1969) is an American actress. She has had leading roles as Justine Appleton in the series Murder One (1995-97), as Deputy National Security Adviser Kate Harper in The West Wing (2004-06), as Mary Shannon in In Plain Sight (2008-12), and as Peggy in the comedy series The Kids Are Alright (2018-19).
McCormack was born in Plainfield, New Jersey. She is the daughter of clinical therapist Norah and car dealership and ice cream parlor owner William McCormack. Her parents divorced in 1990. Her sister Bridget is the Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and a former professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School. Her brother William is an actor, writer and producer who has appeared in a recurring role as FBI agent Robert O'Connor on In Plain Sight.
In 1987, McCormack graduated from the Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison, New Jersey. In 1991, she received her BA in comparative arts, specifically painting and creative writing, from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
McCormack began her acting career at age 12, performing in Gian Carlo Menotti's Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors. She continued her stage work in musicals and finished an acting program at the William Esper Studio. She has worked in New York theater productions, including The Atlantic Theater Company, Alice's 4th Floor, and Naked Angels, where she appeared in Jon Robin Baitz's A Fair Country.
McCormack portrayed Justine Appleton on Murder One (1995–1997) and also starred in the HBO series K Street, which aired for only ten episodes. She starred in Howard Stern's movie Private Parts in 1997. In 2004, McCormack joined the cast of The West Wing as Deputy National Security Advisor and ex-CIA officer Kate Harper. Her character soon became a recurring role and remained throughout the last three seasons until the series finale.
McCormack starred in the USA Network series In Plain Sight. She portrayed Mary Shannon, a deputy United States marshal attached to the Albuquerque, New Mexico, office of the Federal Witness Security Program (WITSEC), more commonly known as the Federal Witness Protection Program. On July 28, 2010, the show was renewed for its fourth and fifth seasons, to run in 2011 and 2012. The show was ended in 2011, making the fifth season its last. After its end, McCormack was cast as the lead in Kari Lizer's untitled comedy pilot on ABC.
McCormack was nominated for the 2008 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for the role of Gretchen in the 2008 Broadway revival of Boeing Boeing.
In 2012, McCormack reunited with the cast of The West Wing to film a video that served both as a reminder that U.S. voters should vote for non-partisan candidates when they cast their ballots and as a video promoting McCormack's sister's ultimately successful judicial candidacy for the Michigan State Supreme Court.
In October 2013, McCormack started filming scenes for A Conspiracy on Jekyll Island alongside Frank Grillo, AnnaSophia Robb, Minnie Driver, Dianna Agron, John Leguizamo, Ed Westwick, Christopher McDonald and Maggie Q. The film is directed by Aram Rappaport and produced by Hilary Shor, Atit Shah and Aaron Becker.Jekyll Island is set to release in 2016.
In 2016, McCormack played a supporting role in the Amazon.com exclusive special An American Girl Story - Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas alongside Alyvia Alyn Lind, who played the title character.
Beginning in 2018, McCormack began starring in the ABC sitcom The Kids Are Alright as Catholic family matriarch Peggy Cleary.
McCormack and Morris are executive producers of the game show 25 Words or Less, hosted by Meredith Vieira. McCormack is also a frequent celebrity panelist on the show, as are fellow executive producers Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky.
|1994||Miracle on 34th Street||Myrna Foy|
|1997||Colin Fitz Lives!||Moira|
|1997||Private Parts||Alison Stern|
|1997||Fathers' Day||Virginia Farrell||Uncredited|
|1998||Deep Impact||Andrea Baker|
|1998||Harvest||Agent Becka Anslinger|
|1999||Getting to Know You||Leila Lee|
|1999||True Crime||Michelle Ziegler|
|1999||Mystery, Alaska||Donna Biebe|
|1999||The Big Tease||Monique|
|2000||The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy||Anne|
|2000||Gun Shy||Gloria Minetti Nesstra|
|2000||East of A||Daphne|
|2001||High Heels and Low Lifes||Frances|
|2003||Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star||Grace Finney|
|2006||Right at Your Door||Lexi|
|2006||For Your Consideration||Pilgrim Woman|
|2009||Streetcar||Casting Director||Short film|
|2012||Should've Been Romeo||Ellen|
|2014||Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery||Ms. Richards|
|2016||An American Girl Story - Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas||Kay Larkin|
|2017||The Crash||Sarah Schwab|
|2017||Alien Code||Rebecca Stillman|
|1994||Law & Order||Rickie||Episode: "Doubles"|
|1995||The Wright Verdicts||Beth Eckhart||Episode: "Family Matters"|
|1995-1997||Murder One||Justine Appleton||Main role; 41 episodes|
|1997||Murder One: Diary of a Serial Killer||Justine Appleton||TV Mini-Series|
|2001||More, Patience||Patience More||TV movie|
|2002||Julie Lydecker||Julie Lydecker||TV movie|
|2003||K Street||Maggie Morris||Main role; 10 episodes|
|2003, 2006||ER||Debbie||Recurring role; 6 episodes|
|2004||Traffic||Carole McKay||TV Mini-Series
Nominated - Prism Award for Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries (2005)
|2004-2006||The West Wing||Kate Harper||Recurring role (season 5); main role (seasons 6-7); 48 episodes
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2005, 2006)
|2008||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Mary Shannon||Episode: "Contract"|
|2008-2012||In Plain Sight||Mary Shannon||Lead role; 61 episodes
Nominated - Prism Award for Performance in a Drama Episode (2009)
|2013||Welcome to the Family||Caroline Yoder||Main role; 5 episodes|
|2013||Escape from Polygamy||Leann||TV movie|
|2014||The Newsroom||Molly||2 episodes|
|2015||House of Lies||Denna Altshuler||Recurring role; 7 episodes|
|2016||Divorce||Kathy DeSantis||Episode: "Weekend Plans"|
|2016-2017||Chelsea||Herself||Recurring role; 8 episodes|
|2016-2017||Angie Tribeca||Abigail Liukin||Recurring role; 3 episodes|
|2017||When We Rise||Roberta Kaplan||TV Mini-Series|
|2017||Loaded||Casey||Main role; 8 episodes|
|2018-present||25 Words or Less||Herself||Recurring guest, also executive producer|
|2018||Falling Water||Taylor Bennett||Recurring role; 8 episodes|
|2018-2019||Will & Grace||Janet Adler||2 episodes|
|2018||For the People||Chloe Daniels||1 episode|
|2018-2019||The Kids Are Alright||Peggy Cleary||Main role, 23 episodes|
|2019||Into the Dark||Lilith||Episode: Treehouse|