Actress Mary Ellen Trainor, an actress best know for her appearances in all four Lethal Weapon as well as several other movies in which she worked with her husband at the time, Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis (they later divorced) has died. Trainor was 62-years-old at the time of her death.
The actress was also well known for her role as a housewife, Mrs. Walsh, in the 1985 film, The Goonies. Trainor, 62, died on May 20 at her California residence in Montecito, close to Santa Barbara. The news of Mary Ellen Trainor’s death spread quickly after it was reported to the media by fellow San Diego State graduate and president of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy.
The actress and Zemeckis were married in 1980. Her debut on the big screen came at the recommendation of Michael Douglas, when she was cast in the vital role of Elaine, the kidnapped sibling of the character played by Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone. She would later collaborate with her sister in Back to the Future Part II.
They also worked together on the 1992 film Death Becomes Her and on the 1994 blockbuster Forrest Gump, which won best picture. The couple called it quits in 2000. In the Lethal Weapon movies, Trainor played the role of Los Angeles Police Department psychiatrist Dr. Stephanie Woods. She teamed with famed director, Richard Donner, on the classic movie The Goonies and in the 1988 comedy Scrooged as well. All together, she appeared in about 30 films.
When she was asked in an interview in 2013 about her favorite memory of working on the set of Goonies, Trainor said that it had to be the hijinks of Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Jonathan Ke Quan, Sean Asten, and Jeff Cohen (the child actors in the movie). She said the kids formed lifetime friendships that Donner encouraged as the director. She also appeared in Ghostbusters II, Grand Canyon, Action Jackson, Little Giants, Executive Decision, Moonlight Mile and Amy’s Orgasm. She played alongside Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsey Lohan in the 2003 remake of Disney’s Freaky Friday and played a TV reporter in the 1988 movie Die Hard. She enjoyed recurring roles on Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, a Fox Sitcom, as well as on the UPN-WB series Roswell and ABC’s dramatic series Relativity.
Trainor, who was called ‘Mare’ by her close friends and family, was raised in San Francisco and was a student at San Diego State University where she met Kennedy as they were both students of broadcast journalism. She was hired as on-air talent at local radio station KSDO and was later an editor at a TV station as well as being a production assistant. She would later serve as assistant producer on 1941, produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Zemeckis.
Trainor is survived by one son, Alex, and Kat, his girlfriend. She also leaves behind her mother, Jane, and her brothers and sisters, Jack, Barbara, Ned, and Carolyn. After information about the death of the 62-year-old Trainor was made public, it was also announced that a memorial service for her has been scheduled for June 19 at 11 a.m. in Montecito, California at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. The family requests that, instead of flowers, all memorials be given to the The Wounded Warrior Project and the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.
By Rick Hope
ABC News: ‘Goonies’ Actress Mary Ellen Trainor Dies: Her Biggest Roles
Fox 8: ‘Lethal Weapon’, ‘The Goonies’ actress Mary Ellen Trainor dies at 62
The Sydney Morning Herald: Lethal Weapon actor Mary Ellen Trainor dies at 62
Photo Courtesy of Ken Daniell’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License