Mary Ellen Trainor was an American actress who had appeared in more than 45 films and television shows in her twenty-five-year-long acting career. She is best remembered for her role as 'Dr. Stephanie Woods' in the 'Lethal Weapon' film series. She also appeared in the comedy film "The Goonies" written by Steven Spielberg. A well-established character actress, she was much in demand for playing supporting or special roles in the 1980s and 1990s. Her resume includes the hit films ‘Die Hard', ‘Ricochet’, ‘Executive Decision', ‘Forrest Gump,’ and ‘Moonlight Mile,' in which she shared the screen space with prominent stars like Bruce Willis, Denzel Washington, and Tom Hanks. During her acting career, Trainor had also featured in many television shows. She portrayed the popular character of ‘Mrs. Lewis' in ‘Parker Lewis Can't Lose' for three years. She also appeared in the drama series ‘Relativity’ as ‘Eve Lukens' and later featured in ‘Roswell’ as ‘Diane Evans'.
Mary Ellen Trainor started her career in the radio industry in San Diego and San Francisco in California. She entered the show business in 1983 with a role in a television show. Her debut show was ‘Cheers,’ in which she appeared in the episode ‘Father Knows Last,’ portraying ‘Mary.’ Just a year later, Trainor made her debut on the silver screen. Her debut movie role was of ‘Elaine Wilder' in the film ‘Romancing the Stone'.
Her breakthrough role of ‘Mrs. Walsh' came in the adventure comedy film ‘The Goonies' in 1985. The film was based on Steven Spielberg's script and was directed by Richard Donner. Trainor appeared alongside Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, and Kerri Green. She used her allotted screen time very well and managed to get the attention of numerous filmmakers. It took her two more years to get one of the main roles, ‘Dr. Stephanie Woods', in the 1987 action comedy film ‘Lethal Weapon'. Trainor would go on to feature in the next three films of the ‘Lethal Weapon' film series, reprising her role. She featured in the 1988 action thriller film ‘Die Hard' alongside Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman, in a small role. She also featured in popular films like ‘Ghostbusters II' and ‘Ricochet’. She appeared alongside Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal, and Halle Berry in the action thriller film ‘Executive Decision' as ‘Allison’ (one of the flight attendants).
Apart from her endeavors in the film industry, Trainor experienced a fairly successful career in the television industry as well. She portrayed the character of ‘Estelle Becker' in the series ‘Remington Steele' before appearing in shows like ‘Tales from the Crypt', and ‘The Outsiders'. Her first big role on television came in 1990 when she appeared in the teen sitcom ‘Parker Lewis Can't Lose,' where she portrayed the character of ‘Mrs. Lewis' for 16 episodes between 1990 and 1993. In 1996-97, Trainor played the role of ‘Eve Lukens' in the ABC drama series ‘Relativity’ for 17 episodes. In the science fiction television show ‘Roswell’, Trainor featured as ‘Diane Evans' (recurring role). Her last work as an actress was on television, as ‘Elizabeth Lucas,' in the TV movie ‘McBride: Requiem'.
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Family & Personal Life
Mary Ellen Trainor was born on July 8, 1952, in San Francisco, California. She attended San Diego State University to study broadcast journalism.
She married multiple-Academy-Award-winning American director Robert Lee Zemeckis in 1980 and gave birth to their son, Alexander, a few years later. The couple divorced in 2000.
Trainor suffered from pancreatic cancer and died due to complications from the disease in May 2015.