Mary McDonnell Net Worth – Career Earnings and Life Bio

Mary McDonnell is an American actress with a successful career spanning film, stage, and television. She gained recognition for her role in the 1990 film “Dances with Wolves,” which earned her an Academy Award nomination. McDonnell began her career on Broadway and has since appeared in numerous notable films, including “Sneakers,” “Independence Day,” and “Donnie Darko.” She has also received accolades for her work in television, winning the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television for her role in “Battlestar Galactica.”

Mary McDonnell’s net worth is estimated to be around $14 million in 2021, with her main source of income being her acting career.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mary McDonnell is a highly accomplished American actress known for her roles in film, stage, and television.
  • She gained recognition for her Academy Award-nominated performance in “Dances with Wolves.”
  • McDonnell has appeared in notable films such as “Sneakers,” “Independence Day,” and “Donnie Darko.”
  • She has won the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television for her role in “Battlestar Galactica.”
  • Mary McDonnell’s net worth is estimated to be around $14 million.

Early Career and Education

Mary McDonnell began her journey in the entertainment industry with a solid foundation in education and a passion for acting. After earning her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia, McDonnell took a significant step towards realizing her dreams.

To further enhance her skills, McDonnell joined the renowned Long Wharf Theatre Company on the East Coast. This experience allowed her to refine her craft and develop a deep understanding of the art of storytelling.

Building on her stage experience, McDonnell made her mark on Broadway, showcasing her talent in notable productions such as “The Heidi Chronicles” and “Summer and Smoke.” Her exceptional performances garnered attention and paved the way for exciting opportunities in film and television.

With her undeniable talent and dedication to her craft, Mary McDonnell quickly became a sought-after actress in the industry. Her journey from the theater to the screen showcases her versatility and ability to captivate audiences across different mediums.

Transition from Stage to Screen

“The stage has always been my first love, but I’ve found a new passion in bringing characters to life on the screen. It’s a different kind of storytelling that allows for a more intimate connection with the audience.” – Mary McDonnell

Mary McDonnell’s transition from stage to screen was seamless, and her talent shone through in each performance. From her early film roles to her iconic television characters, McDonnell’s exceptional range and commitment to her roles have earned her critical acclaim and a devoted fan base.

Through her early career endeavors, McDonnell showed an unwavering dedication to her craft, setting the stage for her continued success in the entertainment industry.

Film and Television Success

Mary McDonnell’s career has been marked by a remarkable range of performances across film and television. Her talent and versatility have been showcased in a variety of projects, earning her critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase. From memorable film roles to award-winning television appearances, McDonnell’s body of work is a testament to her skill and dedication as an actress.


McDonnell’s filmography includes a diverse array of projects that have showcased her ability to inhabit complex and compelling characters. Some of her notable film roles include:

  • Sneakers (1992): McDonnell starred alongside an ensemble cast in this thrilling heist film, delivering a nuanced performance as Liz, a government agent.
  • Independence Day (1996): McDonnell portrayed First Lady Marilyn Whitmore in this blockbuster sci-fi film, which became one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.
  • Grand Canyon (1991): In this critically acclaimed drama, McDonnell played a woman whose chance encounter with a stranger in distress changes her life.
  • Donnie Darko (2001): McDonnell appeared as Rose Darko, the mother of the film’s troubled teenage protagonist, in this cult classic science fiction film.

mary mcdonnell films and TV shows

Television Success and Recognition

In addition to her film work, McDonnell has made a significant impact in the world of television. Her portrayal of President Laura Roslin in the critically acclaimed science fiction series Battlestar Galactica earned her widespread recognition and critical acclaim. McDonnell’s nuanced performance as the resilient and complex leader garnered her the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television, solidifying her status as a powerhouse in the industry.

McDonnell’s success on television extended beyond Battlestar Galactica. Throughout her career, she has been nominated for several prestigious awards, including Primetime Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards. These nominations are a testament to her talent and the impact she has made in the television landscape.


“I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on such a wide range of projects in both film and television. Each role has allowed me to explore different facets of storytelling and challenged me as an actress. It’s been a fulfilling journey, and I’m grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way.” – Mary McDonnell

The next section will delve into Mary McDonnell’s impressive net worth and financial success.

Mary McDonnell’s Net Worth

Mary McDonnell, the talented American actress, has built an impressive net worth over the years. As of 2021, her estimated net worth stands at approximately $14 million. (mary mcdonnell Net Worth)

One of the main contributors to McDonnell’s wealth is her successful acting career. With a versatile range of performances in film, stage, and television, she has earned substantial earnings throughout her journey. Her current per-episode compensation is estimated to be around $125,000. (mary mcdonnell Earnings)

In addition to her acting ventures, McDonnell has also capitalized on lucrative endorsement deals and commercial partnerships, further bolstering her financial standing. These collaborations have allowed her to expand her income streams beyond the silver screen.

It is worth mentioning that McDonnell’s role in the blockbuster film “Independence Day” played a significant role in catapulting her financial success. The movie, which grossed over $800 million worldwide, (mary mcdonnell Net Worth) allowed her to negotiate higher paychecks and solidify her position in the industry.

Overall, Mary McDonnell’s net worth is a testament to her talent, dedication, and success in the entertainment industry. Her diverse range of roles, coupled with strategic partnerships, has undoubtedly contributed to her financial prosperity. (mary mcdonnell Earnings)

mary mcdonnell Net Worth

Personal Life and Relationships

In her personal life, Mary McDonnell has found lasting love and happiness with her husband, actor Randle Mell. The couple tied the knot on September 29, 1984 and has been together ever since. They have built a strong foundation of love and support, navigating the challenges of the entertainment industry side by side.

Together, Mary and Randle have created a beautiful family. They are proud parents to two children, Olivia and Michael, who bring immense joy to their lives. Family is a priority for McDonnell, and she cherishes the moments spent with her loved ones.

Residing in the picturesque Pacific Palisades, California, Mary and her family have found a peaceful haven to call home. Away from the spotlight, they enjoy the serenity and beauty of their surroundings, creating cherished memories together.

In an industry known for its ups and downs, McDonnell and Mell have managed to maintain a strong and enduring partnership. Throughout the years, their marriage has remained rock solid, free from scandals or rumors of extramarital affairs. They have persevered through the challenges that come with their respective careers, supporting each other every step of the way.

Despite their public personas, Mary McDonnell and Randle Mell lead a private personal life. They value their privacy and strive to keep their personal affairs out of the public eye. Instead, they focus on cultivating a loving and harmonious atmosphere within their family.

With a strong foundation of love, respect, and support, Mary McDonnell and Randle Mell exemplify the power of a successful personal and professional partnership.

mary mcdonnell personal life

Personal Life and Relationships
Marital Status Married
Spouse Randle Mell
Wedding Date September 29, 1984
Children Olivia and Michael
Residence Pacific Palisades, California

Mary McDonnell’s Background and Interests

Mary McDonnell, born on April 28, 1952, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, comes from an Irish-American background and deeply appreciates her heritage. Her distinct presence on screen is enhanced by her rich, silky tone of voice. McDonnell is an admirer of renowned actress Vanessa Redgrave and has co-led acting workshops with her husband, Randle Mell. In 1990, she was recognized as one of the “Promising New Actors” by John Willis’ Screen World Vol. 2. Outside of her career, McDonnell finds joy in swimming, a skill she honed as a competitive synchronized swimmer during her youth.

mary mcdonnell background

Body Measurements and Physical Features

Mary McDonnell possesses not only immense talent but also mesmerizing physical features. Standing at a height of 5 feet 6 inches (168 cm) and weighing approximately 125 lbs (57 kg), McDonnell exudes grace and elegance. Her body measurements are reported to be 34-26-32, accentuating her stunning hourglass figure. With captivating blue eyes and radiant red hair, she has a unique and enchanting appearance that captivates audiences.

mary mcdonnell body measurements

Physical Features at a Glance:

  • Bra Size: 34C
  • Height: 5 feet 6 inches (168 cm)
  • Weight: Approximately 125 lbs (57 kg)
  • Body Measurements: 34-26-32
  • Eye Color: Blue
  • Hair Color: Radiant Red

Philanthropy and Humanitarian Efforts

Mary McDonnell is not only a talented actress, but she is also committed to making a difference in the world through her philanthropic efforts and dedication to raising awareness of humanitarian issues. She understands the importance of using her platform to advocate for meaningful change and has actively supported various causes throughout her career.

One of her notable partnerships is with fellow actor Edward James Olmos, with whom she has collaborated to support causes related to the United Nations. Together, they have worked to raise awareness and funds for initiatives aimed at tackling global challenges such as poverty, gender equality, and climate change.

“I believe that as artists, we have a unique opportunity to amplify voices, shed light on important issues, and inspire action. I am passionate about using my influence to make a positive impact and contribute to a better world,”

McDonnell’s philanthropic endeavors extend beyond monetary contributions. She actively participates in events and campaigns that promote social justice, environmental sustainability, and human rights. Through her involvement, she hopes to inspire others to join the cause and create a ripple effect of change.

Recent Philanthropic Initiatives

In recent years, Mary McDonnell has been particularly focused on supporting organizations that empower women and girls. She believes that gender equality is crucial for a just and thriving society and strives to create opportunities for women to succeed in all aspects of life.

Below is a table showcasing some of the recent philanthropic initiatives that Mary McDonnell has been involved in:

Organization Cause Contribution
UN Women Gender equality and women’s empowerment Advocacy, fundraising, and awareness campaigns
Girls Who Code Encouraging girls to pursue careers in technology Donations and mentorship programs
Environmental Defense Fund Environmental conservation and sustainability Advocacy and fundraising events
Human Rights Watch Protecting human rights globally Participation in campaigns and events

Through her involvement in these initiatives, Mary McDonnell continues to make a significant impact in the lives of individuals and communities around the world. Her dedication to philanthropy serves as an inspiration to others, proving that even small actions can create meaningful change.

mary mcdonnell philanthropy

Legacy and Impact in the Entertainment Industry

Mary McDonnell’s talent, dedication, and versatility have made a profound impact on the entertainment industry. With an impressive body of work and numerous accolades, McDonnell has earned her place as a highly respected actress. Her ability to authentically portray complex characters with depth and emotion has resonated with audiences around the world.

McDonnell’s contributions to the film, television, and theater industries have truly enriched the landscape of entertainment. Her remarkable performances have inspired and captivated audiences, leaving a lasting impression that will continue to be felt for generations to come.

As a trailblazer in the entertainment world, Mary McDonnell’s legacy shines brightly. Her talent and dedication have paved the way for other actors and artists to fearlessly pursue their passions. McDonnell’s impact on the industry is undeniable, and her influence will continue to shape the future of entertainment.


What is Mary McDonnell’s net worth?

Mary McDonnell’s net worth is estimated to be around million in 2021.

What is Mary McDonnell’s career background?

Mary McDonnell is an American actress with a successful career spanning film, stage, and television.

What are some notable films and TV shows Mary McDonnell has appeared in?

Mary McDonnell has appeared in films such as “Dances with Wolves,” “Sneakers,” “Independence Day,” and “Donnie Darko.” She is also known for her role as President Laura Roslin in the TV series “Battlestar Galactica.”

How much is Mary McDonnell’s per-episode compensation?

Mary McDonnell’s current per-episode compensation is estimated to be approximately 5,000.

What is Mary McDonnell’s personal life like?

Mary McDonnell has been married to actor Randle Mell since September 29, 1984. They have two children together and reside in Pacific Palisades, California.

What are Mary McDonnell’s body measurements?

Mary McDonnell stands at a height of 5 feet 6 inches (168 cm) and weighs approximately 125 lbs (57 kg). Her body measurements are reported to be 34-26-32, with a bra size of 34C.

What philanthropic efforts has Mary McDonnell been involved in?

Mary McDonnell has partnered with fellow actor Edward James Olmos to support various causes, including those related to the United Nations.

What is Mary McDonnell’s impact on the entertainment industry?

Mary McDonnell’s talent, dedication, and versatility have left a lasting impact on the entertainment industry. Her impressive body of work and numerous accolades have solidified her as a highly respected actress.

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