Comic Actress Marian Mercer Dies at 75

Veteran of TV, film and stage won a Tony for "Promises, Promises."

Marian Mercer, a comic actress whose five-decade career on film, TV and the stage including a 1969 Tony Award-winning performance in the original production of the musical Promises, Promises, has died. She was 75.

Mercer died April 27 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease in Newbury Park, Calif., her husband, Patrick Hogan, told The New York Times.

For nine seasons in the 1980s, the 5-foot-9 blonde played hostess Nancy Beebe on It’s a Living/Making a Living, an ABC and syndicated sitcom that followed the lives of waitresses working at a fancy rooftop restaurant in Los Angeles. She also appeared in the film and TV versions of Nine to Five.

Mercer had other regular stints on such TV shows as Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, St. Elsewhere and Home Free and appeared on Archie Bucker’s Place, Foot in the Door, A Touch of Grace and The Sandy Duncan Show among many other appearances.

Mercer won the Tony for best featured actress in a musical for her portrayal of Marge MacDougall, a pickup girl at Clancy’s Lounge who tries to maneuver herself into Jerry Orbach's apartment.

Mercer also starred opposite Sammy Davis Jr. in the 1978 Broadway production of Stop the World — I Want to Get Off, playing four different women.

A native of Akron, Ohio, Mercer got her big break in 1961 when she took over the title role in off-Broadway’s Little Mary Sunshine.

In addition to her husband, survivors include her sister Marjorie and a daughter, Deidre.