Mary Ellen Trainor, who appeared a number of big films in the 1980s and ’90s including all four Lethal Weapon pics, has died. She was 62. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, a longtime friend and college classmate, confirmed that Trainor died May 20 at home in Montecito, CA.
After making her screen debut in a Season 1 episode of Cheers, Trainor was cast in the 1984 Michael Douglas-Kathleen Turner pic Romancing The Stone. The action-adventure romp was helmed by Trainor’s then-husband Robert Zemeckis, and she later would appear in three more of his films — Back To The Future II, Death Becomes Her and Forrest Gump — before their 2000 divorce. During that stretch, Trainor appeared in a slew of movies including The Goonies, The Monster Squad, Die Hard, Ghostbusters II, Action Jackson — starring her fellow San Diego State alum Carl Weathers — Scrooged and all four Lethal Weapon films as psychologist Stephanie Woods.
The San Francisco native also made her mark on the small screen. She was a regular on the 1996-97 ABC drama Relativity and recurred on Fox’s Roswell and Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, playing the title character’s mom on the final two seasons of the latter. She also was a mother in The Goonies and Monster Squad. Other TV credits include Remington Steele, Crazy Like A Fox and Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories.
Trainor also starred in a holiday-themed fan-favorite episode of the HBO horror anthology Tales From The Crypt. In the first episode to adapt a story from the truly creepy 1972 movie, Trainor played a woman who has offed her husband — with a hearty “Merry Christmas, you son of a bitch” — when Santa Claus comes to the door. But she knows him to be in reality a psychotic killer who has just escaped from an asylum. Of course, she can’t call the cops, having plunged a fireplace poker into her spouse’s melon. But leave it to her cute little daughter — who just can’t resist letting Santa in the house.
Trainor continued to work through the ’90s and into the 2000s, appearing in such films as Little Giants, Congo, Anywhere But Here, Moonlight Mile and Freaky Friday.
Survivors include her son Alex and siblings Ned, Jack, Barbara and Carolyn. A memorial service is set for 11 AM on June 19 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Montecito.