Partner Margaret Lindsay

Queer Places:
Calvary Cemetery East Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA

Mary T. McCarty (September 27, 1923 – April 3, 1980) was an American actress, singer, dancer, and comedian perhaps best known for her role as a nurse on the television series Trapper John, M.D. Margaret Lindsay bought a house in the Hollywood Hills with her longtime partner, comedienne Mary McCarthy. If she was seen with a man, it was often Liberace. She appeared in the occasional film through the 1960s, but Hollywood didn't quite know what to do with a glamorous lesbian who refused to play the game.

McCarty was born in Winfield, Kansas in September 1923,[1] but grew up in Los Angeles after her parents divorced and she and her mother went to live with her great-grandmother.[2]

McCarty's versatility as a performer was highlighted in a review in the September 11, 1948, issue of the trade publication Billboard. Reviewer Bill Riley described McCarty as "a versatile, pretty young Ethel Merman-to-be, who can sing a novelty or a torch song, dance a turn ... or act a sketch with the best of them."[3] McCarty began appearing in musical revues in Los Angeles when she was 5 years old.[4] As a youngster, she performed with other child actresses, including Shirley Temple and Jane Withers.[5] Her first screen credit came in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.[6] By 1934 she had appeared in approximately 75 films.[7] Her films as an adult included The French Line (1953),[8] All That Jazz (1979), and Somebody Killed Her Husband (1978).[9] In the era of old-time radio, McCarty starred in the comedy The Redhead (1952),[10] and she was a regular on the variety show This Is Broadway (1949).[10]: 332  On television, in addition to portraying nurse Clara Willoughby on Trapper John, M.D. (1979),[11]: 1104  McCarty was a regular on the variety series Admiral Broadway Revue (1949)[11] and The Arthur Murray Party (1950).[11]: 59  (1950). McCarty's Broadway credits included Anna Christie (1977), Chicago (1975), Irene (1973), Follies (1971), A Rainy Day in Newark (1963), Bless You All (1950), Miss Liberty (1949), Small Wonder (1948), and Sleepy Hollow (1938).[1] She replaced Ethel Merman as the star of the national touring company of Gypsy. Her appearances in regional theatrical productions included Panama Hattie in St. Louis, Missouri.[8] She performed in stage revues as a child. At age 10 she sang in six languages and was "quite an accomplished dancer as well."[7] As an adult, she performed in night clubs, including the Mocambo in West Hollywood, California,[6] the Chase Club in St. Louis, Missouri,[8] and the Flamingo in Las Vegas, Nevada.[12] McCarty's other professional activities included choreographing a production of Man of La Mancha in Israel and teaching at the Herbert Berghof Studio.[13]

“Margaret Lindsay, pictured on the left, “remained stoically true to herself throughout her whole career in movies, never marrying to appease the studio or the public, and maintaining a lively and popular hangout for the closeted lesbians of...
Margaret Lindsay, pictured on the left, “remained stoically true to herself throughout her whole career in movies, never marrying to appease the studio or the public, and maintaining a lively and popular hangout for the closeted lesbians of Hollywood in her and her partner Mary McCarty’s bungalow. Rumoured to have been a long-time lover of Janet Gaynor, pictured on the right. The two appeared together in the film Paddy the Next Best Thing (1933).”

On April 3, 1980, Lindsay found McCarty dead on the floor of her home in West Los Angeles. She was 56.[4] The cause of death remained undetermined after an autopsy, with results of a toxicology awaited.[15] She was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles, California, and was survived by her longtime companion, the actress Margaret Lindsay.

In 1977, McCarty was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her work in Anna Christie.[16] As for ‘’Trapper John, M.D.’’, her role would be supplanted with Madge Sinclair as Nurse Ernestine Shoup.


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