(written from a Production point of view)
Born Mary Loretta Hartley in Weston, Connecticut, Hartley studied with acting legend John Houseman at the Repertory Stratford and with Oscar-nominated actress Eva Le Gallienne at Lucille Lortel's White Barn Theatre. Afterward, Hartley initially struggled to acquire work, but was ultimately cast in Sam Peckinpah's Western film Ride the High Country, which co-starred future TNG guest actor John Anderson. Her career took off, and more roles began to pour in, not just for films, but for television as well.
On film, Hartley went on to co-star in Alfred Hitchcock's 1964 thriller Marnie (with Meg Wyllie), John Sturges' science fiction drama Marooned (1969, co-starring Nancy Kovack), the 1972 thriller Skyjacked (with John Fiedler), The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1972, co-starring Ed Lauter, William Lucking, and James B. Sikking), 1988 war drama 1969 (co-starring Joanna Cassidy), and the popular 1992 comedy Encino Man (with Erick Avari), among a few others. However, Hartley's greatest success was undoubtedly on television, where she has accumulated over 100 credits.
Early in her career, Hartley made guest appearances on such popular TV westerns as Gunsmoke, The Virginian, Death Valley Days, and Bonanza. In 1964, she appeared in the episode of The Twilight Zone entitled "The Long Morrow" along with Robert Lansing. During the 1965-66 TV season, she was a regular on the soap opera Peyton Place, and from 1966 through '67, she starred with Richard Mulligan in the short-lived sitcom The Hero. In 1971, Hartley co-starred with Gary Lockwood in an unsold pilot for a sci-fi series entitled Earth II. And in 1973, four years after her appearance on Star Trek, that show's creator, Gene Roddenberry, had Hartley cast in yet another pilot for a planned sci-fi series, this one entitled Genesis II and co-starring fellow TOS alumni Majel Barrett, Ted Cassidy and Percy Rodriguez. Unfortunately, this series did not sell either. (In a humorous reference to the fact that Hartley was forbidden by the network censors to show her belly button on Star Trek, Roddenberry gave her two belly buttons for Genesis II.)
Hartley continued with her TV career, appearing on The Bob Newhart Show, The Streets of San Francisco (two episodes, one with Robert Foxworth, another with Clint Howard), Barnaby Jones (starring Lee Meriwether and also guest-starring Teri Garr and William Sargent), McCloud (starring Diana Muldaur and Ken Lynch), Little House on the Prairie, and M*A*S*H (with David Ogden Stiers), among others. In 1977, she appeared (along with Arthur Batanides, Robert Brown, Stewart Moss, Bill Quinn, and James B. Sikking) in the TV movie The Last Hurrah, receiving her first Emmy Award nomination. A guest starring role in the first episode of the second season of The Incredible Hulk the following year earned her a second Emmy nomination and her first win. A 1979 appearance on The Rockford Files also earned her an Emmy Award nomination, as well as some unwanted press, as her shared kiss with co-star James Garner was photographed and sensationalized by the tabloids. This led to the rumor that Hartley and Garner were a couple, a rumor initially fueled by their earlier chemistry in a series of Polaroid commercials.
Hartley also received Emmy nominations for her performance in the thirty-minute TV special The Halloween That Almost Wasn't (co-starring Henry Gibson and John Schuck) and for her starring role in the 1983 TV drama M.A.D.D.: Mothers Against Drunk Driving (with Nicholas Coster, David Huddleston, William Lucking, Bert Remsen, and John Rubinstein). She earned yet another Emmy nomination for her role on the short-lived series Goodnight, Beantown. She also played in "Big Jesse" in Cimarron Strip in 1967.
From 1990 through 1991, Hartley co-starred with Wallace Langham, Phil Morris, Eric Pierpoint, and Harris Yulin on the drama series W.I.O.U. Later TV credits include guest spots on Murder, She Wrote, Caroline in the City, Nash Bridges, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NCIS and Dirt.
Other Trek connections
Additional projects in which Hartley worked with other Star Trek alumni include:
- The F.B.I. episode "The Impersonator" (1970) with Marj Dusay and Charles Macauley
- Gunsmoke episode "Phoenix" (1971) with Glenn Corbett
- Cade's County episode "The Armageddon Contract" (1971) with William Shatner
- Gunsmoke episode "The Judgement" (1972) with William Windom
- The F.B.I. episode "The Double Play" (1973) with Robert Foxworth
- Rainy Day (1978 film) with Don Keefer
- One Terrific Guy (1986 TV movie) with Laurence Luckinbill
- Passion and Paradise (1989 TV movie) with Gwynyth Walsh