Mary Lawrence, a onetime film and TV actress who later wrote art books and became active in community affairs, died Tuesday at St. John's Medical Center in Santa Monica. She was 73 and died of the complications of pneumonia.
She appeared in such films as "The Stratton Story," "Back Street," "No Man of Her Own" and "State Fair." On television she portrayed Ruth Helm for three seasons (1956-58) on "The Bob Cummings Show" and appeared on "Playhouse 90," "Dragnet," "Climax" and other series.
She was a beginning actress filming the 1938 Harold Lloyd comedy "Professor Beware" when she met and subsequently married the movie's scenarist, Delmer Daves, who went on to a successful writing and producing career. After his death in 1977 she married Texas banker Samuel Doak Young Sr. and moved to El Paso.
After Young's death in 1987 she returned to the Los Angeles area where years earlier she had helped found The Colleagues, a philanthropic group, and was active in the Los Angeles County Museum Costume Council and the Bel-Air Garden Club.
Her art books, "Mother and Child" and "Lovers" were published in 1975 and 1982, respectively. A third, "Children in Art," will be published posthumously.
She is survived by three children and three granddaughters.
A memorial service is scheduled Monday at 11 a.m. at St. Albans Episcopal Church in Westwood.