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Then & Now: Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly)

Aug. 10, 2012by: Salacious Crumb

I thought about changing it up this time and looking back on a past-hottie who has turned into an ugly beast. Or maybe I'd discuss Jonathan Taylor Thomas and his vacation from planet Earth. Then I got to thinking about the recent up-in-the-air news Jeff Daniels spit out about the sequel to DUMB AND DUMBER possibly moving forward. While it's obviously not official "news", it got me thinking about how much Jim Carrey has changed, and whether or not it could work, but then I paused. It suddenly struck me that I've never thought about what happened to the angelic Mary Swanson, the woman who unveiled her headlights to be actual headlights in the film. Where did she disappear to? Well, evidently she was hiding right under my nose. Let's catch up with the life of the vibrantly sexy Lauren Holly.

THEN:

This little angel descended from the heavens into Bristol, Pennsylvania, and was raised in Geneva, New York. She was a cheerleader for her school, Geneva High School, and that cheerful spirit led her to bigger things. After earning an undergraduate degree in English, Lauren fled the scene at 20-years-old and got her first acting gig on the cop-drama series "Hill Street Blues". Shortly after that came her first small movie role in the Jennifer Connelly teen-flick SEVEN MINUTES IN HEAVEN. She appeared the next year a little more in the crime-drama BAND OF THE HAND, from the producers of "Miami Vice" (it's as bad as it sounds). She struck gold elsewhere that year though, landing her first regular spot on the badly-lit soap series "All My Children" (a show that's still going after 42 seasons somehow).

                        

She starred as Julie Rand Chandler from 1986 up until 1989 when she decided to break more into the movie business. Of all the vehicles she could've chosen, she got into a vehicle with Andrew Dice Clay in THE ADVENTURES OF FORD FAIRLANE, a raunchy comedy, starring a comedian. There was a big audience for that kind of thing at the time. Neither the plotline nor the jokes are worth a dozen Alf pogs now, but Holly's get-up isn't so bad to stare at while drowning out the white noise.

                                         

But I guess Dice Clay's macho, crude attitude scared little Miss Holly into tying the knot with the most descent guy she knew as soon as possible, and that descent guy happened to be her BAND OF THE HAND co-star Danny Quinn. They married in 1991, then departed in 1993. This is a method of marriage Holly gets pretty comfortable with, if you know what I mean. 

   

Jumping straight to other things, Lauren picked up a hot, love-interest starring role in the cult favorite DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY in 1993. She portrayed Bruce Lee's wife, Linda Lee Cadwell, with her own sexy twist. The film is based on a biography by the widowed Linda Lee, so naturally her character brings much of the movie to life. It was a good thing for Holly to get her face out there so people could get familiarized with the hot cop from that one TV show.

                                            

"Picket Fences" got picked up around the same time as the filming of DRAGON. She landed the role of Officer Maxine Stewart, who was always getting into trouble with her partner, Kenny. It's a prudent assumption that Holly's divorce from cheese-ball Quinn could've jumpstarted her productivity in the early '90's. Her life and career were back at a steady-flowing pace. That was until...   

     

Oh, Mary... Mary Swim? Swammi? Slippy? Slappy? Swenson? Swanson?.. Oh, here it is. Samsonite! I was way off (I knew it started with an "S", though). Has there ever been a female love interest so helplessly out of arms' reach of the protagonist? Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and his misguided infatuation with the beautiful Mary is basically what drives the movie DUMB AND DUMBER. That and the "love triangle" between Harry and the two is what gives the film that sense of reality, and explanation. In other words, without Lauren Holly, there would be no "You can't triple-stamp a double-stamp!", "Kick his ass, Sea Bass!" or "Big Gulps, huh? Alright!" She's as crucial to the story as the unobtainium in AVATAR. Her beauty was as addictive on set as onscreen, and Jim Carrey most definitely had his eye on something precious...  

                  

As most of us are aware, I'm sure, Holly and Carrey hit it off during the making of DUMB AND DUMBER. After dating for a year or two, they got hitched in 1996 and then (big surprise) they got "unhitched' in 1997. The marriage ended quicker than you can say Lemony Snicket, but it didn't slow down Lauren Holly's ambition to put her scrumptious-looking body to work on the silver screen again. She drove the success of her career a bit further with a small part in SABRINA, and then slammed on the breaks with her more distinguishable role in DOWN PERISCOPE.

                                                                           This doesn't bring my periscope down.

Lauren was decisively on a steady path to exposing her more desirable side. First she was the uber-hot Diving Officer, Emily Lake in DOWN PERISCOPE and then stole more hearts in the appropriately titled BEAUTIFUL GIRLS and A SMILE LIKE YOURS. Meanwhile, she was still doing "Picket Fences", and her newfound sexuality was sending a weird message to the show's viewers.

                                          

                                                              Or exactly the right message.

That's just a fantasy sequence a little boy had on the show (a family-friendly program), not to be confused with Lauren's character, Max actually coming onto a minor. So you can feel less guilty about how hot the lady cop in "Picket Fences" just got. You may or may not consider this jumping the shark, but either way, "Picket Fences" came to an end after 88 episodes. I bet you're thinking, "surely Lauren wouldn't use her clear schedule to do some stupid airplane thriller, would she?"

   

Yes, she would, and don't call me "Shirley". Remember when Hollywood went insane in the '90's and decided every movie should be like SPEED or TWISTER. Well, here's a movie that tried to do both. TURBULENCE blended in perfectly with cheesy disaster-action flicks' golden era. No doubt did it put a dent in Lauren's reputation, though. One thing that started to become apparent is the amount of muscle mass she had put on in TURBULENCE. She was still very sexy, but with the short hair, she may have been turning into G.I. JANE. I've lost track of Holly's whereabouts since that movie, and sometimes imagine what transformations her body has gone through since. So to maintain the element of surprise, let's jump forward 15 years to see what's become of Mary Swanson.

NOW:

Holy mackerel! In the words of Harry Dunne, "nice set of hooters you got there", Miss Holly. This really caught me off guard when I first saw it. When did this all happen? Well, apparently, in 2001 Lauren got married once again, this time to financial expert Francis Greco with whom she spawned 3 children. So could this be MILF magic at work? Or is this the handy work of Dr. Nip and Tuck? I was thrown off by the pic above, but many of her other recent photos are also bizarrely drool-enducing.

I must say, I'm very impressed with Lauren's upkeep, especially her fit physique.  I look at her and see Christina Hendricks's sister, or relative cousin or better yet, kissing cousin. Both have ravishing, flamboyant red hair, an exquisite set of cans and a seductive, teethy smile. They should absolutely share a shower together sometime. In the past fifteen years, Lauren has been seen in the bloody good ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, the bloody awful WHAT WOMEN WANT, RAISING FLAGG, DOWN AND DERBY, THE PERFECT AGE OF ROCK 'N' ROLL and many other movies you probably haven't heard of.

                             

I'm aware some of you watch "NCIS" and lucked out on seeing the fully MILFed-out Lauren Holly as Jenny Shepard on the program for 3 years. She still does flashback sequences, and has also made dozens of guest appearances on TV over the past decade. Even if I've seen them, I probably didn't recognize her because no one said "Hey! It's the chick from DUMB AND DUMBER!" And who would think to?

                                         She certainly seems comfortable with her "NCIS" co-star, Pauly Perrette!

Lauren's making something of a comeback in the form of low-budget, straight-to-DVD action-thriller and horror films like FINAL STORM and SCREAM OF THE BANSHEE. I don't mean to say she's not a Hollywood movie actress, but I actually think she fits these movies perfectly. She's got the perfect look for cheesy action flicks with crappy graphics like TURBULENCE. I would consider checking BANSHEE out if it were on Netflix. Otherwise I'm sure SyFy will play it on a rainy day.

     

If that isn't weird enough, did you know Holly was that dirty-talking counselor (to Glenn Howerton) in CRANK 2: HIGH VOLTAGE? I didn't, and I've seen that movie quite a lot. You can tell her voice has aged more than her complexion, being at a deeper, Jessica Rabbit type range.

              

Lauren Holly may be most commonly referred to as Mary Swanson, but she's still out there, walking around town, raising sunflowers and making birds sing. Lauren stays active in the industry, though she doesn't seem to be interested in another starring television role for now. She's very active on Twitter, with a growing number of followers, and she seems often happy and grateful for where she is in life. That's a characteristic I admire very much in anyone. Keep being cool, Mary Samsonite!  

Extra Tidbit: I used to think that Lloyd Christmas lied about his last name in a silly attempt to get Mary interested. Then DUMB AND DUMBERER ruined that for me.

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11:10AM on 10/12/2012
She is just as hot now as she was then.
She is just as hot now as she was then.
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+3
2:48AM on 08/13/2012

Then AND now

are both extremely sexy, as long as her hair is long-
are both extremely sexy, as long as her hair is long-
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12:19PM on 08/11/2012
I remember watching Crank 2 in theaters and I was seriously having a double take because I was trying to figure out who the psychiatrist was. Then only on disc commentary did I find out it was Holly who because of some family friend relation ended up doing the cameo.
I remember watching Crank 2 in theaters and I was seriously having a double take because I was trying to figure out who the psychiatrist was. Then only on disc commentary did I find out it was Holly who because of some family friend relation ended up doing the cameo.
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11:28PM on 08/10/2012
She was so hot back in the day then yet another celebrity who was ruined by too much botox & plastic surgery.
She was so hot back in the day then yet another celebrity who was ruined by too much botox & plastic surgery.
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7:54PM on 08/10/2012
Mrs. Robinson on steroids.
Mrs. Robinson on steroids.
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5:29PM on 08/10/2012
those are some fake-ass boobs. she was nearly perfect in dumb and dumber

that said, she is definitely a MILF
those are some fake-ass boobs. she was nearly perfect in dumb and dumber

that said, she is definitely a MILF
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12:55PM on 08/10/2012

OMG...I love this column!

Lauren is such a babe, then and now! Her dirty talk in CRANK 2 was way too hot.

I hereby nominate this column BEST EVER!
Lauren is such a babe, then and now! Her dirty talk in CRANK 2 was way too hot.

I hereby nominate this column BEST EVER!
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+4
12:43PM on 08/10/2012
I think she's smoking.
I think she's smoking.
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