The Don't Cancel Mary Worth Coalition

The organization committed to bringing Mary Worth back to the Washington Post

About the strip

Mary Worth is a newspaper comic strip syndicated by King Features and created by writer Allen Saunders and artist Dale Connor in 1940, under the pseudonym "Dale Allen". The title character, a 60-year-old former teacher and widow of a Wall Street tycoon, lives in the Charterstone Condominium Complex in fictional Santa Royale, California. In this pioneering soap opera-style comic strip, Mary Worth serves as an observer of and advice dispenser for her fellow residents, tackling issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, infidelity, and teen pregnancy. Originally titled Mary Worth's Family, its title was shortened in 1942, at which time artist Ken Ernst succeeded Connor.  The strip is now written by Karen Moy, with artwork by Joe Giella.

Most reference sources state Mary Worth was a continuation of the Depression-era strip Apple Mary, created by Martha Orr in 1932, centering on an old woman who sold apples on the street and offered humble common sense. King Features denies that Mary Worth was a continuation of the earlier strip.

In Summer 2006, Moy's handling of the strip during a plotline in which Mary was stalked by Aldo Kelrast (an anagram of "stalker"), a Captain Kangaroo lookalike who may have killed his late wife, drew media attention.  An intervention staged by Mary and her friends drove Aldo to returning to finding comfort in alcohol, which led to his death in a drunk driving accident where he drove off a cliff. A subsequent plot development is the arrival of Ella Byrd, another elderly dispenser of advice who arouses feelings of jealousy and inadequacy in Mary.

Characters

Mary Worth
Born "about 60 years ago" in Jennings, Ohio, Mary is a graduate of Denison University, a former teacher and the widow of John "Jack" Worth, a Wall Street wizard who left a sensible portfolio providing her with a comfortable but not generous income. Although she once lived in New York City, Mary now makes her home in Santa Royale, Calif., where she is an active volunteer at the local hospital. Thanks to her long occupancy, neighbors consider Mary the "unofficial manager" of The Charterstone Condominium Complex.
Victoria "Toby" Cameron
Mary's close friend and neighbor at Charterstone. Toby is the "thirty-something" second wife of Professor Ian Cameron. Although she is an accomplished artist specializing in miniatures, Toby seems to spend most of her time at Mary's kitchen table, sipping coffee and repeating neighborhood gossip.
Ian Cameron, Ph.D.
Professor of English literature and creative writing at UCSR (University of California at Santa Royale). Beneath his bluster and pomposity this Scottish-born victim of "The Hemingway Complex" is a gentle teddy bear. Ian is the neighborhood "Greeter" and, by his own modest admission, the resident expert on everything.
Jefferson Cory, M.D.
The newest addition to the permanent cast. Jeff hopes (in vain, perhaps) to become Mary's "significant other." The recently widowed former chief of staff of the local hospital describes himself as semi-retired but continues to assist his physician children (daughter Adrian and son Drew), at the family clinic he founded.



 Sources: King Features and Wikipedia

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