Former agent to the stars Mary Harris has died, aged 89.
The Glen Eden resident married five times and was consequently known by a number of surnames.
But to many she was always Mary Throll, the Glaswegian born vocalist who lived a colourful life on and off the stage where she first appeared as a child vaudeville performer during the Great Depression.
Mary outlined her story in the 2004 autobiography, The Scottish Nightingale - a warts and all account of her struggle to rise above a tumultuous private life that started in humble Scottish surrounds
It was in Auckland as a 31 year old migrant that she started the theatrical agency, Fullers Entertainment Bureau, in 1954.
She worked with a who's who of the Kiwi entertainment industry - including acts like musician Peter Posa, magician Jon Zealando, kids' favourite Crunchy the Clown ( aka Greg Newberry), singer Lou Clauson, broadcaster Merv Smith, cabaret act Diamond Lil, crooner Eddie Low and country duo the Topp Twins.
She also continue with her own musical career, teaming up with Ray Brooks and a young Gray Bartlett to form the Mary Fuller trio during the early 1960s.
Mary was an entrepreneur who co-founded, with former husband George Carlsen, the North Shore based Tiffany's night club and launched the short-lived Variety magazine which was aimed at the entertainment sector.
Her personal life was married by several tragedies including the death of her first born son as an infant and the suicide of a second son imprisoned and diagnosed as a schizophrenic after a fatal double stabbing in Sydney during the early 1970s.
The loss of a grandson in a road crash added to her woes and her health suffered as a result.
Mary was a member of the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand and received its prestigious Benny Award in 1993 - an acknowledgement of her lifetime of service.
She is survived by her husband Leslie and two children.
A service will be held at the Morrison Funeral home in Henderson on Thursday at 12.30pm.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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