‘Goonies’ mom dies: Mary Ellen Trainor

Published: June 9, 2015

‘Goonies’ mom dies: Mary Ellen Trainor, Actress and philanthropist Mary Ellen Trainor, who appeared in every “Lethal Weapon” film and played the mother in “Goonies,” died at her home in Montecito, Calif., on May 20. She was 62.

The San Francisco-born Trainor moved in 1980 to Los Angeles, where she married director Robert Zemeckis and discovered her calling as an actress. She started a career in television and film, beginning with the role of Elaine in “Romancing the Stone” and Mrs. Walsh in “The Goonies.” She also appeared in all four “Lethal Weapon” movies, “Die Hard,” “Scrooged,” “Ghostbusters II,” “Back to the Future Part II,” “Forrest Gump,” the 2003 “Freaky Friday” and racked up scores of television appearances, including leading roles in “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose” and “Relativity.”

While studying broadcast journalism at San Diego State, she was discovered by a radio station manager and asked to be an on-air personality for KSDO. She soon earned a position at KCBS as station editor, paving the way for a career in entertainment.

She and Zemeckis divorced in 2000. She supported dozens of causes, from education and disaster relief to cancer research and safe water for developing countries.

She is survived by her son, Alex; her mother, Jane; and siblings Ned, Jack, Barbara and Carolyn.

A memorial service will take place June 19 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 1300 E. Valley Road, Montecito, CA.

Donations may be made to Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and Wounded Warriors.


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