Susan Dey in Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night

In 1977, Susan Dey starred in one of her most popular and enduring movies, Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night. The CBS made-for-TV movie was a frank exploration of child abuse and is widely credited as the first television project to tackle the subject in such a forthright manner. Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night was written by Joanna Lee, a veteran Hollywood writer who turned to hot-button social issues and tearjerker subject matter in the late-'70s. Joanna Lee also scripted Cage Without a Key, Susan Dey's first TV movie.

In a breakthrough role for her, Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night starred Susan Dey in the role of Rowena Harper, an abusive mother. The movie also featured a number of other veteran actors, all perhaps excited to appear in a semi-controversial project. Kevin McCarthy and Priscilla Pointer play Rowena's parents. Tricia O'Neil plays the concerned physician, Bernie Casey the concerned social worker. John Vernon appears as a hospital administrator who tries to downplay the obvious abuse of a child. Future Cheers star Rhea Perlman also has a smaller role in the film.

Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night, like many similar 'big' TV movies which made a lasting impact on viewers, has never been released on VHS or DVD. It seems odd because this is a movie that many people remember and want to see again. Whether it is because of the subject matter or the performers, this seems like a movie that would sell quite a few copies if it were released. But what do I know....

Here are some promotional images of Susan Dey and Natasha Ryan for Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night:

And a newspaper clipping:

Advertisement for a rebroadcast of Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night from The Modesto Bee (August 20, 1978)

Image from a preview advertisement for Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night

Here are some pictures of Susan Dey in Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night:

Susan Dey and Kevin McCarthy

Susan Dey in miscellaneous L.A. Law pics

As some of you may know, Susan Dey played Grace Van Owen for six seasons on the iconic legal drama/comedy TV show L.A. Law. I just thought that would include some random images of L.A. Law-era Susan Dey for everyone to see. Also, take a look at the L.A. Law page included here for more pictures.

Susan Dey is Grace Van Owen

Susan Dey on L.A. Law with co-star Larry Drake

Susan Dey on L.A. Law with guest star Lew Ayers

Susan Dey with the other actresses of L.A. Law

A trio of promo pics:

And now for something completely random:

Susan Dey in Love, Lies and Lullabies

In 1993, Susan Dey followed up on the sensationalism of her 1992 TV movie Bed of Lies with another Lifetime-style/high-camp movie-of-the-week: Love, Lies and Lullabies. The ABC TV movie starred Susan Dey as a cocaine user who accidentally becomes pregnant. She decides to keep the baby but also decides to not completely stop using cocaine. When her child is born prematurely, the baby is taken away from her and she must attempt to change her ways and somehow convince her social worker and the courts that she deserves to be a mother.

Originally titled simply Lies and Lullabies, the movie has also been made available under the name Sad Inheritance. Susan Dey also produced the movie utilizing her own Susan Dey Productions company (the only other movie the company produced was I Love You Perfect).

Here are two promotional photos of Susan Dey for Love, Lies and Lullabies:

Here is a newspaper article about Susan Dey which talks about Love, Lies and Lullabies, as well as some other subjects (click to enlarge):

Susan Dey newspaper article from Kentucky New Era (March 9, 1993)

The following are pics of Susan Dey appearing in Love, Lies and Lullabies: