Santa Barbara had a knack for creating super couples and one of its earliest came from the romance of Mason Capwell and Mary Duvall, the former nun.
Santa Barbara Moment: Mary’s Death
Mary helped Mason (Lane Davies) become patient, accessible, and trustful, and there was nothing he wouldn’t do for her. In turn, he showed her a whole new world, and together they were excited about their new life.
But their fairytale ending was not to be as Mary Duvall (Harley Jane Kozak) met a tragic death at the hand of the “Big C”—literally, as the letter “C” from a sign upon the Capwell Hotel came crashing down on her while she was arguing with her ex-husband (and rapist!) Mark (a young Jon Lindstrom; now Kevin/Ryan on General Hospital) on the roof.
The show foreshadowed the deadly event, as the scene started with the camera panning in on the C before framing the actors. A pregnant Mary and Mark were arguing over the upcoming rape trial, with his informing her that Julia (Nancy Lee Grahn; now Alexis on GH), his supposed lawyer, was setting him up to lose.
Mary, ever the good person, just wanted all of the trouble to be over and offered her ex a deal. If he would sign away all rights to the baby, she would make sure there was no trial. He was fine with that. But then she had one other demand: Mary wanted Mark to admit that he raped her and tell Mason the truth.
He refused, sticking to his argument that they were married and they “made love” — it wasn’t rape, in his opinion. Voices started to raise and he grabbed her, but then Julia came to her rescue. But the attorney’s bickering with Mark was too much for Mary and she just wanted to be left alone.
Full of emotion, Mary Duvall declared she wanted to live in a world with her baby that she creates and just wanted to be free from all of this. But as she was yelling, the wind was picking up on the roof and the dreaded C fell on her, just as Mason appeared.
This sent a shattered and broken Mason into somewhat of a spiral. He would later become involved with evangelist Lily Light but eventually fell for Julia, setting up another of the great love stories from the show.
Mary would return years later when Mason was shot and had an out-of-body experience and she told him to return to Julia and their daughter. With her blessing, Mason and Julia were married soon after in another historic moment from Santa Barbara.