Quiet please, there’s a lady on stage…
The curtain opens in the first act for Mary Ann Hearn of Eatonton, Ga on October 28, 1946 with Francis “Frisky” and Dorothy Mae “Dot” as co-producers. Eugene O’Neill’s, The Iceman Cometh had opened on Broadway and The Big Sleep starring Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall was playing in movie houses across the country.
Sister Janette (1947-1993) and brother Francis, Jr “Buddy” (1952-2001), soon joined the cast on the working dairy farm, Panola Farm, located at the end of East Magnolia Hill Street. Yes, Mary Ann was a Southern Belle!
After majoring in theater at the University of Georgia where she appeared in performances of Great Zeus, Taming of the Shrew, and All-American Dreamland Dance Hall, the bright lights of the big city beckoned Mary Ann away from Eatonton—though she always cherished her memories and friends there.
Affectionately dubbed “Ms. Atlanta,” Mary Ann spent 36 years at Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city she loved dearly. Whether a visitor or longtime resident, there was no better resource when looking for attractions to visit, neighborhoods to explore, fun activities or the perfect restaurant. She was always eager and delighted to share what made her city so special.
Atlanta was Mary Ann’s home for more than 40 years and she was actively involved with Central Atlanta Progress and the Concierge Society of Atlanta. Prior to joining ACVB, Mary Ann took the spotlight in starring roles in stock theatre for several years and was a member of the company that opened the Alliance Theatre performing in many shows during its inaugural seasons. She later graced the big screen in feature films such as Return to Macon County Line and Grizzly, appeared in numerous television programs, and was featured in commercials for C&S Bank, Red Lobster, Rich’s, and Six Flags.
In 2015, she was honored with Where Atlanta’s Silver Plume Award for her outstanding work and dedication to the hospitality community. In 2018, Central Atlanta Progress honored her with the Turner Community Leadership Award that celebrates downtown Atlanta’s unsung heroes.
Mary Ann’s longtime desire to visit France was realized in April 2018 with a Lyon and Provence Viking Cruise including a stop in Paris…in the springtime. To say this was a trip of a lifetime would be an understatement. Mary Ann was a devoted Francophile after that excursion.
Je t’aime Paris!
And won’t you give her one last celebration…
The final curtain came down for this red-haired Supernova on February 24, 2021. Mary Ann passed away peacefully at her home. She was the definition of that “special person” and our lives are much richer because of her presence on earth. We’ll miss most her infectious laughter, quick wit, kind heart, positive outlook, and warm embraces.
Mary Ann was truly a friend to all, was loved by all, and will be dearly missed. A celebration will be planned at a later date to honor a life well lived by an extraordinary and vivacious Southern Lady.
Please check Mary Ann’s Facebook page for details regarding an upcoming celebration.
In lieu of flowers, you’re invited to make a contribution in memory of Mary Ann to the Atlanta Botanical Garden by clicking on the following link. https://atlantabg.org/donate/tribute-and-memorial-gifts/. It is important to note that there is a small check box below “Tribute Gift” above the prompt that reads “This gift is in honor or memory of someone (Please check box to add name)”. By checking this box and adding Mary Ann’s full name, ABG will be able to properly assign the gift to her.
You may also make a contribution to Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau charitable foundation for marketing arts in honor of Mary Ann Hearn to support Atlanta attractions, 233 Peachtree Street Suite 1400 Atlanta GA 30303, 404-521-6600 or click on the following link. https://www.discoveratlanta.net/rsvp/paymentf.asp?acct_code=&amount=
Beautiful, sweet Mary Ann. It’s hard to believe you are gone. After UGA we met several times at events in the Drama Department–but then time slipped away. I had recently found a current address and was going to call you and arrange
a get-together for lunch when that was safe to do. I’ll never forget our first trip together to New York City over a long Thanksgiving weekend and the fun we had playing “Southern Belles” there.. And no one had a laugh like yours, Mary Ann. RIP and with love, Faye Clark..
Rest in peace my dear beloved friend. I will cherish our days together at the Alliance and smile when I remember all the fun we had. With love, Beryl
Mary Ann was one of the kindest people I have ever known. I will always remember her kindness, joyful spirit and her beautiful smile. Godspeed dear Mary Ann.
Mary Ann you will be missed….
I’m honored to have called you my friend, Mary Ann. Thank you for sharing your warmth, charm and exuberance.
Beautiful, beautiful Mary Ann. My life was better for knowing you. My heart was happy when I heard your laugh. You were (and are) a light in the darkness.
A Very Special Lady
Mary Ann was a childhood best friend. I will love her forever.
Dear Mary Ann,
I will forever hear your smile, because it was bright, and laughter was fun filling. Every day we worked together we had something to laugh and or smile about; if not for a moment it was all day. I will never forget the sound of your laughter, nor what I learned from you. I will never forget you.
& I will miss you!!!