Mary Chieffo is known internationally as the Klingon Commander turned Chancellor L’Rell on the award-winning CBS: All Access series Star Trek: Discovery.
When she isn’t covered in prosthetics and speaking Klingon, Mary is thrilled to be producing, writing, and starring as Iago in Operation Othello – a feminist, gender, and color-conscious Virtual Reality adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello alongside Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions (Official Cannes XR and Raindance XR Selection).
Chieffo received her BFA from Juilliard in 2015, flourishing in her passion for classic text and reveling in the opportunity to take on strong female and male roles in Shakespeare canon, including King Lear, Queen Elizabeth, and the title role in Erica Schmidt’s all-female Macbeth. For her exceptional work in the four-year program, Juilliard presented Mary with the prestigious Elizabeth Smith Voice and Speech Prize and the Saint-Denis Prize for “Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Drama.” Mary was also a four-year merit-scholar and recipient of the SAG Foundation John L. Dales Scholarship.
After graduation, she reprised her role in Schmidt’s Macbeth for Seattle Repertory Theatre’s The Other Season and explored the role of Iago for the first time in Harlem Shakespeare Festival’s all-female Othello. She also participated in workshops of Lover, Beloved: An Evening With Carson McCullers – a one-woman show written by Grammy Award-winning Suzanne Vega and Tony- and Grammy Award-winning Duncan Sheik. She performed the piece at The Sherry Theatre in Los Angeles and The Alley Theatre in Houston, TX.
In 2019, Chieffo returned to the LA stage starring in a workshopped reading of Analogue by esteemed writer Christine Boylan (The Punisher, Cloak & Dagger) and as a special guest star in Ripley Improv’s GLAM and the most recent season of The Improvised Generation at Impro Studio in Los Feliz.
In 2020, Mary heads to NYC to direct Closed Circuit, a new play premiering at the Frigid Festival in February and will be seen in Peter Flaherty’s Empire at Sea, an Augmented Reality project premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.
The statuesque 6-foot tall beauty was born into this business as the daughter of successful character actors Beth Grant (“The Mindy Project”) and Michael Chieffo (“Battle of the Sexes”). She made her acting debut at three years old in the Sandra Bullock directed short film “Making Sandwiches” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
In high school, Mary gave up her career as an all-star soccer goalie to focus on acting and modern dance, having studied Martha Graham technique since the age of 3. Valedictorian of her graduating class, she received the Performing Arts Dance Award and the Headmaster’s Award – given to a senior whose loyalty, spirit and vitality have added to and will continue to benefit the school in years to come. In her junior year, she was inducted into the Cum Laude Society and presented with the Princeton Book Award (intellectual promise and academic excellence; exemplary service or extracurricular activities; outstanding personal character).
Before Star Trek, Chieffo appeared opposite Academy Award-winner Octavia Spencer and Frances Fisher in “The Perfect Fit” directed by her mom Beth Grant and winner of the Audience Award at the SoHo International Film Festival and Best Ensemble Award at Women’s Independent Film Festival.
Mary is a classically trained singer with a five-octave range, training under the guidance of famed vocal coach Deborah Lapidus at Juilliard. She dreams of doing a female interpretation of Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar and playing Elphaba in the musical that converted her into a full-fledged theatre geek when she was in middle school — Wicked.
She lives in Los Angeles.
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