Mary Alice Young
General Information
Hair Color:
Eye Color:
Paul Young - Husband
Zach Young - Adoptive Son
Series Information
S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6
First appearance:
Last appearance:
My name is Mary Alice Young. When you read this mornings paper, you may come across an article about the unusual day I had last week. Normally there's nothing news worthy about my life, but that all changed last Thursday. Of course, everything seemed normal at first; I preformed my chores, I completed my projects and I ran my errands. In truth I spent the day as I spent any other day: quietly polishing the routine of my life until it gleamed with perfection. Thats why it was so astonishing when I decided to go to my hall way closet, and retrieve a revolver, that had never been used.

Mary Alice Young (formerly Angela Forrest) is the most mysterious of the housewives because only bits and pieces of her story are known. We first meet her moments before she shoots herself in the head. Not a very neighborly thing to do, Mary Alice. The friends you left behind on Wisteria Lane always thought of you as a happy, loving wife and mom. But there are so many secrets that need to be told about this little slice of suburban life. And only Mary Alice can tell them. Nobody around here seems to mind if she does so from beyond the grave.

She’s been waxing poetic on the not-so-perfect lives of all the Desperate Housewives since day one. No one on Wisteria Lane is safe from Mary Alice’s insightful observations and intimate knowledge. Some secrets need to be told. And nobody dishes the dirt in a more comforting, neighborly way than Mary Alice Young.


We first meet Mary Alice Young moments before she shoots herself in the head. Not a very neighborly thing to do, Mary Alice. The friends you left behind on Wisteria Lane always thought of you as a happy, loving wife and mom. But there are so many secrets that need to be told about this little slice of suburban life. And only Mary Alice can tell them. Nobody around here seems to mind if she does so from beyond the grave.

Yes, everyone on Wisteria Lane was shocked by their friend Mary Alice’s suicide. How could she do such a thing? What could have led to such a desperate move? Little was known about Mary Alice’s past until flashbacks revealed how she got her adopted son, Zack. It was this secret that drove her to her tragic act. Flashbacks also tell the tale of how she met her friends Susan, Bree, Gaby and Lynette. Friends she left all too soon.

Character History Edit

Early LifeEdit

Years ago, Mary Alice (whose real name is Angela) couldn't conceive and bought a baby illegally from a heroin addict, Deirdre. She then moved to Wisteria Lane with her husband and the baby to start a new life. The Young family's beautiful, happy life on Wisteria Lane was nearly destroyed when the woman returned, seemingly sober, wanting her baby back. After a verbal fight, as Deirdre went to reclaim her baby, Mary Alice stabbed her and killed her, as the child, originally named Dana and renamed Zach, watched. Mary Alice and Paul chopped up the body and buried it under their pool. Zach's father turned out to be Mike Delfino.

Season OneEdit

On a normal, average day down Wisteria Lane in Fairview, Mary Alice came out to water her plants as people set off for work, went for jobs and did their chores.

During an average day, Mary Alice made lunch for her family of three, her husband Paul and her son Zach. She performed her chores. She completed her projects and ran her errands. But this day, she was concealing a terrifying secret, and as she went into her house, she went to her closet, brought down a shoe box and took out a small, silver revolver. She then moved over to the living room, cocked the gun, pointed it towards her head, and pulled the trigger. She died instantly. ("Pilot")

After finding a blackmail note in Mary Alice's clothes, the leading women make a series of discoveries. She was being treated by Dr Goldfine; she once went by another name, Angela; and she may have had something to do with a baby that disappeared. Her son, Zach Young, begins to have flashbacks and is under the impression that he killed a baby named Dana, when he was younger. When Felicia Tilman comes to town and realizes she knew Mary Alice by her former identity, it's only a matter of time before the women learn just how much Mary Alice may have been hiding.

Season TwoEdit

Mary Alice was the first housewife to move to Wisteria Lane, fifteen years before the show's pilot episode (the day Mary Alice killed herself). In the second season finale, Mary Alice appeared in the episodes in various flash backs, describing how she met the major housewives. The first character she met was Susan. Mary Alice rescued Susan after she locked herself in her moving van. The second character she encountered was Bree, who came to the Youngs' house with Andrew and Rex in tow. She made Andrew apologize for stealing a garden ornamental frog.

She met Lynette several years later. Lynette and Tom were arguing over how Lynette was expecting twins and that it was completely okay for Lynette to punish Tom for not telling her that his family had eight sets of twins over three generations. Gabrielle was the final housewife to be greeted by the group. She was invited to a game of poker after Eli Scruggs (the local handyman) mentioned her to the other housewives. At first she bragged about being a model and knowing many celebrities, but later, she apologized.

Season ThreeEdit

In Bang, episode 7 of the third season, Lynette has a series of dreams about the last time she talked to Mary Alice, moments before she shot herself. Lynette tormented herself over not trying to save Mary Alice. After a hostage situation in which two people were killed and Lynette was injured, she had one final dream of Mary Alice. This time, however, Lynette tried to prevent something bad from happening by asking if she could help her. Mary Alice replied that she couldn't, but she could do something. She could enjoy the lovely day ,as we get so few of them. Mary Alice, as the narrator, says, "This was the last time Lynette would dream of me, and for her sake, I am grateful."

Season FourEdit

Mary Alice was not a prominent part of this season, but she was seen on various occasions nonetheless. She was seen in a flashback on the second episode of the fourth season called Smiles of a Summer Night In a flashback of Susan’s about the day on which Katherine Mayfair abruptly left Wisteria Lane, Mary Alice Young and Susan walk up to Katherine’s house, questioning her about why there is a moving van outside her house. Katherine tells them that she got a job in Chicago and refuses to allow Julie to say goodbye to Dylan. A crashing noise is heard upstairs and Katherine has been nervous and evasive. When Susan asks if everything is OK Katherine makes her excuses and tells them she is really going to miss them, shutting the door.

It was mentioned that Mary Alice held the position of President of Wisteria Lane's homeowners' association, a position left vacant for four years (after her death) until Katherine Mayfair returned and insisted a new one (herself) be elected.

Mary Alice makes her second and last onscreen fourth season appearance in the finale called Free in a flashback to the night before Katherine left Wisteria Lane. Whilst Katherine and Lillian were out, Mary Alice was babysitting Dylan and revealed that Katherine's then husband, Wayne Davis, had arrived and given Dylan a toy doll and a tricycle. Having no idea that Katherine was running away from her abusive ex, Mary Alice apologizes for any wrong doing as Katherine rushes inside with her Aunt Lillian to check on Dylan.

Season FiveEdit

Like the last two seasons, Mary Alice has no main storyline and she makes her only appearance in Episode 13 : at Eli Scruggs' funeral, Mary Alice herself recalls how she changed Eli's life. Mary Alice's role has decreased remarkably in this season as she does only make one appearance and does not appear in the finale. She also has no storyline. There is one episode in which she is not the narrator, thanks to the death of Edie Britt. Her role in this season is a lot like season three, when the same thing happened.

Season SixEdit

Once again Mary Alice is not part of a central storyline but continues to look over the neighborhood she left behind. Her old house is bought by the Bolen family. She will appear in a May sweeps special episode when the show flashbacks into 1994.

Season SevenEdit

Brenda Strong will be returning this season as Mary Alice, as will Paul Young (Mark Moses) who has not starred in the show since 2007. There are no plans yet for Cody Kasch to return as Zach Young, Mary Alice's adopted son.

Other Appearances Edit

Relationship with other charactersEdit

With Eli Scruggs : At Eli Scruggs' funeral, Mary Alice herself recalls how she changed Eli's life. She remembers how one morning before he had any steady work, he approached her and introduced himself. Initially commenting that she doesn't have any work for him, Mary Alice changes her mind when she notices Eli is wearing worn shoes and had obviously fallen on hard times. She asks him if he will fix a vase she broke. Eli appreciates her sympathy and initially declines but Mary Alice is insistent. A few years later, now that Eli has found steady work thanks to Mary Alice recommending him to the women of the neighbourhood, Eli walks in on Mary Alice reading a note. Mary Alice tries to be upbeat despite the fact that something is obviously troubling her, and offers Eli the vase that he fixed for her a few years ago. Eli accepts and leaves, worried about her fragile state but thinking it best to leave her alone. It is then revealed that the note Mary Alice was reading is the one she was blackmailed with and that day is the one that she killed herself. An ambulance arrives and the neighbourhood shows up in force to find out what happened to Mary Alice complete with Martha Huber (the blackmailer) gossiping with other women about Mary Alice's suicide. Eli watches from afar and regrets having done nothing to stop Mary Alice's suicide. From that day forward, he makes a vow to not only fix people's belongings but their lives as much as he can as well.

With Eddie Orlofsky :

We flashback to when Eddie was just four, and his father left his mother -- after loudly proclaiming that he'd never wanted any of this, including Eddie. Mary Alice tries to befriend her, but Barbara isn't interested. Mary Alice stops by one day to give Eddie a teddy bear and finds him home alone while his mom is out drinking. She lectures Barbara about not putting her needs ahead of her son, but the lesson clearly doesn't take. She hugs Eddie and tells him that "It's not your fault you ruined my life."

  • During the first three seasons of the show, Mary Alice's voice has appeared as main narrator in every episode except two - Rex Van de Kamp (played by Steven Culp) narrated the sixteenth episode of season three, My Husband, the Pig and Edie Britt (played by Nicollette Sheridan) narrated the nineteenth episode of season five Look Into Their Eyes and You See What They Know.
  • In addition to this, she has appeared in person in ten episodes. Besides the pilot episode, where she commits suicide, she's appeared in flashbacks and dream sequences in episodes 1.03, 1.08, 1.16, 1.23, 2.16, 2.23, 3.07, 4.02, 4.17, 5.13 and 6.20
  • Marc Cherry has suggested that the final season would take place when Mary Alice was alive, in order for Brenda Strong to physically appear in all those episodes, however this idea has not been confirmed. This statement was made when the number of seasons stood at 7. It is now expected that there will be 9 or more seasons, therefore this idea may be pushed back, or cancelled.

  Desperate Housewives Characters edit
The Housewives

Susan Mayer · Lynette Scavo · Bree Van de Kamp · Gabrielle Solis · Katherine Mayfair · Edie Britt · Renée Perry · Mary Alice Young

Current Main Supporting Characters

Carlos Solis · Tom Scavo · Orson Hodge · Angie Bolen · Ana Solis · Mike Delfino · Julie Mayer · Karen McCluskey · Nick Bolen · Danny Bolen · Porter Scavo · Parker Scavo · Penny Scavo · Juanita Solis · M.J. Delfino · Celia Solis · Lee McDermott · Bob Hunter · Karl Mayer · Andrew Van de Kamp · Preston Scavo

Former Supporting Main Characters

Rex Van de Kamp · John Rowland · Dave Williams · George Williams · Jackson Braddock · Matthew Applewhite · Caleb Applewhite · Betty Applewhite · Paul Young · Zach Young · Austin McCann · Kayla Scavo · Dylan Mayfair · Danielle Katz

Supporting Characters

Adam Mayfair · Victor Lang · Ida Greenberg · Stella Wingfield · Ian Hainsworth · Nora Huntington · Alma Hodge · Alex Cominis · Phyllis Van de Kamp · Gloria Hodge · Xiao-Mei · Martha Huber · Felicia Tilman · Bradley Scott · Maria Scott · Ed Ferrara · Roy Bender · Justin · Millicent Tilman