Mary works as a professor of Anthropology at the fictional Pendelton State University in Rutherford, Ohio. For approximately six months during the sitcom's 4th season, Mary served as dean of Pendleton's School of Arts and Sciences. However, she lost this job and returned to her role as professor after she was caught breaking in to friend and colleague Judith's office after Dick convinced her that Judith was after her job.
Relationship with DickEdit
Mary and the 'father' of the alien group, who works at Pendelton as a physics professor, were forced to share an office. While Dick Solomon was attracted to her almost instantly, Mary took a long time to warm to Dick. After their initial success, Dick and Mary enjoyed an on-off relationship; Dick would often annoy Mary, causing her to grow angry and seemingly break up with him. However, in the next episode, they are nearly always back together (notable exception: when Dick was engaged to Mary, then discovered another alien had been sent to masquerade as his wife, leading Mary to believe he is committing polygamy. Even then, she forgave him.)
When Dick and his 'family' are called back to the home planet, Mary discovers Dick's alien identity; she is initially persuaded to return with them. However, she realises how much she would miss Earth, so she and Dick bid farewell. In an alternative ending, Dick returns and abducts her.
From hints in the show, Mary formerly drank a lot and often used her feminity to get what she wanted from men. From references and one episode about her parents, it appears that her father had affairs and her mother drank a lot. Mary comes from a seemingly average but trashy family, but she and sister Renata have become successful - Renata is rich, while Mary is a professor and doctor. In one episode, Dick marries her, in order to divorce her and get her to promise she will not build a library at Pendelton that will cast a shadow in Mary's office. Renata was played by guest star Megan Mullally (best known for playing Karen Walker on Will & Grace). Mary also has a younger brother, Roy Albright, who claims to have been abducted by aliens. This completely freaks out the family, to this end Sally and Harry take out the cornfield to "killroy" as the plan is called. In the end he is found out to be lying.
As seen in "The Dicks They Are A'Changin'", Mary was a part of the 1960s counterculture in her youth (flashbacks showed her dressed in hippie garb), though she mentions she "never made it to Woodstock". Mary attended UC Berkeley in the late '60s and was apparently involved in the Free Speech Movement there.
In an episode when the characters enter an alternate universe Mary has a completely different personality and life. She is a shallow, airheaded and slutty lounge singer at a dive bar in Manhattan. She uses her feminine wiles to get money and gifts from men. She attempts to do so with Dick Solomon but finds herself falling in love.
Mary used to own fish, before Dick was left to look after them as Mary was on a conference - he introduced an angel fish, which ate all the others. Mary was angry with Dick for killing her fish, so Dick bought her a dog to compensate. After breaking off their engagement, Mary tries to get rid of the dog, but realizes she loves him. She and Dick later get back together, making Mary relieved she didn't get rid of her dog.