Actress Debra Lynn Mayrovitz passed away on May 5th, 2015. She went professionally by Debra Mayer. Her death was not reported by any news sources or media outlets, only by some friends of hers on social media and at a few entertainment websites that mainly covered horror, since that was the genre she was best associated with. To date, there are still fans and people who worked with her, who aren’t aware of how she died, or if it was ever even officially confirmed that she died.
I can’t say Debra was “best know” or will be “best remembered” as any particular role or character, but certainly one of the highlights of her career had to have been in country music star Toby Keith’s music video to his 1999 number one hit “How Do You Like Me Now?” in which she played Toby’s then-high school love interest, who sees the star he became and regrets shunning him in high school. She had no lines in the video, but her facial expressions and body language painted a clear picture as Toby and his band performed the song on their old high school football field. Above right is the last photo Debra posted of herself at her now-memorialized Facebook page.
I wasn’t very familiar with Debra’s works, but I did recall her from the Toby Keith video and a 2004 horror film entitled Dr. Moreau’s House of Pain. I first heard of her death from a Facebook post made by a friend and colleague of hers. I was shocked and saddened when I read it and decided to do some research to get more information on her sudden passing. In the days that followed the initial post about Debra’s death, the only other things I found unofficially confirming her passing were a “Tweet” and a Facebook post from a director she had worked with, but absolutely no reports from any news sources or media outlets. I thought it was very strange and began to question the reports of her death, even though two of those aforementioned social media posts came from someone I believe was fairly close to her, at least at one time. He didn’t state Debra’s cause of death (if he knew), but by the original wording of his Facebook post (which was later edited and reworded), he seemed to imply it was, or probably was, a suicide. Of the few posts at blogs and entertainment sites in the wake of her death, one of the most notable ones was by my fellow entertainment journalist John Shelton, who ran this article on her passing. However, it was just based off of information he got from the aforementioned social media posts.
A few days after posts about Debra’s death, when I still hadn’t found anything from any news sources or even a newspaper obituary for her or anyone who might be her (considering Debra Mayer may have been just her professional name and that her real name would have been officially listed), I was thinking hoax. Why would someone want to fake their own death? I can think of a whole laundry list of reasons. However, my skeptical mind was soon set straight. Soon after my hoax suspicions, which had then been several days after the buzz of Debra’s passing hit cyberworld, I finally learned that funeral services for Debra, under her birth name, “Debra Lynn Mayrovitz,” were scheduled at Forest Lawn’s Hollywood Hills cemetery, where she was then laid to rest in their “Ascending Dawn” section and is now listed in their search database under the name “Debra Lynn Mayer.” (Forest Lawn’s grave sites are publicly searchable by the deceased’s name, so I’m not revealing any confidential information here by adding this. You can also view a photo of Debra’s grave marker, which was posted 10 months after her death, and get its location at FindaGrave.com.) There was also a subsequent estate sale of Deborah’s belongings, advertised on Craigslist, that a friend of Debra’s posted of on social media. So, unless that estate sale was a ruse and Forest Lawn administrators were paid off to go along with some elaborate scheme to fake Debra’s demise, these facts can be taken by fans and those still wondering, as official and irrefutable conformation of her death on May 5, 2015.
“Debra had a tough life. However, I remember her when she was so fun and full of life. I remember going to a club in Hollywood once with her and she danced all night on the stage. We had a blast She had such a childlike charm and approach on life. Once again, cutthroat Hollywood took a beautiful life.”
It’s odd that to this day, exactly three years later, I have yet to find any article or mention of Debra’s death that was published or broadcast by any news source or a newspaper obituary. Her IMDb page was eventually revised to refer to her in the past tense and state the month and year she died and, other than her listing at Forest Lawn, that is about as close to an official confirmation that there is on her death. Perhaps the late Miss Mayer, due to the lack of public information about her sudden and untimely passing, will achieve a sort of posthumous cult status among fans.
Left to right: Performing stand-up at The Comedy Store, circa 2010, as Mary Anne in
the 2004 campy horror film Dr. Moreau’s House of Pain, and as Miss Simpkins from
the Youtube comedy short REALLY Bad Teacher!
Toby Keith’s music video to his 1999 hit, “How Do You Like Me Now?” features a then-30-year-old Debra as Keith’s high school love interest, returning to their old high school football field to see the successful Keith showing her what she missed out on 20 years earlier. The song spent five weeks at Number One on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs chart and gave Debra some good exposure. However, being featured in a hit music video was not the springboard to stardom for Debra like it was for Courtney Cox.