I think someone in the RH thread once said that Helen Gallagher recommended Kathleen. If so that may be why she stayed as long as she did. I can still remember how bad she was at getting her words out, Nicolette Goulet also had that problem at times, although nowhere near as much. Still, it confused me because Mary was established as a very witty woman who cherished every word out of her mouth. Going from Kate Mulgrew to some women who could barely be heard was...odd.
Mary Carney was both lovely and a good actress. It's a shame she was replaced. Kathleen Tolan, who was neither attractive nor a good actress. It was painful watching her constantly flubbing and stumbling over her lines. She had no chemistry with anyone. She probably lasted as long as she did because the show did not want to admit their mistake in hiring her. Of all the recasts among the main Ryan-family characters, KT was the worst.