At Seventeen, Mary Jean signed with a modeling agency in Washington DC. After a few months she was placed in the talent division as an actress. She continued to pursue her modeling and acting while attending college. She graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Upon graduation, she commissioned into the United States Navy Nurse Corps to fulfill her passion to serve her country. Even though the Military came first, her commanding officers supported her acting, singing and songwriting career. She signed with a local talent agency and shortly landed roles in a few television series, Ghost Stories and The New Detectives along with numerous regional and national commercials.

After her active duty commitment was fulfilled, she moved to Nashville to continue with acting but also to pursue a songwriting career with some of the best writers in the business. There she landed roles in several major motion pictures to include: The Last Castle, starring Robert Redford and James Gandolfini; We Were Soldiers, starring Mel Gibson; Sweet Home Alabama starring Reese Witherspoon; and the Grand Jury Winner of 2005 Sundance Film Festival, Forty Shades of Blue, starring Rip Torn. 

Off the screen, she is Founder/CEO of Little Faith Pictures, a Family & Faith based film company, active in SAG (Screen Actors Guild) as a Professional Actors Career Training (ProAct) committee member, a member of Women in Film and of the Academy of Country Music.

Mary Jean Bentley is sometimes credited as Mary Jean McAdams.