Blyth Daly

Blyth Daly was an American actress and a member of the Algonquin Roundtable. Facts about her lesbianism are still somewhat in debate.


Blyth was born December 5, 1901 in London, England to Arnold Daly and Mary Blyth, both well known actors. The Daly's were first married in 1900, divorced in 1903, remarried in 1905, and finally divorced again soon after. Her mother remarried to Frank Craven in 1915, an actor known for originating the role of the Stage Manager in "Our Town" on Broadway and in the original film. Mr. Craven often helped Blyth in her own career as an actress, producing several of her plays as early as 1919. The Craven's would later move to Hollywood were Blyth became a lively character among the Hollywood elite, described as tanned an athletic while playing tennis and riding horses. Her father, Arnold, never remarried. He gained fame as the first man to successfully produce the works of Geore Bernard Shaw, a close family friend. Arnold died tragically in an apartment fire in 1927. It was suggested at that time that he should have been able to escape the fire easily - that he had been seen, shortly before the fire began, sitting in his chair reading. The wing backed chair was locked next to a window with an easy access fire escape. His body was found still sitting in the chair, untouched. He had died of smoke inhalation. Suggestions for his reason for allowing the end of his life to occur including a failing career and recent severe medical problems. Frank Craven, her step-father, passed away in 1945 and her mother, Mary Blyth Craven, died in 1958.

Blyth died October 16, 1965 in Los Angeles, California.


Newspaper Articles:

Washington Post (Washington, D.C.) - June 11, 1905

Remarriage of the Dalys

An interesting object of comment developed on September 22, when the news of the remarriage of Arnold Daly and Mazie Blythe was made known. Two years previously there had been a divorce, and to Mrs. Daly was given the custody of their baby daughter. Following the separation many friends tried to bring the two together, but it was not until the summer of last year that success attended these offices. Miss Blythe at the close of her season with Nat Goodwin, went for a visit to friends at Santa Monica, Cal., and it was not long before news reached her that Arnold Daly had suddenly decided to take his company of "Candida" players tot he Pacific Coast. This cross-the-continent trip was really in the nature of a pursuit with intent to acquire, and at its conclusion its object fell in with the wishes of the organizer of the expedition, the second marriage taking place in San Francisco. Mr. and Mrs. Daly had been together in many companies. They first met when she was a member of Mansfield's troupe, and later when playing in "Barbara Freitchic" in support of Miss Marlowe, they were married.

The Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis, Indiana) - May 8, 1921

A Repertory Theater

Arnold Daly, who expects to spend the early summer months abroad, will come back to New York in the late summer to begin his season as an independent produced at the Greenwich Village thater on Oct. 10.

It is Daly's purpose to establish a repertory theater, with himself as the stellar attraction, and a company that will include his daughter; Blythe Daly, Phillips Tead, Sudney Carlyle and Walter F. Scott. It will mark the first time, incidentally, that he and Miss Blythe will have been seen on the same stage.

Carl Shoner's "The Children's Tragedy" has already been selected as the opening bill, the American adaptation being left to the pen of Benjamin Glaser, who made over "Liliom" and "The Master" for the English-speaking theater. Bernard Shaw's whimsical piece, "The Man of Destiny", will be used as a curtain-raiser. Later on in the season it is highly probable that Shaw's "Candida" will be revived, as will also Herman Bahr's "The Master", in which Daly was seen a few seasons back.

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) - December 2, 1921

Blythe Daly, daughter of Arnold Daly, stage celebrity, support Ernest Truex in "Little, But Oh My!"

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) - September 13, 1925

"Outside Looking In" is an interesting memorial to American tramp life, and it does for the U.S. hobo what "What Price Glory" did for the U. S. marine. Dramatized by Maxwell Anderson from Jim Tully's autobiography, it is humorous and energetic, a keen memorandum and an exceptional play. For the benefit of those who shrink from the rough stuff it should be said that it is not a pretty drama. Its characters are wicked and untidy, and they are addicted to profanity and other crimes. They are lustful and murderous, and they sleep, like the heroines in the bedroom farces, with their socks on.

The most I can say for them is that I found them to be entertaining, at a distance. and that they gave me the best time I have had in a theater his season.

You see them, first, in a hoboes' bivouac on the outskirts of Williston, N.D. The Arkansas Snake is there, pallid, shuddering and homocidal. Also Mose, a fugitive negro from a Southern prison camp. A quiet, nervy outcast, named Little Red, comes in with Edna [played by Blyth], who has just killed her father for reason too good and sufficient. Other interesting vagabonds congregate, but the party is incomplete until the arrival of Oklahoma Red.

Oklahoma Red is handsome and Irish, a smiling devil, fond of women, adventure and conversation. His blue serge suit has rents in it, but his shirt is rather clean, and he wears a necktie. Every time he talks he says something. Often these remarks may be suspected to be too clever for a hobo, but that makes them only a little less enjoyable. He, the Arkansas Snake and Little Red engage in a contest for the possession of Edna, the beautiful patricide. Their wiles are violent and picturesque, ranging from brutality to sex appeal.

In the public dress rehearsal Sunday night Edna (Miss Blythe Daly) announced that she had killed her father in revenge for an unprintable crime. The charge was so shocing that it stunned even those who are not easily stunned. Between the acts Mr. Tully himself regretted the confession. So Monday evening it was amended, and since then Edna accuses her step-father, not her father. Thus, without the lash of the censors, the drama voluntarily reforms itself. The best acting in New York is done in this narrative by Charles A. Bickford, as Oklahoma Red, and by James Cagney, as Little Red -both of them unknowns.

Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas) - November 30, 1930


Capitol Drama Story of Girl's Regeneration; Thrilling Climax

Acclaimed as one of the most imposing, dramatic and entertaining pictures ever produced by Pathe, "Her Man," a colorful story of the Havana underworld, comes to the Capital Theatre Sunday.

Directed by Tay Garnett, "Her Man," deals with the regeneration of a girl from "the wrong side of the island" and in the course of this reformation there is presented a series of episodes that are said to be the most thrilling that have been pictured since the sound era was inaugerated.

Helen Twelvetrees plays Frankie and Richardo Cortez essays the caracter of Johnnie. The production serves to introduce to the motion picture public the stage star, Marjorie Rambeau. Phillips Holmes, whose performance in "Devil's Holiday" was hailed as one of the best of the season, plays the roving sailor lad who rescues Frankie from degradation.

The comedy is provided by James Gleason and Harry Sweet. Others in an outstanding cast are Franklyn Pangborn, Mathew Betz, Thelma Todd, Mike Donlin, Stanley Fields, Blythe Daly, Ruth Hiatt, Vincent Bernett, Jerry Drew and Pat Harmon.

The Lincoln Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) - December 19, 1930

Schedule for radio programs

7:30 [PM] - The Third Degree of Dolores Devine; dramatic sketch with Blythe Daly, Charles Slattery, Jack McBryde, Milton Herman, Walter Kinsella - WREN

Arcadia Tribune (Arcadia, California) - January 20, 1933


When "Bridal Wise" opens next Sunday matinee at El Capitan theater, it will not only bring to Hollywood the only play which ran the entire season in New York last year, but will bring Lois Wilson and Tom Moore as attractions in the large cast. Blythe Daly, who will play the role she created in the original production. Another member of the cast is Marion Shockley, one of this year's Wampas Baby stars. Others in the company are Grace Hampton, Jay Ward, juvenile, who played recently with Pauline Frederick in "As Husbands Go"; Ben Erway, William Macauley, "Hambone" Johnson, Cleo Desmond, John Ray and Walter Clyde.

Modesto News-Herald (Modesto, California) - June 6, 1933

Blythe Daly and Jack Oakie having one grand time dancing in the Coconut Grove.

Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas) - April 1, 1937

Blythe Daly, daughter of the great actor, Arnold Daly, was badly banged up in a cab crash over the weekend.

San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) - March 9, 1941

Note: A great deal of general information, where Blyth is not mentioned, is in this article before this point. Basically, a man named George Tiffany, an aviation hero during WWI and son of dowager widow Mrs. Cameron Tiffany, is in a scandal where a woman named "Helen" claims to be his wife - that they took their wedding vows in a hotel room and exchanged rings. He denies this.


George, through his lawyer, Maxwell Shapiro, denied that they took part in any ceremony in Baltimore, except the dog show, and produced a corroborating affidavit from the stage and screen actress, Blythe Daly, daughter of Arnold Daly and step-daughter of the vetern actor, Frank Craven. Blythe, he said, had accompanied them to Baltimore and been with them all the time.

"Blythe Daly was jealous of me," Helen replied, "and when we left for Baltimore she forced her way into the car. She suspected we were married or were going to be married in Elkton. George and I kept our secret. We finally gave her the slip and when we retired for the night of Jan. 27, Blythe Daly, who was intoxicated, actually forced her way into our room. George and I had difficulty in packing her off to her room.

"The same Blythe Daly, however, writes a letter to me… which states that while the defendant, she and I were driving from Elkton she was told that we were married there. Naturally, neither the defendant nor I could tell Blythe anything about our status, because she at all times believed that we were man and wife, and when she says in her affidavit that we were never married in Baltimore, she tells the truth, because she was not in on the secret."

And then, having disposed of Blythe Daly, Helen returns again to that ranking phrase, "convenience and choice," saying: "Was our living together a question of convenience and choice when, immediately after our marriage the defendant took me to live with his mother at her estate in Long Island, where I lived with the defendant as man and wife for more than a year in close contact and daily association, not only with his dear mother, but with the most intimate members of the Tiffany clan?"

In winding up her petition to the court, Helen gave some figures on the upkeep of prize dogs, seemingly with a view to providing a gauge for the award of alimony. "It costs about $40 to $50 a week to keep the dogs when traveling from dog show to dog show, besides paying for entry fees. The fees for entering from six to ten dogs would be about $100. Defendant is in possession of nine or ten dogs which he boards with people playing them about $100 a month.

George denis that he keeps "nine or ten dogs" - the number is seven, he says - as well as the incidental allegations of cruetly with which Helen opened the legal battle. Specifically, he says he never socked her in the eye on Long Island, bounced a water pitcher over her head in Atlantic City, or floored her with a flying tackle, also on Long Island. Oddly enough, all these incidents are alleged to have occured before gallantry left off and legality began.

Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas) - April 9, 1945

Blythe Daly, the actress, is the latest to have her hair ruined (practically all of it gone) in a permanent wave gadget.

Cumberland Evening Times (Cumberland, Maryland) - July 12, 1967

Years ago, Blythe Daly, an actress, wishing to compliment Jessica Reed, a Ziegfeld girl, said: "Darling, you look like a piece of Italian renaissance." Jessica, having expected a put-down, snarled: "Yeah, and you don't look so good yourself, you bitch!"

Census Records:

Elm Point, Great Neck, North Hempstead, NY - February 12, 1920

Surname Given Name Relation Age Status Born Father Born Mother Born
Craven Frank Head 38 Married MA NY NY
Craven Mary Wife 36 Married CA CA CA
Craven John son 3 yrs & 6 mths Single NY MA CA
Daly Blythe step-dau. 18 Single England NY CA
Mead Nora servant 34 Single Ireland Ireland Ireland
Zteffen Minnie servant 40 Widow Bohemia Bohemia Bohemia
Keroes Irene servant 22 Single Hungary Hungary Hungary

Passport Application:

Passport Application - June 1919


Blyth Daly (single) born at London, England December 5, 1901
Father: P.C. Arnold Daly born Brooklyn, NY
Arnold now residing in London temporarily
Blyth previous abroad in Paris Feb 1911 to July 1914.
Residence: Great Neck, L.I., N.Y.
Occupation: actress
Going to England for Professional work
Plans to set sail July 3, 1919
Age: 17
Mouth: medium
Stature: 5 feet 3 inches
Chin: wide
Forehead: broad
Hair: blond
Eyes: Grey
Complexion: Fair

Ship Manifests:

S. S. Mauritania from New York to Liverpool - Arrived April 8, 1913

Daly, Arnold - housewife? f age 29
Daly, Blyth - child age 11

S. S. Minnewaska from London to New York - October 10-19, 1914

Daly, Blyth - born Dec 3, 1901 NY - visiting father.

S. S. Lapland from Southampton to NY - Arriving September 25, 1919

Daly, Blyth - age 17, born "In England of American parents". Dec 5, 1902
Naturalization: #93059 [or 93054]
Address: Great Neck, Long Island.

S. S. Aquitania from Southampton to NYC - June 24 to July 1, 1923

Daly, Blyth - age 21, born Dec 1901
Passport by Parentage #237207, issued Dec 14, 1922
Address: Great Neck, Long Island, N.Y.

S. S. Belgenland from New York to Plymouth - Arrived April 18, 1926

Daly, Blyth - c/o Guaranty Trust Co, Kingway, London
1st Class ticket, actress age 27

S. S. DeGrasse from Le Havre to New York - June 26 to July 5, 1926

Daly, Blyth - age 24, born London Dec 5, 1901
Passport #177633, from american parents
Address: Great Neck L. I., N. Y.

S. S. Olympic from Cherbourg to New York - June 30 to July 6, 1926

Note: Her name is crossed out, as if she did not board the ship, she seems to have purchased this ticket but
changed her mind and left earlier, from Le Havre, on June 26th.

Daly, Blyth of Great Neck, c/o Mrs. F. Craven, L. I.

S. S. California from New York to Los Angeles - February 17 to March 3, 1934

Daly, Blythe - age 32, single - address 72 W. 58th Street, New York, N.Y.

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