Dan Dailey

Active - 1940 - 1985  |   Born - Dec 14, 1917   |   Died - Oct 15, 1978   |   Genres - Musical, Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Adventure

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The son of a hotelier, Dan Dailey began taking dancing lessons at the age of 14. He worked in minstrel shows, vaudeville and burlesque, taking many "joe jobs" during fallow periods. Graduating to Broadway, Dailey was featured in Babes in Arms, Stars in Your Eyes and I Married an Angel. He came to Hollywood in 1940 when he was signed as an MGM contract player. After serving as an officer in World War II, Dailey rose to film stardom in such 20th Century-Fox productions as Mother Wore Tights (1947), A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950) and When My Baby Smiles at Me (1948), for which he won an Oscar nomination. Other top-rank Dan Dailey musical performances can be seen in Universal's Meet Me at the Fair (1952) and MGM's It's Always Fair Weather (1953). The actor's athletic physique and remarkable dexterity won him leading roles in two baseball films, Pride of St Louis (1953) (in which he played Dizzy Dean) and The Kid From Left Field (1953). On television, Dailey starred in three series: Four Just Men (1959), The Governor and JJ (1970), and Farraday and Company (1974). In 1977, Dan Dailey broke his hip while appearing in a touring production of The Odd Couple; he died of acute anemia one year later.

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