James Daly

Active - 1954 - 1977  |   Born - Oct 23, 1918   |   Died - Jul 3, 1978   |   Genres - Drama, Spy Film, Adventure, Science Fiction, Action

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Biography by Hal Erickson

American actor James Daly got his start while still a child by appearing in community theatre in his home-town of Wisconsin Rapids. After graduating from Cornell University in 1941, Daly worked his way up to Broadway in 1946 as Gary Merrill's understudy in Born Yesterday. He spent the next few years dividing his time between New York City and Wisconsin. It was in that state's capitol, Madison, that Daly's daughter Tyne was born; Tyne Daly later became a star in her own right, as did James' son Timothy. James Daly won the Theatre Guild award in 1950 for his work in a revival of Shaw's Major Barbara, and co-starred later that year with Helen Hayes in still another revival, The Glass Menagerie. Film work didn't give Daly the starring roles he'd enjoyed on Broadway, but from his first major film The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955) onward, the actor secured a niche as a dependable character player. He also flourished in television, winning an Emmy award for the drama special "The Eagle and the Cage," playing the title role in the much-rebroadcast drama "Give Us Barabbas," and starring in two long-running weekly series, Foreign Intrigue and Medical Center. He also is well-remembered for his role in the TV anthology Twilight Zone where he portrayed a beleaguered Manhattan executive who imagines himself to a simpler and more peaceful time and place in the half-hour fantasy "A Stop at Willoughby."