James Daly

(1918)
Birth Name: James Daly
Date of Birth: 23/10/1918

Distinguished character player James Firman Daly first appeared on stage in his home town of Wisconsin Rapids in 1928. He was set on acting from an early age, strongly encouraged by his parents, though neither were in the profession - his father was in the fuel business and his mother at one time a CIA employee. Upon leaving school, Daly studied dramatic arts at various Midwestern colleges, eventually graduating from Cornell in Iowa. His acting career was then put on hold as a result of the war and he served in all three of the service branches, the last four years spent in the navy as an ensign.Daly's acting career got off to a good start once he arrived in New York in 1946, landing a part as understudy to Gary Merrill in the long-running hit play "Born Yesterday" on Broadway. By the time he appeared in his third play, "Man and Superman" (1949), he was billed third in the cast and won a Daniel Blum Award for his performance. Subsequently, Daly had a busy time on stage, both on and off-Broadway. He co-starred three times with the legendary Helen Hayes, most famously in "The Glass Menagerie" in 1950, the same year also collecting the Theater Guild Award as the star of "Major Barbara". Other roles of note included "Billy Budd", "Saint Joan", "The Merchant of Venice" and (on tour with Colleen Dewhurst) "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?".A hard-working actor, intent on diversifying into different media, Daly clearly understood the potential of live television drama. He made his small screen debut in the late 1940's and soon starred in early Playhouse productions. Within a few years, he featured in his own weekly syndicated series, "Foreign Intrigue" (1951), about a family of foreign correspondents in Europe. This was one of the first TV shows to be shot on location and it necessitated his and his family's temporary relocation to Paris and Stockholm. Throughout the next twenty years, Daly remained much in demand as a reliable leading television actor with 'gravitas', often playing tragic or despairing figures. He was commanding as the titular star of Give Us Barabbas (1961) (TV) and, four years later, won an Emmy for his role in the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" (1951) episode "The Eagle and the Cage".Another memorably poignant portrayal was in "Twilight Zone" (1959) episode "A Stop at Willoughby", with Daly as a salesperson driven to the brink of a nervous breakdown, who escapes his world to a fantasy town in his own mind, where life is perpetually simple and peaceful. He was also David Vincent's ill-fated business partner and friend in the pilot episode "Beach-Head", who became one of the first victims of "The Invaders" (1967). Many viewers will remember Daly as 'Flint', the solitary near-immortal from the "Star Trek" (1966) episode "Requiem for Methuselah". There were countless other guest starring roles and even a few choice movie parts, such as Planet of the Apes (1968). Daly enjoyed another recurring role in the long-running (170 episodes)"Medical Center" (1969) as resident 'elder statesman' to young surgeon Chad Everett. He had just completed filming on an episode of "Roots: The Next Generations" and was scheduled to appear in the play "Equus" at the historic Westchester theatre, Tarrytown Music Hall, when he died of a heart attack at the age of 59.

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