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Dan Dailey
Born Daniel James Dailey
December 14, 1915(1915-12-14)
New York, New York, USA
Died October 16, 1978 (aged 62)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Spouse(s) Esther Rodier (?-1941)
Gwen Carter O'Connor (1955-1960)
Elizabeth Hofert (1942-1951)

Daniel James Dailey Jr. (December 14, 1915 – October 16, 1978) was an American dancer and actor.


Early life and career

Born in New York City on December 14, 1915,[1] to James J. and Helen Dailey, both born in New York City. He appeared in a minstrel show when very young, and appeared in vaudeville before his Broadway debut in 1937 in Babes in Arms. In 1940, he was signed by MGM to make movies and, although his past career had been in musicals, he was initially cast as a Nazi in The Mortal Storm. However, the people at MGM realized their mistake quickly and cast him in a series of musical films.

He served in the United States Army during World War II, was commissioned as an Army officer after graduation from Signal Corps Officer Candidate School at Fort Monmouth, NJ.[2]. He then returned Hollywood to more musicals. Beginning with Mother Wore Tights (1947) Dailey became the frequent and favorite co-star of movie legend Betty Grable. His performance in their film When My Baby Smiles at Me in 1948 garnered him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. In 1950, he starred in A Ticket to Tomahawk, often noted as one of the first screen appearances of Marilyn Monroe, in a very small part as a dance-hall girl. In 1953, Dailey starred in Meet Me at the Fair. One of his notable roles was in There's No Business Like Show Business (1954), which featured Irving Berlin's music and also starred Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Johnnie Ray, and Donald O'Connor, whose wife Gwen divorced O'Connor and married Dailey at about the same period.

As the musical genre began to wane in the mid-1950s, he moved on to various comedic and dramatic roles, including his television series, The Governor & J.J. and the NBC Mystery Movie series "Faraday & Company". His sister was Another World actress Irene Dailey.

Partial filmography


  1. ^ The 1920 census and Dailey's official enlistment record shows that he was born December 14, 1915, not 1913 as is sometimes reported.
  2. ^ Dailey enlisted in the Army shortly after Pearl Harbor and attended Signal Corps Officer Candidate School at Fort Monmouth, NJ starting in September 1942. He was commissioned on Dec 12, 1942 and served until late 1946, when he was discharged as a captain.

External links

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