Early life. Dailey was born on December 14, 1915 in New York City, to Daniel James Dailey Sr. and Helen Theresa (née Ryan) Dailey. His younger sister was actress Irene Dailey. Theatre. He appeared in a minstrel show in 1921 and later appeared in vaudeville. He worked as a golf caddy and shoe seller before his first big break, working for a South American cruise line in 1934.He made his Broadway debut in 1937 in Babes in Arms. He followed it with Stars in Your Eyes and I Married an Angel. MGM. In 1940, he was signed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to make films and, although his past career had been in musicals, he was initially cast in the drama Susan and God (1940). He also played a Nazi in The Mortal Storm (1940).Dailey was the juvenile lead in The Captain Is a Lady (1940) and Dulcy (1940). He appeared in a musical comedy in Hullabaloo (1940), then had a small role in the drama Keeping Company (1941) and was the juvenile in The Wild Man of Borneo (1941). He could be seen in Washington Melodrama (1941) and Ziegfeld Girl (1941), and played a gangster in The Get-Away (1941). Dailey was third billed in a "B", Down in San Diego (1941) and had a small part in an "A" musical, Lady Be Good (1941). Dailey was loaned out to 20th Century Fox for Moon Over Her Shoulder (1941), then appeared opposite Donna Reed in Mokey (1942). He was third-billed in Sunday Punch (1942). Universal borrowed him to support Leo Carrillo in Timber (1942). He stayed at that studio for Give Out, Sisters (1942), a musical with The Andrews Sisters and Donald O'Connor. Dailey's last film for MGM was Panama Hattie (1942). It was a hit and Dailey's career looked like it was going to the next level when cast in For Me and My Gal. However Dailey was drafted and Gene Kelly ended up taking the role. World War II. He served in the United States Army during World War II, commissioned as an Army officer after graduation from Signal Corps Officer Candidate School at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. During his army service, he appeared in This Is the Army (1943). 20th Century Fox. When Dailey returned to Hollywood MGM did not renew his contact, which led him to sign a contract with 20th Century Fox. Their association began brilliantly with Mother Wore Tights (1947) in which Dailey supported the studio's biggest star, Betty Grable. His part was built up during filming and the movie was Fox's most popular movie of 1947, making $5 million.Fox promptly cast Dailey opposite their other big female star, Jeanne Crain, in You Were Meant for Me (1948). It was directed by Lloyd Bacon who also directed him in Give My Regards to Broadway (1948). Dailey was reunited with Grable in When My Baby Smiles at Me (1948). It was Fox's biggest hit of the year and garnered Dailey an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor at the 21st Academy Awards. Fox tried Dailey in a comedy, Chicken Every Sunday (1949) with Celeste Holm, then he teamed with Anne Baxter in the popular musical You're My Everything (1949). In 1949, he showcased his singing abilities by recording four songs for Decca Records with the popular Andrews Sisters. Two of the songs were Irish novelties ("Clancy Lowered the Boom!" and "I Had a Hat (When I Came In)"). The other songs, Take Me Out to the Ball Game and In the Good Old Summertime, capitalized on the success of two MGM blockbuster films of the same names, starring Gene Kelly, Esther Williams, and Frank Sinatra ("Take Me Out to the Ballgame"); and Judy Garland and Van Johnson ("In the Good Old Summertime"). Dailey and The Andrews Sisters were an excellent match, and their vocal stylings were full of gaiety and fun.Dailey starred in a film for John Ford, When Willie Comes Marching Home (1950) which was a mild success at the box office. He received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy in 1951. More popular was a third teaming with Grable, My Blue Heaven (1950). He made a cameo in I'll Get By (1950). Dailey was reunited with Anne Baxter in A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950), often noted as one of the first screen appearances of Marilyn Monroe, who played a very small part as a dance hall girl. He made a fourth (and final) film with Grable, Call Me Mister (1951). Fox tried Dailey in a romantic drama, I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1951), playing opposite Susan Hayward. Then he was in a biopic, The Pride of St. Louis (1951), as the baseball player Dizzy Dean. Dailey made a second film with Ford, a remake of What Price Glory (1952), where he teamed with James Cagney. Universal borrowed him for a musical, Meet Me at the Fair (1953). Fox put him in a drama, Taxi (1953), then a musical with June Haver, The Girl Next Door (1953). He did another baseball-themed film, The Kid from Left Field (1953). In 1954 Dailey signed a new seven-year contract with Fox.Dailey was scheduled to appear in the 20th Century Fox musical extravaganza There's No Business Like Show Business (1954), which featured Irving Berlin's music and also starred Monroe, Ethel Merman, Mitzi Gaynor, Johnnie Ray, and Donald O'Connor, whose wife Gwen divorced him and married Dailey around that time. Filming was delayed due to director Walter Lang's poor health. Dailey agreed to appear in Susan Slept Here and Heller in Pink Tights. But Susan ended up being made with Dick Powell and Pink Tights was postponed. Eventually There's No Business Like Show Business was made and proved to be Dailey's biggest hit in a long time. MGM. Dailey went to MGM to play GI-turned-advertising man Doug Hallerton in It's Always Fair Weather (1955) alongside Gene Kelly. The film was screened at drive-in theaters and was not a box-office success, although it did receive good reviews. He starred opposite Cyd Charisse and Agnes Moorehead in Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956), which also lost money. Dailey returned to Fox for one more musical, The Best Things in Life Are Free (1956) to play songwriter Ray Henderson opposite Gordon MacRae. The following year, he portrayed "Jughead" Carson in the drama The Wings of Eagles (1957) for John Ford, a biographical film on the life of Frank Wead, starring John Wayne. He was one of several stars in Fox's comedy Oh, Men! Oh, Women! (1957). For the same studio, he was part of the ensemble in The Wayward Bus (1957). Dailey made a profitable low-budget war film for MGM, Underwater Warrior (1958). Later career. As the musical genre began to wane in the late-1950s, he moved on to various comedic and dramatic roles on television, including starring in The Four Just Men (1959–60). He starred with Cantinflas in Pepe (1960) and had a cameo in Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man (1961) and made Four Nights of the Full Moon (1963) in Spain. He returned to Broadway in Catch Me If You Can (1965). In the late 1960s, Dailey toured as Oscar Madison in a road production of The Odd Couple, co-starring Elliott Reid as Felix Unger and also featuring Peter Boyle as Murray the cop. He did a stint on Broadway in Plaza Suite. From 1969–71, Dailey was the Governor opposite Julie Sommars's J.J. in the sitcom The Governor & J.J. which revolved around the relationship between his character, the conservative governor of an unnamed state and his liberal daughter Jennifer Jo. His performance won him the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Musical or Comedy for performances in 1969, the year that this category was introduced. He starred in a short lived series Faraday & Company in 1973. Later film performances included The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1977), as Clyde Tolson.
As the musical genre began to wane in the late-1950s, he moved on to various comedic and dramatic roles on television, including starring in The Four Just Men (1959–60). He starred with Cantinflas in Pepe (1960) and had a cameo in Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man (1961) and made Four Nights of the Full Moon (1963) in Spain. He returned to Broadway in Catch Me If You Can (1965). In the late 1960s, Dailey toured as Oscar Madison in a road production of The Odd Couple, co-starring Elliott Reid as Felix Unger and also featuring Peter Boyle as Murray the cop. He did a stint on Broadway in Plaza Suite. From 1969–71, Dailey was the Governor opposite Julie Sommars's J.J. in the sitcom The Governor & J.J. which revolved around the relationship between his character, the conservative governor of an unnamed state and his liberal daughter Jennifer Jo. His performance won him the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Musical or Comedy for performances in 1969, the year that this category was introduced. He starred in a short lived series Faraday & Company in 1973. Later film performances included The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1977), as Clyde Tolson.
Dailey married first wife Elizabeth in 1942. They had one son, Dan Jr in 1947, and separated in 1949. They divorced in 1951.Dailey's son committed suicide in 1975.Dailey broke his hip in 1977 and developed anemia. He died on October 16, 1978, from complications following hip replacement surgery. He is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
Movies & TV shows
Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer
American Masters Series. Documentary on Gene Kelly that gives insight into his dancing, how he formed a style (first "blue collar dancer") and developed different cinematique techniques, such as bril...
A documentary film about dancing on the screen, from it's orgins after the invention of the movie camera, over the movie musical from the late 20s, 30s, 40s 50s and 60s up to the break dance and the m...
The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover
The files that escaped the shredder have become an incredible motion picture. From the Kennedys to Martin Luther King. From cab drivers to Congressmen. From housewives to hostesses. He had something o...
1 TV show
Faraday and Company
Faraday & Company is an American crime drama series that aired in the 1973-1974 season. It starred Dan Dailey as Frank Faraday, a private investigator falsely accused of murdering his partner who retu...
1 TV show
The Julie Andrews Hour
The Julie Andrews Hour is a television variety series starring Julie Andrews that was produced by ATV and distributed by ITC Entertainment. It aired on the ABC network in the United States. In order ...
1 TV show
The Odd Couple
Felix and Oscar are two divorced men. Felix is neat and tidy while Oscar is sloppy and casual. They share a Manhattan apartment, and their different lifestyles inevitably lead to conflicts.
1 TV show
Here's Lucy is Lucille Ball's third network television sitcom. It ran on CBS from 1968 to 1974.
1 TV show
The Hollywood Palace
The Hollywood Palace is an hour-long American television variety show that was broadcast weekly on ABC from January 4, 1964 to February 7, 1970. Originally titled The Saturday Night Hollywood Palace, ...
2 Movies · 1 TV show
This 1963 documentary, released less than a year after Marilyn Monroe's death, showcases the star in memorable scenes from her 20th Century Fox films, including wardrobe tests and clips from her last,...
The concept of the series was the showing of unaired and unsold television pilots that did not make the television lineup for CBS. The show was successful during its first few seasons due to the fact ...
1 Movie · 1 TV show
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
The master of suspense and mystery, Alfred Hitchhiker, hosted a continuation of the dramatic anthology series.
Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man
Young and restless Nick Adams, the only son of a domineering mother and a weak but noble doctor father, leaves his rural Michigan home to embark on an eventful cross-country journey. He is touched and...
Mario "Cantinflas" Moreno is a hired hand, Pepe, employed on a ranch. A boozing Hollywood director buys a white stallion that belongs to Pepe's boss. Pepe, determined to get the horse back (as he cons...
Based upon the life of Commander Francic D. Fane (USNR), UnderWater Warrior follows the evolution of the US Navy's Underwater Demolition Unit from its inception near the end of World War II through it...
Oh, Men! Oh, Women!
Arthur Turner's bored housewife Mildred seeks psychiatric help from Dr. Alan Coles who also has his own emotional problems to solve.
The Wayward Bus
Three strangers embark on a bus ride that will change their lives. As the road presents challenges, each character faces his or her own weaknesses, not knowing where life will lead next.
The Wings of Eagles
The story of Frank W is told here. "Spig" Wead is a Navy-flyer turned screenwriter.
2 Movies · 1 TV show
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show is an American variety series hosted by Dinah Shore, and broadcast on NBC from October 1956 to June 1963. The series was sponsored by the Chevrolet Motor Division of General...
Meet Me in Las Vegas
Chuck Redwell is a gambling cowboy who discovers that he's lucky at the roulette wheel if he holds hands with dancer Marie. However, Marie doesn't like to hold hands with him, at least not in the begi...
The Best Things in Life Are Free
Director Michael Curtiz' 1956 showbiz musical, about the careers of the early-20th-century songwriting trio DeSylva, Brown and Henderson, stars Dan Dailey, Gordon MacRae, Ernest Borgnine, Sheree North...
It's Always Fair Weather
Three World War II buddies promise to meet at a specified place and time 10 years after the war. They don't keep their word because they don't know how far apart they have grown. The three men reexami...
4 Movies · 1 TV show
General Electric Theater
General Electric Theater is an American anthology series hosted by Ronald Reagan that was broadcast on CBS radio and television. The series was sponsored by General Electric's Department of Public Rel...
New York City taxicab driver/owner Ed Nielson has to make a payment on his cab by nightfall, but a passenger he has just picked up, Mary Turner, just off the ship from Ireland, becomes a very deterrin...
The Girl Next Door
Stage-and-night club star Jeannie Laird buys her first home, and everyone who is anyone comes to her first garden party only to be blinded by smoke from next door. Jeannie charges next door to bawl ou...
Meet Me at the Fair
In 1904, Doc Tilbee, medicine show huckster and champion tall-tale teller, gives a ride to a young boy escaped from an orphanage, where bad conditions (the result of political graft) are being investi...
The Kid from Left Field
Coop's an ex-ballplayer is now a peanut vendor, who takes too much of an interest in the game. But he's passed on his craze for baseball to his son, Christie. When his dad gets fired, Chris makes frie...
The Pride of St. Louis
The story of Jerome "Dizzy" Dean, a major-league baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs in the 1930s and 1940s.
What Price Glory
Two military men, Captain Flagg and Sergeant Quirt, who are rivals to begin with, grow more at odds with each other when Quirt is made Flagg's top sergeant. And when a local beauty comes between them,...
Call Me Mister
A G.I. in occupied Japan tries to re-woo his old love, who's putting on a show for the troops.
I Can Get It for You Wholesale
A ruthless fashion designer steps on everyone in her way in order to reach the top of her profession. Eventually she is forced to choose between her ambition and the man she loves.
3 Movies · 1 TV show
What's My Line?
Panelists must ask only "yes" or "no" questions to determine guests' occupations, and in the case of famous guests, they must be blindfolded.
My Blue Heaven
Radio star Kitty Moran, long married to partner Jack, finds she's pregnant, but miscarries. For a change, the couple turn their act into a series on early TV and try to adopt a baby. Finally they acqu...
When Willie Comes Marching Home
When Willie leaves home to join the war effort, he is all ready to become a hero, but he is only frustrated when his posting ends up being in his home town, and he is recruited into training, keeping ...
A Ticket to Tomahawk
Comedy western about a cowboy who is hired by a stagecoach boss to stop the railroad reaching his territory and putting him out of business. He uses everything from Indians to dance hall girls to try ...
You're My Everything
In 1924, stage-struck Boston blueblood Hannah Adams picks up musical star Tim O'Connor and takes him home for dinner. One thing leads to another, and when Tim's show rolls on to Chicago a new Mrs. O'C...
Chicken Every Sunday
A woman takes in boarders to support her husband's harebrained financial schemes.
Give My Regards to Broadway
A family vaudeville act is threatened when the eldest son is offered a contract to play baseball. Musical.
When My Baby Smiles at Me
Bonny Kane and 'Skid' Johnson are vaudeville performers in the 1920s. The two of them suffer marital difficulties when Skid gets an offer to appear on Broadway while Bonny gets left behind on the road...
You Were Meant for Me
A bandleader falls in love and marries a small town girl.
Mother Wore Tights
In this chronicle of a vaudeville family, Myrtle McKinley (class of 1900) goes to San Francisco to attend business school, but ends up in a chorus line. Soon, star Frank Burt notices her talent, hires...
This Is the Army
In WW I dancer Jerry Jones stages an all-soldier show on Broadway, called Yip Yip Yaphank. Wounded in the War, he becomes a producer. In WW II his son Johnny Jones, who was before his fathers assistan...
Two FBI agents are sent to investigate sabotage at a lumber camp.
A newlywed tries to deal with her troubled stepchild.
Give Out, Sisters
The Andrews Sisters headline this musical. They play the lead act at a popular nightclub. The trouble begins when they hire a few students from a financially foundering dance school for their newest p...
A group of aspiring boxers live in a boardinghouse owned by Ma Galestrum (Connie Gilchrist). When her young niece, Judy, comes to stay for a visit, college dropout Ken Burke and Swedish janitor Ole im...
Sailors and spies mingle in between the acts at Hattie's nightclub in the Canal Zone.
Down in San Diego
A group of neighborhood teenagers discover some suspicious goings-on near a naval base in San Diego, and suspect that a foreign espionage ring is at work trying to find out military secrets.
The Wild Man of Borneo
A medicine show man tries to con people into believing he's a legitimate stage actor.
An elderly businessman (Frank Morgan) plans what he thinks is an innocent night on the town while his wife is away. Instead, he finds himself involved in a showgirl's murder.
A jailed cop befriends a mob chieftain and stages a breakout with him.
Moon Over Her Shoulder
Marriage counselor (Sutton) advises his bored wife (Bari) to take up painting through which she meets a hubbie-rival yachtsman (Dailey).
Lady Be Good
Married songwriters almost split up while putting on a big show.
Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the spectacle on Broadway: Susan, the singer who must leave behind ...
Susan and God
A wealthy woman neglects her family to promote a new religious group.
Wholesome comedy about newlyweds (and the bride's understanding--but sometimes interfering--parents) discovering married life isn't always bliss.
The Captain Is a Lady
Because of a bad investment, Captain and Mrs. Peabody are evicted from their home. Mrs. Peabody finds lodging at a retirement home, but as only single women are allowed, the Captain has to make other ...
A dizzy young woman aranges to turn her inventor-boyfriend's vacation into a chance meeting with a possible investor who happens to be her brother's future father-in-law. And Wacky stuff happens.
A professional golfer who has become a businessman for his fiancee helps a vagrant get a job and ends up losing his own.
The Mortal Storm
The Roth family leads a quiet life in a small village in the German Alps during the early 1930s. When the Nazis come to power, the family is divided and Martin Brietner, a family friend is caught up i...
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dan_Dailey", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.