Ann Marie Blyth
August 16, 1928
Mount Kisco, New York, U.S.
(m. 1953; died 2007)
|Family||Dennis Day (brother-in-law)|
Ann Marie Blyth (born August 16, 1928) is an American actress and singer. For her performance as Veda in the 1945 Michael Curtiz film Mildred Pierce, Blyth was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She is one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Life and career
Blyth was born August 16, 1927, in Mount Kisco, New York, to Harry and Nan Lynch Blyth. After her parents separated, she, her mother and sister moved to a walk-up apartment on East 31st Street in New York City, where her mother took in ironing. Blyth attended St. Patrick's School in Manhattan.
Watch on the Rhine
Her first acting role was on Broadway in Lillian Hellman's Watch on the Rhine (from 1941 until 1942). She played the part of Paul Lukas's daughter, Babette. The play ran for 378 performances, and won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. After the New York run, the play went on tour, and while performing at the Biltmore Theatre in Los Angeles, Blyth was offered a contract with Universal Studios.
Blyth began her acting career initially as "Anne Blyth", but changed the spelling of her first name back to "Ann" at the beginning of her film career. She made her film debut in 1944, teamed with Donald O'Connor and Peggy Ryan in the teen-age musical Chip Off the Old Block (1944).
She followed it with two similar films: The Merry Monahans (1944) with O'Connor and Ryan again, and Babes on Swing Street (1944) with Ryan. She had a support role in the bigger budgeted Bowery to Broadway (1944), a showcase of Universal musical talent.
On loan to Warner Brothers, Blyth was cast "against type" as Veda Pierce, the scheming, ungrateful daughter of Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce (1945). Her dramatic portrayal won her outstanding reviews, and she received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Blyth was only 16 when she made the Michael Curtiz film. (Crawford won the Best Actress award for that film.)
Back at Universal she did a film noir with Charles Boyer and Jessica Tandy, A Woman's Vengeance (1948), effecting a British accent. She was then cast in the part of Regina Hubbard in Lillian Hellman's Another Part of the Forest (1948), an adaptation of the 1946 play where Regina had been played by Patricia Neal. The play was a prequel to The Little Foxes.
20th Century Fox loaned her to star opposite Tyrone Power in I'll Never Forget You (1952), a last minute replacement for Constance Smith. She appeared on TV in Family Theater in an episode called "The World's Greatest Mother" alongside Ethel Barrymore.
Universal teamed Blyth with Gregory Peck in The World in His Arms (1952). She was top billed in the comedy Sally and Saint Anne (1952) and was borrowed by RKO for One Minute to Zero (1952), a Korean War drama with Robert Mitchum where she replaced Claudette Colbert who came down with pneumonia.
MGM had been interested in Blyth since The Great Caruso. In December 1953, Blyth left Universal and she signed a long-term contract with MGM.
Back at MGM Blyth had the lead in the remake of Rose Marie (1954) with Howard Keel, which earned over $5 million but lost money due to high costs. Plans to make other Nelson-Eddy films (The Girl from the Golden West) were discussed but did not work out.
Warner Bros then cast her in the title role of The Helen Morgan Story (1957) directed by Michael Curtiz with Paul Newman. Blyth reportedly beat 40 other actors for the part. Even though her voice was more like the original Helen Morgan, her vocals were dubbed by Gogi Grant. That soundtrack was much more successful than the film itself. Blyth made no further films.
Theatre and television
From the late 1950s into the 1970s, Blyth worked in musical theater and summer stock, starring in the shows The King and I, The Sound of Music, and Show Boat. She also appeared sporadically on television, including co-starring opposite James Donald in the 1960 adaptation of A.J. Cronin's novel, The Citadel.
She guest starred on episodes of The DuPont Show with June Allyson, The Dick Powell Theatre, Saints and Sinners, The Christophers, Wagon Train (several episodes), The Twilight Zone ("Queen of the Nile"), Burke's Law, Kraft Suspense Theatre, Insight, and The Name of the Game. Several of these appearances were for Four Star Television with whom Blyth signed a multi-appearance contract.
In the December 1952 edition of Motion Picture and Television Magazine, Ann Blyth stated in an interview that she was a Republican who had endorsed Dwight D. Eisenhower for president, the month before during the 1952 presidential election.
In 1955, an armed man who had written her fan letters was arrested near her house.
In 1953, Blyth married obstetrician James McNulty, brother of singer Dennis Day, who had introduced them. The bridesmaids were actresses Joan Leslie, Jane Withers, and Betty Lynn. The couple received special commendation from the Pope.
After her marriage, Blyth took somewhat of a reprieve from her career to focus on raising their five children, Timothy Patrick (born June 10, 1954); Maureen Ann (born December 14, 1955); Kathleen Mary (born December 23, 1957); Terence Grady (born December 9, 1960); and Eileen Alana (born April 10, 1963).
In 1973, she and McNulty, both devout Catholics, were accorded the honorific rank of Lady and Knight of the Holy Sepulchre in a ceremony presided over by Terence Cardinal Cooke. McNulty died on May 13, 2007, in La Jolla, California. He was 89 years old.
|1944||Chip Off the Old Block||Glory Marlow III|
|The Merry Monahans||Sheila DeRoyce|
|Babes on Swing Street||Carol Curtis|
|Bowery to Broadway||Bessie Jo Kirby|
|1945||Mildred Pierce||Veda Pierce Forrester||Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Nomination|
|1946||Swell Guy||Marian Tyler|
|Killer McCoy||Sheila Carrson|
|1948||A Woman's Vengeance||Doris Mead||Alternative title: The Gioconda Smile|
|Another Part of the Forest||Regina Hubbard|
|Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid||Lenore the Mermaid|
|1949||Red Canyon||Lucy Bostel|
|Top o' the Morning||Conn McNaughton|
|Once More, My Darling||Marita Connell|
|Free for All||Ann Abbott|
|1950||Our Very Own||Gail Macaulay|
|1951||Katie Did It||Katherine Standish|
|The Great Caruso||Dorothy Park Benjamin|
|Thunder on the Hill||Valerie Carns||Alternative title: Bonaventure|
|I'll Never Forget You||Helen Pettigrew / Martha Forsyth||Alternative titles: The House in the Square (USA) |
Man of Two Worlds
|The Golden Horde||Princess Shalimar||Alternative title: The Golden Horde of Genghis Khan|
|1952||The World in His Arms||Countess Marina Selanova|
|Sally and Saint Anne||Sally O'Moyne|
|One Minute to Zero||Mrs. Landa Day|
|1953||All the Brothers Were Valiant||Priscilla "Pris" Holt|
|1954||Rose Marie||Rose Marie Lemaitre|
|The Student Prince||Kathie Ruder|
|1955||The King's Thief||Lady Mary|
|The Buster Keaton Story||Gloria Brent|
|The Helen Morgan Story||Helen Morgan||Alternative titles are Both Ends of the Candle and |
Why Was I Born?
Vocals dubbed by Gogi Grant
|1954||Lux Video Theatre||Angela||Episode: "A Place in the Sun"|
|1958–1963||The Christophers||2 episodes|
|1959||The DuPont Show with June Allyson||Martha||Episode: "Suspected"|
|1959–1963||Wagon Train||Nancy Winters / Eve Newhope / Clementine Jones / Martha Barham / Jenny / Phoebe Tannen||5 episodes|
|1960||The Citadel||Christine||Television movie|
|1962||The Dick Powell Show||Lizzie Hogan||Episode: "Savage Sunday"|
|1963||Saints and Sinners||Edith Berlitz||Episode: "The Year Joan Crawford Won the Oscar"|
|1964||The Twilight Zone||Pamela Morris / Constance Taylor||Episode: "Queen of the Nile"|
|1964–1965||Burke's Law||Deidre DeMara
|1965||Kraft Suspense Theatre||Lady Mei||Episode: "Jungle of Fear"|
|1969||The Name of the Game||Kay Martin||Episode: "Swingers Only"|
|1975||Switch||Miriam Estabrook||Episode: "Mistresses, Murder and Millions"|
|1979–1983||Quincy, M.E.||Velma Whitehead
|1985||Murder, She Wrote||Francesca Lodge||Episode: "Reflections of the Mind", (final appearance)|
|1948||Lux Radio Theatre||A Woman's Vengeance|
|1952||Family Theater||The Presentation|
|1952||Lux Radio Theatre||Top o' the Morning|
|1953||Family Theater||The Finding in the Temple|
|1946||Academy Award||Best Supporting Actress||Mildred Pierce||Nominated|
|1958||Laurel Awards||Top Female Musical Performance||The Helen Morgan Story||Nominated|
- "Ann Blyth", Turner Classic Movies
- "Anne Blyth on Personal Faith" Guideposts, December 1952
- King, Susan (August 12, 2013). "Ann Blyth gets a TCM salute for her birthday". Los Angeles Times.
- "Ann Blyth an Actress Since She Was 5". Chicago Daily Tribune. Jan 29, 1950. p. G3.
- WILLIAM BROWNELL (Oct 12, 1952). "THE BLYTH SPIRIT: Show Business Still Stimulating to Ann Blyth, Youthful But Veteran Trouper". New York Times. p. X5.
- "Watch on the Rhine". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2015-08-09.
- Schallert, Edwin (Apr 22, 1944). "Metro to Split Garson, Pidgeon Combination: 'The Bullfighter,' Latin-American Yarn, Chosen as Subject for Laurel and Hardy". Los Angeles Times. p. 5.
- Blyth, Ann, "My Career Took a Toboggan Ride", in Peale, Norman Vincent (ed.) Faith Made Them Champions. Carmel, New York: Guideposts Associates, Inc., 1954, pp. 114–117.
- "The Life Story of ANN BLYTH". Picture Show. 53 (1389). London. Nov 12, 1949. p. 12.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- Hopper, Hedda (June 6, 1954). "Ann Blyth: Success Without an Enemy". Los Angeles Times. p. E1.
- "ANN BLYTH SHIFTS ROLE AT U-I STUDIO". New York Times. Feb 4, 1949. p. 31.
- THOMAS F. BRADY (May 3, 1949). "GIL LAMB TO HEAD RKO VARIETY FILM: ' Make Mine Laughs' Scheduled the Studio -- U-I Suspends Ann Blyth From Salary". New York Times. p. 31.
- "Notes for I'll Never Forget You (1951)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
- THOMAS M. PRYORS (Dec 4, 1952). "ANN BLYTH LEAVING UNIVERSAL DEC. 20: Seen Signing M-G-M Contract -- May Play Lead in New Version of 'Rose Marie'". New York Times. p. 47.
- Schallert, Edwin (12 February 1953). "'Caesar' Pioneer to Do Gauguin; Adventuress Bids for Mala Powers". Los Angeles Times. p. A11.
- Ronald Bergan (January 24, 2009). "Edmund Purdom (obituary)". The Guardian. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
- Hopper, Hedda (July 25, 1953). "Ann Blyth, Taylor Named as Costars". Los Angeles Times. p. A7.
- Hopper, Hedda (June 9, 1957). "40 Tested, but Ann Blyth Won". Los Angeles Times. p. F1.
- "Ann Blyth Seeks $75,000 in Suit". Los Angeles Times. Jan 1, 1957. p. B1.
- Amador, Tavo (July 17, 2006). "The Real Veda Pierce: A Serene Ann Blyth". Bay Area Reporter.
- "Memories of Melody Top: Remembering Milwaukee's Summer Stock Theatre". DGP. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- "Ann Blyth Stars Los Angeles Times". Oct 22, 1963. p. F13.
- "Multiple Contract Signed by Ann Blyth". Los Angeles Times. June 21, 1962. p. C11.
- "Hollywood Walk of Fame – Ann Blyth". walkoffame.com. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
- "Harper MacKay; Composer, Arranger of Music for Films, TV". Los Angeles Times. June 8, 1995.
- Libby Slate (October 14, 1994). "Playing Their Songs : Concert by John Raitt and Ann Blyth will target a crowd that craves 'hummable' music". Los Angeles Times.
- Stephen Holden (November 3, 1992). "Pop and Jazz in Review". The New York Times.
- Motion Picture and Television Magazine, December 1952, page 28, Ideal Publishers
- "Armed Man Seized Near Home of Ann Blyth: Police Report Finding Spring-Blade Knife, Two Shotguns, Rifle and Blackjack in Auto". Los Angeles Times. Sep 13, 1955. p. 4.
- "Ann Blyth Wed as 600 Watch Church Service: ANN BLYTH MARRIED". Los Angeles Times. June 28, 1953. p. 1.
- "Daughter Born to Ann Blyth". Los Angeles Times. Apr 11, 1963. p. 30.
- Anderson, Nancy (August 22, 1974). "Ann Blyth has Cake and Eats it". Lodi News-Sentinel.
- "Ann Blyth Profile". Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- "Boyer, Blyth Play Original Roles on 'Lux'". Harrisburg Telegraph. March 20, 1948. p. 22. Retrieved August 8, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Kirby, Walter (December 28, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 36. Retrieved June 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Kirby, Walter (March 16, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 44. Retrieved May 23, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Kirby, Walter (January 11, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 42. Retrieved June 19, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Dye, David. Child and Youth Actors: Filmography of Their Entire Careers, 1914–1985. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 1988, p. 22-23.
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