Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bebe Daniels

Bebe Daniels played Dorothy in a 1910 movie version of THE WIZARD OF OZ. She went on to costar with Harold Lloyd in two-reel comedies and went on to became a star in features.

Bebe Daniels

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bebe Daniels
Bebe Daniels in 1925
BornPhyllis Virginia Daniels
(1901-01-14)January 14, 1901
Dallas, Texas, USA
DiedMarch 16, 1971(1971-03-16) (aged 70)
London, England, UK
Other namesBebe Lyon
OccupationActress, dancer, singer, producer, writer
Years active1910–1960
Spouse(s)Ben Lyon
(m.1930–1971; her death)
Bebe Daniels (January 14, 1901 – March 16, 1971) was an American actress, singer, dancer, writer and producer.
She began her career in Hollywood during the silent movie era as a child actress, became a star in musicals such as 42nd Street, and later gained further fame on radio and television in Britain. In a long career, Bebe Daniels made over 230 films.

Early life and career

Daniels was born Phyllis Virginia Daniels (Bebe was a childhood nickname) in Dallas, Texas. Her father was a theater manager and her mother a stage actress.[1] The family moved to Los Angeles, California in her childhood and she began her acting career at the age of four in the first version of The Squaw Man. That same year she also went on tour in a stage production of Shakespeare's Richard III. The following year she participated in productions by Oliver Morosco and David Belasco.
By the age of seven Daniels had her first starring role in film as the young heroine in A Common Enemy. At the age of nine she starred as Dorothy Gale in the 1910 short film The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. At the age of fourteen she starred opposite film comedian Harold Lloyd in a series of two-reel comedies starting with the 1915 film Giving Them Fits. The two eventually developed a publicized romantic relationship and were known in Hollywood as "The Boy" and "The Girl."[2]
In 1919, she decided to move to greater dramatic roles and accepted a contract offering from Cecil B. DeMille, who gave her secondary roles in such films as Male and Female (1919), Why Change Your Wife? (1920), and The Affairs of Anatol (1921).

Later life and career

Jackie Coogan "Nazimova" (actress) Gloria Swanson Hollywood Boulevard Picture taken in 1907 of this junction Harold Lloyd Will Rogers Elinor Glyn (Writer) "Buster" Keaton William S. Hart (Two-Gun Bill) Rupert Hughes (Novelist) Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle Wallace Reid Douglas Fairbanks Bebe Daniels "Bull" Montana Rex Ingram Peter the hermit Charlie Chaplin Alice Terry (Actress) Mary Pickford William C. DeMille Cecil Blount DeMille Use button to enlarge or cursor to investigate
This 1921 Vanity Fair caricature by Ralph Barton[3] shows the famous people who, he imagined, left work each day in Hollywood; use cursor to identify individual figures.
In the 1920s, Daniels was under contract with Paramount Pictures. She made the transition from child star to adult in Hollywood by 1922 and by 1924 was playing opposite Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire. Following this she was cast in a number of light popular films, namely Miss Bluebeard, The Manicure Girl, and Wild Wild Susan. Paramount dropped her contract with the advent of talking pictures. Daniels was hired by Radio Pictures (later known as RKO) to star in one of their biggest productions of the year. She also starred in the 1929 talkie Rio Rita. It proved to be one of the most successful films of that year, and Bebe Daniels found herself a star and RCA Victor hired her to record several records for their catalog.
Radio Pictures starred her in a number of musicals including Dixiana (1930) and Love Comes Along (1930). Towards the end of 1930, Bebe Daniels appeared in the musical comedy Reaching for the Moon. However, by this time musicals had gone out of fashion so that most of the musical numbers from the film had to be removed before it could be released. Daniels had become associated with musicals and so Radio Pictures did not renew her contract. Warner Brothers realized what a box office draw she was and offered her a contract which she accepted. During her years at Warner Brothers she starred in such pictures as My Past (1931), Honor of the Family (1931) and the 1931 pre-code version of The Maltese Falcon, which was eventually eclipsed by John Huston's legendary 1941 version with Humphrey Bogart. In 1932, she appeared in Silver Dollar (1932) and the successful Busby Berkeley choreographed musical comedy 42nd Street (1933) in which she sang once again. That same year she played opposite John Barrymore in Counsellor at Law. Her last film for the Warner Brothers was Registered Nurse (1934).
She retired from Hollywood in 1935. With her husband, film actor Ben Lyon, whom she married in 1930, she moved to London. A few years later, Daniels starred in the London production of Panama Hattie in the title role originated by Ethel Merman. The Lyons then did radio shows for the BBC. Most notably, they starred in the series Hi Gang!, continuing for decades and enjoying considerable popularity during World War II. Daniels wrote most of the dialogue for the Hi Gang radio show. The couple remained through the days of the The Blitz.

Publicity photo, circa 1924
Following the war, Daniels was awarded the Medal of Freedom by Harry S. Truman for war service. In 1945 she returned to Hollywood for a short time to work as a film producer for Hal Roach and Eagle-Lion Films. She returned to the UK in 1948 and lived there for the remainder of her life. Daniels, her husband, her son Richard and her daughter Barbara all starred in the radio sitcom Life With The Lyons (1951 to 1961), which later made the transition to television.


On March 16, 1971, Daniels died of a cerebral hemorrhage in London at the age of 70.[4] Her remains were cremated at London's Golders Green Crematorium and the ashes returned to the United States; she was interred in the Chapel columbarium at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California.

Selected filmography

1910The Wonderful Wizard of OzDorothy Galeextant
1910Justinian and Theodora
1911A Counterfeit Santa Claus
1913The SavageBit part
1914Anne of the Golden Heart
1915Bughouse Bellhops
1915Ruses, Rhymes and Roughnecks
1916Lonesome Luke Leans to the Literary
1916Luke, the Candy Cut-Up
1917BlissThe Girl
1917All AboardThe Girl
1918The Non-Stop KidMiss Wiggleextant
1918Two-Gun GussieThe Girl
1918Take A ChanceThe Hired Girlextant
1919Don't ShoveBebe
1919Male and FemaleThe King's Favouriteextant; ...Bebe Daniels's first silent feature film
1920Why Change Your Wife?Sally Clarkextant
1920The Dancin' FoolJunie Buddextant
1920Sick AbedNurse Durantextant
1920You Never Can TellRowena Patricia Jonesextant; Library of Congress
1920The Fourteenth ManMarjory Seatonlost
1920Oh, Lady, LadyMary Barberlost
1920She Couldn't Help ItYoung Nancelost
1921Ducks and DrakesTeddy Simpsonextant; Library of Congress
1921Two Weeks with PayPansy O'Donnell/Marie La Tourlost; (also Two Weeks Pay)
1921The March HareLisbeth Ann Palmerlost
1921One Wild WeekPauline Hathawaylost
1921The Affairs of AnatolSatan Synneextant
1921The Speed GirlBetty Leelost
1922Nancy from NowhereNancylost
1922A Game ChickenInez Hastingslost
1922North of the Rio GrandeVal Hannonlost; (other films with this title appeared in 1937 and 1949)
1922Nice PeopleTheodora Gloucesterlost
1922Pink GodsLorraine Templelost
1922Singed WingsBonita della Guerdalost
1923The World's ApplauseCorinne d'Alyslost
1923The Glimpses of the MoonSusan Branchlost
1923The ExcitersRonnie Randlost
1923HollywoodHerself (cameo)lost
1923His Children's ChildrenDianelost
1924Heritage of the DesertMescalextant; Gosfilmofond archive, Russia
1924Daring YouthAlita Allenlost
1924Unguarded WomenBreta Banninglost
1924Monsieur BeaucairePrincess Henrietteextant
1924Sinners In HeavenBarbara Stockleylost
1924Dangerous MoneyAdele Clarklost
1924Argentine LoveConsuelo Garcialost
1925Miss BluebeardColette Girardextant
1925The Crowded HourPeggy Laurencelost
1925The Manicure GirlMaria Marettilost
1925Wild, Wild SusanSusan Van Dusenlost
1925Lovers in QuarantineDianaextant; Library of Congress
1925The Splendid CrimeJennylost
1926Miss Brewster's MillionPolly Brewsterlost
1926The Palm Beach GirlEmily Bennettlost
1926Volcano!Zabette de Chavalonsextant; Library of Congress
1926The Campus FlirtPatricia Mansfieldlost
1926Stranded in ParisJulie McFaddenlost
1927A Kiss In A TaxiGinettelost
1927SeñoritaSeñorita Francesca Hernandezextant;...prints held in European archives
1927Swim Girl, SwimAlice Smithlost
1927She's a SheikZaidalost; the film apparently existed to the late 1960s when Bebe was paid tribute with a screening in London.
1928Feel My PulseBarbara Manningextant; Library of Congress
1928The Fifty-Fifty GirlKathleen O'Haralost
1928Hot NewsPat Clancylost
1928Take Me HomePeggy Lanelost
1928What a Night!Dorothy Winstonlost;...Daniels's last silent film[5]
1929Rio RitaRita Fergusonextant
1930Reaching for the MoonVivien Bentonextant
1930DixianaDixiana Caldwell
1931The Maltese FalconRuth Wonderly
1931Honor of the FamilyLauralost; Vitaphone soundtrack survives
1932Silver DollarLily Owens Martin
1933Counsellor at LawRegina "Rexy" Gordon
1933A Southern MaidJuanita/Dolores
193342nd StreetDorothy Brock
1934Registered NurseSylvia 'Ben' Benton
1936Treachery on the High SeasMay HardyAlternative title: Not Wanted on Voyage
1938The Return of Carol DeaneCarol Deane
1941Hi Gang!The Liberty Girl
1947The Fabulous Joe
1954Life with the LyonsBebe LyonAlternative title: Family Affair
1955The Lyons in ParisBebeAlternative titles: Mr. and Mrs. in Paree
The Lyons Abroad
1955–1960Life with the LyonsBebe LyonUnknown episodes, producer, writer


  1. Jump up ^ Golden, Eve (2001). Golden Images: 41 Essays on Silent Film Stars. McFarland. p. 18. ISBN 0-7864-0834-0. 
  2. Jump up ^ The Girl and The Boy, "Bebe and Harold Were A Perfect Match On and Off The Screen" by Tim Lussier
  3. Jump up ^ Vanity Fair magazine September 1921, accessed 2009[dead link]
  4. Jump up ^ Donnelley, Paul (November 1, 2005). Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries. Omnibus Press. p. 301. ISBN 1-84449-430-6. 
  5. Jump up ^ "What a Night (1928)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 


  • The Times, Bebe Daniels American star who made a hit on British radio, March 17, 1971, Page 18.

External links

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Ben Lyon married Bebe Daniels in 1930, the year that HELL'S ANGELS was released.

The story was that Harold Lloyd wanted to marry Bebe Daniels, but he couldn't get her, and ended up marrying Mildred Davis. Here we see Harold Loyd and Bebe Daniels in a scene from one of the comedies they made for Hal Roach.

With Fatty Arbuckle.
With Rudolph Valentino in MONSIEUR BEAUCAIRE ( 1924 )
Bebe Daniels as a female Zorro
something that she did because of the Douglas Fairbanks movie.

Bebe Daniels dressed as an aviatrix.
Bebe Daniels as a "moth" attracted to a flame.
Bebe Daniels was in the first version of THE MALTESE FALCON, which also had Thelma Todd in the cast.
 Bebe Daniels in THE MALTESE FALCON.

 In 42ND STREET Ruby Keeler took Bebe Daniels' place in a musical after she fell and broke her leg.
 Dick Powell, Bebe Daniels and Warren William on a promotional tour for 42ND STREET.
This train was called the "42ND STREET Special" after the movie, a smash hit that revived interest in movie musicals after a period of decline.

April, 1933: Sally Eilers, Ben Lyon and Bebe Daniels on board the SS Ile de France on the way to England. Thelma Todd was also on board, and would return from England with Sally Eilers.

COUNSELLOR AT LAW with Thelma Todd and Bebe Daniels

Many celebrities were the recipients of kidnap threats following the kidnapping of the Lindberg baby*. Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyons went to live in England after receiving  such threats.

In England, Bebe Daniels and her husband hosted a radio show and were very popular. They continued to reside in London and make radio broadcasts during the blitz in World War II.  Bebe Daniels was actually the first woman to land on Normandy Beach after D-Day and interviewed wounded soldiers on the air.

Reblogged from http://classiccinemagold.com/category/bebe-daniels/

Nov. 15, 1952 - Bebe Daniels and husband Ben Lyon right with children Barbara and Richard from their BBC radio show Life with the Lyons

Their radio show later moved to television. There were also a couple of feature films based on the television program.
Back in the US in 1954, the Bebe Daniels story was told on THIS IS YOUR LIFE. Old friends Hal Roach, Harold Lloyd, and Cecil B. DeMille all took part in the program, which was hosted by Ralph Edwards.
Jan Boehme helped make preparations for the show,
the idea being that the whole thing was a surprise that they would spring on her. Which was the way the show worked.
Ben Lyon, who costarred with Jean Harlow in HELL'S ANGELS, was also linked to Marilyn Monroe's rise to fame. While working as a casting director at Fox he was responsible for Marilyn Monroe getting hired. He also helped her come up with the stage name of Marilyn Monroe - "Monroe" was her mother's maiden name, and "Marilyn" was after Marilyn Miller, a star of the past. 
 Her real name was Norma Jean Baker.




*Including Thelma Todd as well as Mae West, Joan Blondell, and Fay Wray
One of Bebe Daniel's first movies and one of the first versions of THE WIZARD OF OZ.

LUKE'S MOVIE MUDDLE ( 1916 ). Among the cast is one Harry Todd, some of whose films have mistakenly been included in filmographies for Thelma Todd.

Bebe Daniels in 42ND STREET

Bebe Daniels:



Bebe Daniels on THIS IS YOUR LIFE:




Harold Lloyd's leading ladies:

Ben Lyon and Marilyn Monroe:




  1. The lost Bebe Daniels silent film "Take Me Home" was also Dorothy Lee's first screen appearance. She had one scene with Bebe in it, but I guess no photos exist of it.

  2. Lost films sometimes turn up again, maybe this one will.