Ann Blyth

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Ann Blyth
Studio publicity Ann Blyth.jpg
Blyth in 1952.
Born Ann Marie Blyth
(1928-08-16) August 16, 1928 (age 88)
Mount Kisco, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1941–1985
Religion Christianity (Catholic)
Spouse(s) Dr. James McNulty
(m. 1953; his death 2007)
Children 5

Ann Marie Blyth (born August 16, 1928) is an American actress and singer, often cast in Hollywood musicals, but also successful in dramatic roles. Her performance as Veda Pierce in the 1945 film Mildred Pierce was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Life and career[edit]

Blyth was born August 16, 1928 in Mount Kisco, New York,[1] to Harry and Nan Lynch Blyth. After her parents separated, she, her mother, and sister moved to a walk-up flat on E31st Street in New York City, where her mother took in ironing.[2] Blyth attended St. Patrick's School in Manhattan.

Blyth performed on children's radio shows in New York for six years.[3] 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,[4] and won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. After the New York run, the play went on tour, and while 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 in the teen-age musical Chip Off the Old Block.[3] In musical films such as Babes on Swing Street, and Bowery to Broadway (both 1944), she played the part of the sweet and demure teenager.

On loan to Warner Brothers Blyth was cast "against type" as Veda Pierce, the scheming, ungrateful daughter of Joan Crawford in the 1945 film Mildred Pierce. Her dramatic portrayal won her outstanding reviews and she received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.[1] Blyth was only 16 when she made the Michael Curtiz film.[3] (Crawford won the Best Actress award for that film.)

After Mildred Pierce, Blyth sustained a broken back while tobogganing in Snow Valley,[5] and was not able to fully capitalize on the film's success, although she was still able to make a few movies. She played the part of Regina Hubbard in Another Part of the Forest (a 1948 prequel to The Little Foxes), and achieved success playing a mermaid in Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid. Her other films include: Our Very Own (with Farley Granger), The Great Caruso (with Mario Lanza), One Minute to Zero (with Robert Mitchum), The World in His Arms (with Gregory Peck), Rose Marie, The Student Prince,[1] Kismet, The Buster Keaton Story, and her final film role, The Helen Morgan Story (with Paul Newman). 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.

During the late 1950s and 1960s Blyth worked in musical theater, summer stock, and television, including a starring role in a 1960 adaptation of A. J. Cronin's The Citadel. She guest-starred on October 8, 1958, on NBC The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford, the episode in which the 1959 Ford vehicles were introduced to the public.[6] In "The Jenny Tannen Story". the second season finale of the long-running western Wagon Train, broadcast on June 24, 1959, she played the dual role of a mother and daughter.

She appeared as Martha in Suspected in December 1959 in the CBS anthology series, The DuPont Show with June Allyson. Blyth also became the spokesperson for Hostess Cupcakes. Her last television appearances were in episodes of Quincy, M.E. in 1983 and Murder, She Wrote in 1985.

Blyth has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6733 Hollywood Boulevard for her contribution to motion pictures.

Personal life[edit]

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. After her marriage, Blyth cut back somewhat to focus on raising their five children, Timothy Patrick (June 10, 1954); Maureen Ann (December 14, 1955); Kathleen Mary (December 23, 1957); Terence Grady (December 9, 1960); and Eileen Alana (April 10, 1963).[7] 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 Cardinal Terence Cooke.[8] McNulty died on May 13, 2007, in La Jolla.[8]

In the December 1952 edition of Motion Picture and Television Magazine Ann Blyth stated in an interview that she endorsed Dwight D. Eisenhower for president the month before in the 1952 presidential election.[9]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
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
1947 Brute Force Ruth
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 Benjamin
Thunder on the Hill Valerie Carns Alternative title: Bonaventure
The Golden Horde Princess Shalimar Alternative title: The Golden Horde of Genghis Khan
I'll Never Forget You Helen Pettigrew/Martha Forsyth Alternative titles: The House in the Square (USA)
Man of Two Worlds
1952 Sally and Saint Anne Sally O'Moyne
One Minute to Zero Mrs. Landa Day
The World in His Arms Countess Marina Selanova
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
Kismet Marsinah
1956 Slander Connie
1957 The Buster Keaton Story Gloria Brent
The Helen Morgan Story Helen Morgan Alternative titles: Both Ends of the Candle
Why Was I Born?
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1954 Lux Video Theatre 1 episode
1958–1963 The Christophers 2 episodes
1959 The DuPont Show with June Allyson Martha 1 episode
1959–1963 Wagon Train Various roles 5 episodes
1960 The Citadel Christine Television movie
1962 The Dick Powell Show Lizzie Hogan 1 episode
1963 Saints and Sinners Edith Berlitz 1 episode
1964 The Twilight Zone Pamela Morris/Constance Taylor Episode: "Queen of the Nile"
1964–1965 Burke's Law Deidre DeMara
Valerie
2 episodes
1965 Kraft Suspense Theatre Lady Mei 1 episode
1969 The Name of the Game Kay Martin 1 episode
1975 Switch Miriam Estabrook 1 episode
1979–1983 Quincy, M.E. Velma Whitehead
Dorothy Blake
2 episodes
1985 Murder, She Wrote Francesca Lodge 1 episode

Radio appearances[edit]

Year Program Episode/source
1948 Lux Radio Theatre A Woman's Vengeance[10]
1952 Family Theater The Presentation[11]
1952 Lux Radio Theatre Top o' the Morning[12]
1953 Family Theater The Finding in the Temple[13]

Award nominations[edit]

Year Award Result Category Film
1946 Academy Award Nominated Best Supporting Actress Mildred Pierce
1958 Laurel Awards Top Female Musical Performance The Helen Morgan Story

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Ann Blyth", Turner Classic Movies
  2. ^ "Anne Blyth on Personal Faith", Guideposts, December 1952
  3. ^ a b c King, Susan. "Ann Blyth gets a TCM salute for her birthday", Los Angeles Times, August 12, 2013
  4. ^ "Watch on the Rhine". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2015-08-09. 
  5. ^ Blyth, Ann, "My Career Took a Toboggan Ride," in Peale, Norman Vincent (ed.) Faith Made Them Champions. Carmel, NY: Guideposts Associates, Inc., 1954, pp. 114–117.
  6. ^ "The Ford Show Episode Guide". ernieford.com. Archived from the original on 28 November 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2010. 
  7. ^ Anderson, Nancy. "Ann Blyth has Cake and Eats it", Lodi News-Sentinel, August 22, 1974
  8. ^ a b "Ann Blyth Profile". Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  9. ^ Motion Picture and Television Magazine, December 1952, page 28, Ideal Publishers
  10. ^ "Boyer, Blyth Play Original Roles on 'Lux'". Harrisburg Telegraph. March 20, 1948. p. 22. Retrieved August 8, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  11. ^ Kirby, Walter (December 28, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 36. Retrieved June 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  12. ^ Kirby, Walter (March 16, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 44. Retrieved May 23, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  13. ^ Kirby, Walter (January 11, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 42. Retrieved June 19, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read

External links[edit]