skip navigation
Bebe Daniels

Bebe Daniels



TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here


TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Also Known As: Phyllis Daniels,Bebe Daniels Died: March 16, 1971
Born: January 14, 1901 Cause of Death: cerebral hemorrhage
Birth Place: Dallas, Texas, USA Profession: Cast ... actor screenwriter


Brilliant silent film comic who blossomed in the talkie era as a musical comedy star. Daniels began her film career as a child (her mother was a casting director) and by the mid-1910s was chosen by Hal Roach to be Harold Lloyd's leading lady. She made (and wrote) dozens of knock-about two-reel comedies with Lloyd, then rocketed to stardom when signed by Paramount's Cecil B. DeMille for "Male and Female" (1919) and other high-budget, sophisticated films ("Everywoman", 1919; "Why Change Your Wife?" 1920; "Affairs of Anatol", 1921). Daniels stayed at Paramount through the 1920s, starring in nearly 50 films, many with such classic Jazz Age titles as "The Speed Girl" (1921, based on Daniels' own brush with the traffic laws), "Singed Wings" (1922), "Daring Youth" and "Sinners in Heaven" (1924), "Wild, Wild Susan" (1925), "The Campus Flirt" (1926), "She's a Sheik" (1927) and "What a Night!" (her last silent, 1928). In most of these, Daniels played a wild, carefree but essentially nice girl; a variation of the flappers played by Clara Bow and Colleen Moore at the same time. With the coming of sound, Paramount let her go, and was much chagrined when she made a hit musical ("Rio Rita") for RKO in 1929. She developed into one of the most charming actresses of the early 1930s, adept in comedy, drama and musicals. She freelanced from studio to studio, appearing in a total of 15 talkies between 1929 and 1935. Some of them are classics: "Reaching for the Moon" (with Doug Fairbanks, 1931), the John Barrymore drama "Counsellor at Law" (1933), and as the bitchy star who breaks an ankle in "42nd Street" (1933). In 1930, she married film star Ben Lyon, who moved with her to London in the mid-1930s. They became successful radio and vaudeville stars in England, also becoming national heroes when they stayed put to entertain during the Blitz. After the war they returned to the US, where Lyon became a talent agent for 20th Century-Fox, helping to put Marilyn Monroe under contract. The Lyons went back to London in the 1950s and made two films; Daniels was a semi-invalid for the last ten years of her life, having suffered a series of strokes.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute