Happy Birthday Ann Blyth

Happy Birthday Ann Blyth

Ann Marie Blyth (born August 16, 1928) is an American retired 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

Early life

Anne Marie Blythe (she later dropped the “e” from her first name and surname) was born in Mount Kisco, New York, on August 16, 1928.[1] After her father left the family, she, her elder sister (Dorothy), and their mother moved to a walk-up apartment on East 31st Street in New York City, where her mother took in ironing.[2]

Watch on the Rhine

Blyth performed on children’s radio shows in New York for six years, making her first appearance when she was five.[3][4] When she was nine, she joined the New York Children’s Opera Company.[5]

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’ daughter, Babette. The play ran for 378 performances,[6] 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 Theater in Los Angeles, Blyth was offered a contract with Universal Studios

Personal life

In the December 1952 edition of Motion Picture and Television Magazine, 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.[29]

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 a special commendation from the Pope.[30] After her marriage, Blyth took a hiatus from her career to focus on raising their five children.[31][32] In 1955, an armed man who had written her fan letters was arrested near her house.[33]

 Honors

In 1973, she and McNulty, both Catholics, were accorded the honorific rank of Lady and Knight of the Holy Sepulchre in a ceremony presided over by Cardinal Cooke.[34]

In 2003, she was the recipient of the Living Legacy Award by the Women’s International Center in 2003.[34]

Later years

Blyth was widowed when Dr. McNulty died on May 13, 2007, in La Jolla, California, aged 89.[34]