Daly, Tyne (1946—)

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Daly, Tyne (1946—)

Actress Tyne Daly earned her high profile through her three-dimensional portrayal of Mary Beth Lacey, the dark-haired, well-grounded foil and partner to Sharon Gless's blonde, less stable Christine Cagney in television's pioneering female cop series in the 1980s. She went on to demonstrate her versatility with a stunning, Tony Award-winning performance as Mama Rose in the Broadway revival of the musical Gypsy in 1989.

Born Ellen Tyne Daly in Madison, Wisconsin, one of four children of actors James Daly and Hope Newell, she drifted into acting over her parents' objections. Ironically, she audition for the role of young Louise (Gypsy Rose Lee) to Ethel Merman's Mama Rose in the original Gypsy in 1959, but failed to get the part. Her first television appearance was in The Virginian, followed by a brief run with the soap opera General Hospital and guest appearances on several other shows. Daly made a handful of films, including The Enforcer (1976) opposite Clint Eastwood, before earning her first Emmy Award nomination for the television movie Intimate Strangers (1977), and made a number of other TV films before beginning her run in Cagney and Lacey in 1982. In real life a divorced mother of three children, Daly brought sympathy and conviction to her role as an undercover detective, coping with the pressures of New York police work while dealing with husband, home, children, and even pregnancy. Her consistently appealing performance over the show's seven seasons earned her six Emmy nominations and four best actress awards.

—James R. Belpedio

Further Reading:

Brooks, Tim and Earle Marsh. The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present. 6th edition. New York, Ballantine Books, 1995.