Bebe Virginia Daniels
January 14, 1901 - March 16, 1971
Dallas, Texas, United States
Hollywood Forever Cemetery Hollywood Los Angeles County California, USA
She was a child star, having acted in the Shakespearian play 'Richard III' onstage at four years old, earning her first leading part at the age of seven, and starting her movie career at nine years old in 1910.
One of her earliest roles was that of Dorothy in the oldest known surviving screen version of L. Frank Baum's well-known novel 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.' In 1915 she became the leading lady of the legendary comedian Harold Lloyd, at the point in his career when his screen character was Lonesome Luke. She stayed with him after his character changed from Lonesome Luke to the more familiar "Glasses Character."
Though she was only a teenager and he was eight years her senior, they became romantically involved offscreen as well. In 1919 they parted ways professionally when she was offered a contract by Cecil B. DeMille, though they remained friends the rest of their lives. While working for DeMille she starred in such films as 'Male and Female' (1919), 'The Affairs of Anatol' (1921), 'She's a Sheik' (1927), 'Unguarded Women' (1924), 'Miss Bluebeard' (1925), 'Hot News' (1928), and 'Stranded in Paris' (1926). When her contract expired in 1929, she went to work for RKO Studios. Her first picture there was the musical 'Rio Rita,' which was very successful and gave her career a major boost. In 1935 she made her final American movie, 'Music Is Magic.' The next year she moved to England with her husband, Ben Lyon, whom she had married in 1930.
Both of their careers were fading at this time, and they hoped to achieve new success abroad. The couple played the London Palladium and began their own radio show, 'Life with the Lyons.' Daniels also starred in a few movies in England; the last two were based on their radio program.
In 1955 their radio program became a television program as well. Daniels suffered a series of strokes in the early Sixties, necessitating her retirement from performing. She died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of seventy in early 1971.