Daly, Arnold

(1875-1927)
   Peter Christopher Arnold Daly was born in Brooklyn, New York, and found his first theatrical work as an office boy for producer Charles Frohman before making his debut as an actor in a small role in a touring production of The Jolly Squire (1892). Daly achieved his first success as Chambers in an adaptation of Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson (1895), after which he gave well-received performances in Barbara Frietchie (1899), Hearts Aflame (1902), and Major André (1903). Thanks to the intercession of Irish relatives acquainted with George Bernard Shaw, Daly and his partner Winchell Smith attained rights to stage the American premiere of Shaw's Candida (1903) with Daly playing Marchbanks, after which he staged a 1904-1905 season of Shaw's plays, including How She Lied to Her Husband (which Shaw wrote for Daly), You Never Can Tell, The Man of Destiny, John Bull's Other Island, and, most notoriously, Mrs. Warren's Profession. New York authorities found the latter so indecent that they arrested Daly and his costar, Mary Shaw, but both were ultimately acquitted. Condemnations from critics caused Daly to abandon his hope for creating a "theatre of ideas" in the United States. He spent most of his remaining career acting in popular entertainments, notably as the Vagabond in George M. Cohan's comedy mystery The Tavern (1920). Daly also staged classical Japanese plays and William Butler Yeats's poetic dramas.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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