After more than two decades performing on stage and screen, Tyne Daly finally got her television stardom as Mary Beth Lacey, partner of Chris Cagney, on the police series “Cagney & Lacey.”
But how did she get there, and how did it go after her success on television?
Tyne Daly was born in 1946 in Madison, Wisconsin, but she grew up in Westchester County, New York.
Daly was born to act. Her parents, actor James Daly and actress Mary Hope, were both movie stars.
It seemed that nothing could hold the young Daly back – she wanted to stand on stage and perform in front of an audience at an early age.
According to some reports, she knew that she wanted to be an actress at the age of 8.
“I was pretty convinced that I was an actress,” Daly told Playbill in 2019.
However, her dad didn’t want his daughter to enter the acting industry.
“Dad was a refuser for a while,” Daly remembered. “He did the kind of grumpy, Irish father routine about, ‘not my daughter, not in this filthy business.’”
Daly began her acting career appearing in summer stock productions with her family. She earned her Actors’ Equity Association card at age 15.
After attending Brandeis University, Daly went on to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.
Daly made her debut on Broadway in 1966, in a revival of “The Butter and Egg Man.” That also lead to some small roles in films and TV.
By the mid-1970s, Daly’s career was on the upturn.
She landed her first movie role, “John and Mary,” in 1969. She also starred in “Play It as It Lays,” in 1972, and “The Adulteress” in 1975.
When she got the role of first female partner to Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry Callahan in “The Enforcer” (1976), her performance divided critics.
ore 21.00 – Iris (can.22)Cielo di piombo, ispettore Callaghan(The Enforcer) USA 1976, poliziesco, 96’di James…
Some were calling it too “mannered” for film, others praised the strength she brought to the role.
After that, television proved to be where Daly would make her mark.
In 1982, she took on a more permanent television role when she got the role of Detective Mary Beth Lacy on “Cagney & Lacey.”
Tyne Daly starred alongside Sharon Gless as a New York City police detective.
They played two memorable women who lived very different lives: Christine Cagney (Gless) was a career-minded single woman, while Mary Beth Lacey (Daly) was a married working mother.
Back then, the show was unusual in that women were at the center of the story.
According to Daly, she liked the role because it didn’t portray women as something secondary, but as strong and confident.
”Well, I spent more than fifteen years as a victim. Pretty enough to be the decoration, and the choices then for women were to be the decoration or the victim. So I played a lot of victims. By the time I got a chance to be the hero it was a great relief, because I was really tired of making those faces and shedding all those tears. The opportunity was fantastic,” Daly said in an interview with Pop Entertainment.
For her role as Mary Beth Lacey, Daly won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series four times.
The series itself won two consecutive Emmy Awards for Best Drama Series in 1985 and 1986.
But after seven seasons and 125 episodes, “Cagney & Lacey” was cancelled in 1988.
“We were all ready to rest. It was the end of a long period of real good work and fine associations,” Daly told Playbill.
Tyne Daly today
After being identified as a feminist icon in the media for her role in “Cagney and Lacey,” Daly went on to other projects.
From 1999 to 2005, she starred in “Judging Amy.” Her performance and role was once again praised by critics. The reason?
In the show, Daly’s hair was shown in its naturally gray state and the actress received a thumbs up for maintaining a natural appearance as she aged.
In 2015, Daly returned to Broadway, but she also made appearances in movies and televison.
Some people remember her from “Grey’s Anatomy,” where she played Dr. McDreamy’s mother Carolyn Shepherd.
In 2017, Daly was a hit in “Spider: Homecoming” as Anne Marie Hoag.
And last year, you could see Daly as Lady Mrs. Betjeman in “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” produced by the Coen brothers.
Love Tyne Daley. She was great in Cagney and Lacey and also in Judging Amy. Both shows were great!