Ann Marie Blyth (born August 16, 1928) is an American actress and singer, often cast in Hollywood musicals, but also successful in dramatic roles. Her most well-known film role is as the selfish and ungrateful Veda Pierce in the 1945 film Mildred Pierce, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Life and career
Blyth was born in Mount Kisco, New York, to parents who divorced shortly after her birth. She was raised a devout churchgoing Roman Catholic by her mother. Blyth began her acting career initially as "Anne Blyth," changing the spelling of her name back to the original (Ann) at the beginning of her film career. Her first acting role was on Broadway in Watch on the Rhine (from 1941 until 1942). She was signed to a contract with Universal Studios, and made her film debut in Chip Off the Old Block in 1944. In musical films such as Babes on Swing Street, and Bowery to Broadway (both 1944), she played the part of the sweet and demure teenager.
On loan to Warner Brothers, Blyth was cast against type as Veda Pierce, the scheming, ungrateful daughter of Joan Crawford in the 1945 film Mildred Pierce. Her dramatic portrayal won her outstanding reviews and she received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. (Crawford won the Best Actress award for that film.)
Having injured her back after Mildred Pierce, Blyth was not able to capitalize on its success completely, although she was still able to make a few films. She played the part of Regina Hubbard in Another Part of the Forest (a 1948 prequel to The Little Foxes), and achieved success playing a mermaid in Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid. Her other films include : Our Very Own (with Farley Granger), The Great Caruso (with Mario Lanza), One Minute to Zero (with Robert Mitchum), The World in His Arms (with Gregory Peck), Rose Marie, The Student Prince, Kismet, The Buster Keaton Story, and The Helen Morgan Story (with Paul Newman). Even though her voice was more like the original Helen Morgan, her vocals were dubbed by Gogi Grant, a popular singer at the time. That soundtrack was much more successful than the film itself.
During the 1960s, Blyth worked in musical theater, summer stock, and television, including a starring role in a 1960 adaptation of A. J. Cronin's The Citadel. She appeared as the character Martha in "Suspected" in December 1959 in the CBS anthology series The DuPont Show with June Allyson. Blyth also became the spokesperson for Hostess Cupcakes. Her most recent TV appearances came in episodes of Quincy in 1983 and Murder, She Wrote in 1985.
Blyth has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to motion pictures at 6733 Hollywood Boulevard.
Blyth married James McNulty, brother of singer Dennis Day, in 1953. The couple had five children. McNulty died in 2007.
Photograph was Hand Oil Tinted by Artist Margaret A. Rogers.