Monday, August 10, 2009

Mary Blythe Craven (1882-1958)

Mary "Mazie" Blythe Daly Craven was an American actress best remembered for her husbands than her own work. She was born August 19, 1882 in Los Angeles, California. The only clue that we have to her family is that she was regularly described as "the niece of General La Grange of Los Angeles". This was Gen. Oscar Hugh La Grange (1837-1915), a Civil War hero and abolitionist born in Fulton, New York to Michael and Jane La Grange. He had three brothers (William Wallace born 1840; Andrew born 1844 and Burk born 1853) and two sisters (Mary Elizabeth born 1847 and Annette born about April 1850). His family moved to Green Lake, Wisconsin in 1845 were he received his general education and early war commissions. After the war he became a lawyer in Washington, DC before moving to California (about 1868) where he became Superintendent of the San Francisco Mint. He moved to Santa Monica, California (near Los Angeles) in about 1898 were he was Governor of the "National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers - Pacific Branch". He retired from that position in 1908 and moved to New York City were he died in 1915. However, in all this history I have not found any connection to Blythe other than general geographic location. It was most likely the General's home, in Santa Monica, that Mary visited when Arnold came to win her back in 1905 (see articles below). But her death index records her mothers maiden name as "Girard". Perhaps one of her aunts or uncles (none of which are known), remarried to one of the La Grange siblings? Only further research will tell.

General Oscar Hugh LaGrange - circa 1863

We do know that her first husband was Arnold Daly, the actor who catapulted George Bernard Shaw onto classic literature shelves. Their daughter, Blythe Daly, would become known as one of the "Four Riders of the Algonquin" along with Tallulah Bankhead, Estelle Winwood and Eva Le Gallienne. Mary divorced Arnold in 1903 and remarried him in 1905. They divorced again sometime afterward and remarried to Frank Craven, also a well known actor who later found his way into movies. They family moved from their home in Great Neck, Long Island to Hollywood in about 1934. Mary passed away February 13, 1958 in Los Angeles.

Washington Post (Washington, D.C.) - June 11, 1905

Remarriage of the Dalys

An interesting object of comment developed on September 22, when the news of the remarriage of Arnold Daly and Mazie Blythe was made known. Two years previously there had been a divorce, and to Mrs. Daly was given the custody of their baby daughter. Following the separation many friends tried to bring the two together, but it was not until the summer of last year that success attended these offices. Miss Blythe at the close of her season with Nat Goodwin, went for a visit to friends at Santa Monica, Cal., and it was not long before news reached her that Arnold Daly had suddenly decided to take his company of "Candida" players tot he Pacific Coast. This cross-the-continent trip was really in the nature of a pursuit with intent to acquire, and at its conclusion its object fell in with the wishes of the organizer of the expedition, the second marriage taking place in San Francisco. Mr. and Mrs. Daly had been together in many companies. They first met when she was a member of Mansfield's troupe, and later when playing in "Barbara Freitchic" in support of Miss Marlowe, they were married.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) - May 9, 1914


STAMFORD, Conn., May 9 - Mrs. Mazie B. Daly, the actress who was twice married to Arnold Daly and as many times divorced from him, was married by Justice of the Peace Tipper this afternoon to Frank Craven, the actor, at the residence of Leo Ditrichstein. Mrs. Daly has been living with Mrs. Ditrichstein here.

Elm Point, Great Neck, North Hempstead, NY - February 12, 1920
1920 United States Federal Census

Craven, Frank - age 38, b MA, pb NY, actor
" , Mary (wife) - age 36, b CA, pb CA
" , John (son) - age 3 years & 6 months, b NY, fb MA, mb CA
Daly, Blythe (step-dau.) - age 18, immigrated 1902, b Eng, fb NY, mb CA
Mead, Nora (servant) - age 34, immigrated 1889, b Ire, pb Ire
Zteffen, Minnie (servant) - age 40, widow, immigrated 1903, b Bohemia
Keroes, Irene (servant) - age 22, immigrated 1913, b Hungary

42 W. 58th St., Wyndham Apt, NYC, NY - May 3, 1930
1930 United States Federal Census

Craven, Frank - 48, 1st m at age 32, b MA, pb NY, actor
" , Mary (wife) - 45, 1st m at age 17, b CA, pb NY
" , John (son) - 13, single, b NY, fb MA, mb CA

California Death Index - February 13, 1958

Name: Mary Blyth Craven
Birth Date: 19 Aug 1882
Birthplace: California
Death Date: 13 Feb 1958
Death Place: Los Angeles, California
Mother's Maiden Name: Girard
Father's Surname: Blyth


  1. Hello I found a wedding invitation in my grandfathers papers.
    "General and Mrs. G. H. La Grange
    announce the marriage of their niece
    Mary Blyth
    Mr. Arnold Daily
    on Sunday July the first
    at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament
    New York"

    My grandfather was Philip Braham Harrigan (12/4/1892 - 12/36/1972) the son of Edward Harrigan and grandson of David Braham

    The invitation was a folded piece of white stiff paper and was about to toss it when it fell and on the inside was the faint script.

    1. Hi, I have a photo of Mary when she was married to Arnold Daly if interested?.