James Daly
Daly in Medical Center, 1975
James Firman Daly

(1918-10-23)October 23, 1918
DiedJuly 3, 1978(1978-07-03) (aged 59)
Alma materCornell College
Years active1946–1978
TelevisionMedical Center, Twelve O'Clock High
Hope Newell
(m. 1942; div. 1965)
Children4, including Tyne and Tim Daly

James Firman Daly (October 23, 1918 – July 3, 1978) was an American theater, film, and television actor, who is perhaps best known for his role as Paul Lochner in the hospital drama series Medical Center, in which he played Chad Everett's superior.[1]

Early life

Daly was born in Wisconsin Rapids in Wood County in central Wisconsin, to Dorothy Ethelbert (Hogan) Mullen, who later worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, and Percifer Charles Daly, a fuel merchant.[2] During the 1930s, Daly studied drama and acted in shows before serving in three branches of the armed forces, including six months as an infantryman in the U.S. Army, two months as a cadet in the Army Air Corps, and more than four years in the Navy as an ensign during World War II.[3]

Daly attended the University of Wisconsin, State University of Iowa, and Carroll College before receiving a degree from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.[4][5] Cornell College later presented him with an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.[5]


Daly was an accomplished stage actor, starting out in 1946 as Gary Merrill's understudy in Born Yesterday.[5] His starring roles on Broadway included Archibald MacLeish's Pulitzer Prize- winning J.B. and Tennessee Williams' Period of Adjustment.

Between 1953 and 1955, Daly appeared in the TV series Foreign Intrigue. He guest-starred on many television series, including Appointment with Adventure (two episodes), Breaking Point, Mission: Impossible ("Shock"), DuPont Cavalcade Theater ("One Day at a Time" 1955) portraying Bill Wilson the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous,[6] The Twilight Zone ("A Stop at Willoughby"), The Tenderfoot (1964) for Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, The Road West (1966 episode "The Gunfighter"), Custer, Gunsmoke (1968 episode "The Favor"), Combat!, The Fugitive, The Virginian, and Twelve O'Clock High. He portrayed Mr. Flint (an apparently immortal human) in the Star Trek episode "Requiem for Methuselah" (1969).[7] He starred in "Medical Center" on CBS from 1969-1975.

In 1958, Daly signed a contract with the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to do television commercials for Camel cigarettes. He served as the Camel representative for seven years, being flown by Reynolds throughout the United States to be filmed smoking a Camel cigarette at various locations.[5]

In addition to his acting career, Daly was one of the hosts on NBC Radio's weekend Monitor program in 1963–1964.

Daly's last screen role was as Mr. Boyce in the mini-series Roots: The Next Generations.

Personal life

According to his son Tim Daly during an interview on CBS News Sunday Morning, James Daly came out to Tim as gay a decade after divorcing his wife Hope. His struggle to come to terms with his sexual orientation nearly put a rift between him and his family. As homosexuality was still considered a mental illness until the early 1970s, he and his wife tried and failed at "curing" him. After their divorce, Daly decided to limit his contact with his children out of fear that they would end up mentally ill themselves.[8]

Two of Daly's children, Tyne Daly and Tim Daly, and his granddaughter, Kathryne Dora Brown, and grandson, Sam Daly, are actors. Tyne appeared on Daly's TV series, Foreign Intrigue, as a child. She also played Jennifer Lochner, Paul Lochner's adult daughter, on Medical Center in the 1970 season 1 episode Moment of Decision. The elder Daly and his daughter both guest-starred separately in the original Mission: Impossible TV series. Tim appeared as a child with his father in Henrik Ibsen's play, An Enemy of the People. Daly had two other children: daughters Mary Glynn and Pegeen Michael.[9]


Daly died on July 3, 1978, of heart failure in Nyack, New York,[9] two years after Medical Center ended, and while he was preparing to star in the play Equus in Tarrytown, New York.[4] His ashes were sprinkled into the Atlantic Ocean.


Year Title Role Notes
1950 The Sleeping City Interne Uncredited
1955 The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell Lt. Col. Herbert White
1957 The Young Stranger Thomas 'Tom' Ditmar
1960 I Aim at the Stars U.S. Major William Taggert
1968 Planet of the Apes Honorius
1968 Code Name, Red Roses Major Mike Liston
1969 The Big Bounce Ray Ritchie
1969 The Five Man Army Augustus
1971 The Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler Dr. Redding
1972 Wild in the Sky The President
Year Title Role Notes
1954 Westinghouse Studio One Major Gaylord Episode: The Strike
1955 DuPont Cavalcade Theater Bill Wilson Episode: One Day at a Time
1957 Omnibus (US TV series) General Robert E. Lee Episode: "Lee at Gettysburg"
1960 The Twilight Zone Gart Williams Season 1, Episode 30: "A Stop at Willoughby"
1961–1967 Hallmark Hall of Fame Barabbas, Owen Wister, Dr. O'Meara, Dunois Episodes: "Give Us Barabbas," "The Magnificent Yankee," "Eagle in a Cage," and "Saint Joan"
Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 1966
1965 Dr. Kildare (TV series) Morgan Bannion Episodes: "With Hellfire and Thunder", "Daily Flights to Olympus"
1966 An Enemy of the People Dr. Thomas Stockmann American Playhouse production
The Fugitive Michael Ballinger

Arthur Brame

Episodes: "Running Scared", "The Evil Men Do"
1967 Mission: Impossible Carl Wilson / Josef Gort Episode: "Shock"
1967 Combat! Capt. Cole Episode: "Encounter"
1967 Mission: Impossible Alfred Belzig Episode: "The Bank"
1967 The Invaders Alan Landers Episode: "Beachhead"
1968 The Invaders General Samuel ConCannon Episodes: "The Peacemaker"
1969 Star Trek Flint Episode: "Requiem for Methuselah"
1969–1976 Medical Center Dr. Paul Lochner
1970 Ironside Judge McIntire Episode: "People Against Judge McIntire"


Year Production Role Notes and awards
1963 Jenny Kissed Me by Jean Kerr

"Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolf?" Co-starring with Colleen Dewhurst 1965

Performances: Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope, Pennsylvania


Year Award Category Film Result
1966 Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Hallmark Hall of Fame Won


  1. ^ "TV, Stage Actor James Daly Dies; Was State Native". Milwaukee Journal. July 5, 1978. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  2. ^ Aaker, Everett (2006). Encyclopedia of Early Television Crime Fighters: All Regular Cast Members in American Crime and Mystery Series, 1948-1959. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-2476-4. Archived from the original on March 19, 2022. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  3. ^ James Daly, Actor, Is Dead at 59; Took Many TV Character Roles The New York Times via Internet Archive. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "James Daly, Actor, Is Dead at 59; Took Many TV Character Roles; Had Part in 'Roots II' Won an Emmy Award" (PDF). The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 19, 2022. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d See, Carolyn. (1970, February 21–27). "Nothing Personal: James Daly will talk about anything – except himself". TV Guide. pp 26–30.
  6. ^ Brent, Jim (June 1, 2022). "CTVA - The Classic TV Archive DuPont Cavalcade Theater". ctva.biz. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  7. ^ "James Daly: Credits". TV Guide. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  8. ^ Interview with Tim Daly Archived February 29, 2020, at the Wayback Machine. CBS News Sunday Morning. (June 19, 2016). Via YouTube.
  9. ^ a b "Actor James Daly Dead". Ocala Star Banner. Associated Press. July 5, 1978. Archived from the original on March 19, 2022. Retrieved January 10, 2012.