Mary Dolores Daly ~ The Comedian's Wife

 Mary Dolores Daly

Mary Dolores Daly was a showgirl who married comedian Jack Osterman and died young.

She was born in Malden, Massachusetts in 1910 (some sources say 1908). When Mary was a teenager she moved to New York City and joined the Ziegfeld Follies. Then she landed a role on Broadway in The Three Musketeers. She was briefly engaged to entertainer Pat Rooney and to a Philadelphia millionaire. In October of 1928 she eloped with comedian Jack Osterman, who was known as "Broadway's Bad Boy". Her brother and uncle had tried to stop the wedding. The couple spent several years touring vaudeville together. Their daughter Kathryn was born on December 4, 1932. Mary had bit parts in the films College Rhythm and The Gay Divorcee. Unfortunately her husband Jack had a serious drinking problem and she divorced him in 1935. They eventually reconciled but tragically on June 8, 1939 Jack died from pneumonia at the age of thirty-seven. Just one month later Mary became gravely ill and nearly died from a mysterious ailment.

Mary Dolores Daly Jack OstermanMary Dolores Daly Jack Osterman
Mary and Jack Osterman

After recovering she and her daughter moved into an apartment on Park Avenue in New York City. Her former mother-in-law, Kathryn Osterman, lived in the same building and helped support them. Mary continued to work in radio and television. She started dating film producer Carl Laemmle Jr. in 1942. As she got older she suffered from numerous health problems including frequent dizzy spells. During the summer of 1950 she took her daughter on a trip to Fire Island. When they returned on September 6 Mary appeared to be in good spirits. On Thursday, September 7 she was visiting Kathryn Osterman's apartment on the 12th floor of her building. A man on the street saw her leaning out of a window and alerted the police. Before they arrived she had leaped or fallen out of the window. Forty year old Mary was killed almost instantly. Her death was ruled a suicide although her family believed it was accidental. She was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, New York.

Mary Dolores Daly Death