History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


Bebe Daniels

Ben Lyon

Scarce signed photograph of the 1930s Hollywood power couple

Phyllis Virginia “Bebe” Daniels, 1901–1971, and Ben Lyon, 1901–1979.  American film stars.  5” x 7” sepia tone matte photograph inscribed and signed To H. W. Corcoran – / Our best wishes / Bebe Daniels / Ben Lyon.

Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyon were stars in their own right.  Together, they were a Hollywood power couple.  They were married in 1930.

Daniels began her career as a child actress during the silent film era.  She was four years old when she began her acting career and appeared in her first starring role in film at age 7.  She appeared in silent short subject and feature films, including playing opposite Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire (1924), before appearing in sound pictures.  During her 50-year career, she appeared in 230 films. 

Lyon appeared on Broadway before transitioning to film with the 1923 silent film drama Flaming Youth.  He rose to leading man in silent films and was praised for his performance as a heroic World War I aviator in Hell’s Angels (1930), which also starred a young Jean Harlow.  Lyon was in demand as an actor throughout the 1930s. 

Later, in 1946, while working as an executive for 20th Century Fox, Lyon met a young actress named Norma Jeane Dougherty, who impressed him as another Harlow.  He gave her a screen test, changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, and signed her to her first studio contract.

Daniels has inscribed and signed this photo in blue fountain pen, and Lyon has added his signature in blue fountain pen as well, although the color of blue is slightly different.  The photo has tape on the corners from prior mounting in an album.  The top edge of the photo shows wear, and there are scattered dings and a bit of rippling.  A printed note inviting the recipient to listen to Daniels’s and Lyon’s radio show is taped to the back and folds down over the front of the photo.  It can be folded back, as we have done to scan the photo.  Overall the photo is in fine condition.

Signed photos of Daniels and Lyon together are scarce.  This would be a nice addition to any vintage movie collection.


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