Mak­ing His Fam­ily PROUD

ACT­ING COMES NAT­U­RALLY TO THE MADAM SEC­RE­TARY CO-STAR

Closer Weekly - - Star Stories -

The night Tim Daly made his Broad­way de­but in 1987’s Coastal Dis­tur­bances, he was cross­ing a New York City street with his mother, Mary — who had put her own act­ing ca­reer on hold to raise a fam­ily with her hus­band, ac­tor James Daly. “She said, ‘You know what, Timmy? I think you’re go­ing to be even bet­ter than your dad,’” Tim told Closer, fight­ing back tears at a re­cent SAGAFTRA Foun­da­tion Q&A in NYC. “What a mo­ment.”

It was even more mean­ing­ful con­sid­er­ing how highly act­ing was re­garded in the Daly house­hold, which also in­cluded Tim’s sis­ter, Tyne, 71 (who would go on to star­dom in Cag­ney & Lacey). “The theater was our church, our tem­ple, the place of wor­ship,” says Tim, 61. “So if you en­tered into that space, you were not to take it lightly.”

Tim didn’t, and he made his act­ing de­but at the age of 10 in a 1966 TV pro­duc­tion of Hen­rik Ib­sen’s An En­emy of the Peo­ple, op­po­site his fa­ther. “I got to watch my dad work and see how much peo­ple admired him and how good he was,” Tim says fondly.

Their fa­ther died in 1978, but Tim and Tyne have kept up the fam­ily busi­ness, and he’s passed it along to his own kids from his 1982 to 2010 mar­riage to ac­tress Amy Van Nos­trand. He has co-starred with son Sam, 33, in the in­ter­net se­ries The Daly Show, and daugh­ter Eme­lyn, 28, has guested on Madam Sec­re­tary, the CBS drama in which Tim co-stars with his real-life love in­ter­est, Téa Leoni, 51.

OB­JECT OF HIS AF­FEC­TION

The first day Tim shot with Téa, they were at Sec­re­tary’s din­ner-ta­ble set. “Those scenes are a real pain be­cause peo­ple are pass­ing stuff and eat­ing, and then you have to do it all again,” re­mem­bers Tim. “So we did one take and they said ‘Cut,’ and I was scrap­ing the food off my plate and pass­ing it back. I looked across the ta­ble, and Téa was do­ing the ex­act same thing, and I thought, ‘OK, that’s a cool kid.’ She wasn’t sit­ting there go­ing, ‘Props? Props!’ Be­cause she wanted to act.”

That’s all Tim has ever wanted to do, and he’s done it well, with a clas­sic film (Diner), a long-run­ning sit­com (Wings) and a 2007 Emmy nom­i­na­tion (for his role as a sleazy screen­writer on The So­pra­nos) on his ré­sumé. But it wasn’t un­til this year that he co-starred with Tyne on­stage for the first time in Down­stairs, which type­cast them as brother and sis­ter. “It was re­ally great, be­cause Tyne is an amaz­ing ac­tress, and we work in a very sim­i­lar way,” Tim says. “We laughed a lot and got to know each other. You can have the same par­ents and they can be ut­terly dif­fer­ent peo­ple be­cause of what’s go­ing on in their lives, your age and your sex. So we told each other a lot about who our par­ents were.” No doubt they’d be pleased. — Bruce Fretts

“I try to stay ready and hope luck hov­ers over me.” — Tim

“I wrote a poem in col­lege that sums

up me and my ca­reer as an ac­tor: ‘What he could not do / He pre­tended

to,’ ” Tim tells Closer. “So there’s

my epi­taph.”

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