David was born on 27th May 1887 in Glasgow and moved to Helensburgh with his parents John and Mary when he was very young.
The older brother of film actors Andy and Jean Clyde, David Clyde was an actor/director/theatre manager in Scotland. He went to London, and by 1924 was a member of the Garrick Theatre Company. Next he went to America with his Birmingham-born actress wife Gaby Fay, born Dorothy Fay Hammerton on September 26 1895, and worked in both cinema and theatre before moving to Vancouver, Canada. It was here that he was to become the part-owner of the Empress Theatre and he spent several months refurbishing it.
On November 2 1929 it opened for the inaugural production of the British Guild Players.
Clyde came to Hollywood in 1934, and he appeared that year in his first film Molly and Me, by which time his brother Andy was firmly established as a screen comedian.
In 1936, two years after the couple moved to Hollywood, Gaby made her screen debut. At first she was billed as Gaby Fay, but she soon changed this to the screen name of Fay Holden. For the next two decades she played supporting roles in numerous films, frequently cast as a warm, devoted mother.
David appeared in over 80 films between 1934 and his death, although almost always in minor roles. Though the older Clyde never scaled the professional heights enjoyed by Andy, he found steady work in films for nearly a decade. He did however manage to appear with many of the stars of the era, notably: Jean Harlow, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, Greer Garson, Vivien Leigh, Cary Grant and James Stewart.
His more sizeable roles included T. P. Wallaby in W.C. Fields' Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935) and Canadian constable Thompson in the excellent Sherlock Holmes opus The Scarlet Claw (1944). He also had a small role in the 1942 classic Mrs. Miniver.
He died on 17th May 1945 in the San Fernando Valley, California.