Danny Kaye
Actor
Danny Kaye
Danny Kaye was a celebrated American actor, singer, dancer, and comedian. His best known performances featured physical comedy, idiosyncratic pantomimes, and rapid-fire nonsense songs. Kaye starred in 17 movies, notably The Kid from Brooklyn (1946), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), The Inspector General (1949), Hans Christian Andersen (1952), and – perhaps his most accomplished performance – The Court Jester (1956).
Biography
Danny Kaye's personal information overview.
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Enlisted in the World of Airborne Spying
NYTimes - over 5 years
For four years, a doctor commuted between his clinics in Texas in a $5 million turboprop with jazzy metallic stripes and ruby stones embedded on the drink cabinet inside. The plane featured exotic wood veneers and polished chrome, and his daughter's initials were in the tail number. But after a mysterious buyer snapped up the plane in 2008, it
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Dove dish out a hiding to struggling High Lane - Buxton Advertiser
Google News - over 5 years
Skipper Danny Kaye (108) and Lee Goodwin (52) helped Woodley post an impressive 258-6. R Tranter and C Eyre took three wickets apiece. C Eyre hit a dogged 36 not out for Hadfield, but Pete Coffey (3-30) and Danny Kaye (3-32) ripped the heart out of
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Balloonless: Siegel and Shuster's Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero - Comic Book Resources
Google News - over 5 years
But if a critic or scholar wants to determine their Jewishness based on certain characteristics, well, Superman still seems just as, if not more, Jewish than Funnyman, even if the latter was patterned after Danny Kaye, spoke in Yididsh and embodied
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Before Liz and Dick there was Vivien and Larry - Examiner.com
Google News - over 5 years
And Danny Kaye, reputed to have been Olivier's lover for a decade, is mentioned only in the context of having “called on the phone.” Nevertheless, in her ongoing monologues Leigh provides insight into her thinking about her profession
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Are dark fairy tales more authentic? - Salon
Google News - over 5 years
Those who associate the name Hans Christian Andersen with the saccharine 1952 film version of the Frank Loesser musical starring Danny Kaye may not be ready for the unexpurgated truth in such large doses, as in fact audiences were not prepared for the
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Say it again, Sam - Marinscope Community Newspapers
Google News - over 5 years
Copenhagen “Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen,” sang Danny Kaye in the 1952 film “Hans Christian Andersen.” But Kaye pronounced it “co-pen-hahg-en.” I have it on good authority that the Danes say “co-pen-hay-gen” — long a in the third syllable
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It'll be a 'White Christmas' - Journal Review
Google News - over 5 years
The theme was inspired by the 1954 musical film “White Christmas” starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye which also included one of the most famous Christmas songs by the same name. This holiday favorite song, written by Irving Berlin, reminisces about an
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Danny Kaye Plays in Bristal's Senior Softball All Star Game - Levittown Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
After receiving a pacemaker four years ago, Levittown senior and retired NYPD officer Danny Kaye participated in the first annual Senior Softball All-Star Game. The “Cardios versus Orthos” all star game sponsored by the Bristal Assisted living
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Derek Pain: This ugly duckling has a good chanceto become a swan - The Independent
Google News - over 5 years
Yet Liberum Capital has used the title of the famed Danny Kaye song to describe the plight of the support services group's shares. They have endured a rather uncomfortable run, but the stockbroker's analysts believe the outlook is much brighter thanthe
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Linda Christian, 87, Early Bond Girl
NYTimes - over 5 years
PALM DESERT, Calif. (AP) -- Linda Christian, a Hollywood starlet of the 1940s and '50s who was in Johnny Weissmuller's last Tarzan movie and the first adaptation of a James Bond novel, but who was probably best known for her marriage to her fellow heartthrob Tyrone Power, died here on Friday. She was 87. The cause was colon cancer, her daughter
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Linda Christian, Actress and Tyrone Power’s Wife, Dies at 87
NYTimes - over 5 years
PALM DESERT, Calif.  — Linda Christian, a Hollywood starlet of the 1940s and ’50s who was in Johnny Weissmuller’s last Tarzan movie and the first adaptation of a James Bond novel, but who was probably best known for her marriage to her fellow heartthrob Tyrone Power, died here on Friday. She was 87. The cause was colon
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Paid Notice: Deaths HANCOCK, EVELYN WYCKOFF
NYTimes - over 5 years
HANCOCK--Evelyn Wyckoff, July 7 in Kingston, NY at the age of 96. A prominent performer in musicals in the 40's and 50's, best known for her role as Laurey in Oklahoma! in 1943. Played opposite Danny Kaye in Lady in the Dark and well known to audiences around the country as Magnolia in Show Boat and Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz at the Muny Opera in
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Man Accused In Slaying Claims Self-Defense - KSAT San Antonio
Google News - over 5 years
That was one of several accounts Gabriel gave of the slaying, which occurred at the Seven Oaks Apartments on Danny Kaye Drive on June 30, 2010. Last week, one of Gabriel's friends testified that Gabriel told him that he had shot the wrong man
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Music to My Ears - Daily Racing Form (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
I was saddened, though, to see that Danny Kaye's classic "DODGERS" did not make the cut. But then, it hasn't been a good year for the Bankrupt Boys in Blue. Among the artists represented with songs on the Ultimate Playlist are Springsteen, Morrissey,
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Clare Teal: A jingle belle and a Hollywood icon add to a great week - Yorkshire Post
Google News - over 5 years
In America she worked with Sammy Davis Jnr and Danny Kaye. What a great lady, a delight to talk to who shared some stories about the big band days which I so wish I'd seen. To be honest until that point I hadn't thought the week could get any better
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Danny Kaye
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1987
    Age 74
    Kaye died of heart failure on March 3, 1987, aged 76, brought on by internal bleeding and complications of hepatitis C.
    More Details Hide Details Kaye had quadruple bypass heart surgery in February 1983; he contracted hepatitis C from a blood transfusion. He was survived by his wife and their daughter. His ashes are interred in Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. His grave is adorned with a bench that contains friezes of a baseball and bat, an aircraft, a piano, a flower pot, musical notes, and a chef's toque. His name, birth and death dates are inscribed on the toque. The United Nations held a memorial tribute to him at their New York headquarters on the evening of October 21, 1987. Kaye and Sylvia Fine grew up in Brooklyn, living a few blocks apart, but they did not meet until they were working on an off-Broadway show in 1939. Sylvia was an audition pianist.
  • 1984
    Age 71
    Kaye was invited to conduct symphonies as charity fundraisers and was the conductor of the all-city marching band at the season opener of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1984.
    More Details Hide Details Over his career he raised over US $5,000,000 in support of musician pension funds. Kaye was sufficiently popular to inspire imitations: In his later years he entertained at home as chef—he had a special stove on his patio – and specialized in Chinese and Italian cooking. The stove Kaye used for his Chinese dishes was fitted with metal rings for the burners to allow the heat to be highly concentrated. Kaye installed a trough with circulating ice water to use the burners. Kaye taught Chinese cooking classes at a San Francisco Chinese restaurant in the 1970s. The theater and demonstration kitchen under the library at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York is named for him. Kaye referred to his kitchen as "Ying's Thing". While filming The Madwoman of Chaillot in France, he phoned home to ask his family if they would like to eat at "Ying's Thing" that evening; Kaye flew home for dinner. Not all of his efforts in the kitchen went well. After flying to San Francisco for a recipe for sourdough bread, he came home and spent hours preparing loaves. When his daughter asked about the bread, Kaye hit the bread on the kitchen table; his bread was hard enough to chip it. Kaye approached kitchen work with enthusiasm, making sausages and other foods needed for his cuisine. His work as a chef earned him the "Les Meilleurs Ouvriers de France" culinary award.
  • 1980
    Age 67
    In 1980, Kaye hosted and sang in the 25th Anniversary of Disneyland celebration, and hosted the opening celebration for Epcot in 1982 (EPCOT Center at the time), both were aired on prime time television in the U.S.
    More Details Hide Details Kaye was enamored of music. While he claimed an inability to read music, he was said to have perfect pitch. A flamboyant performer with his own distinctive style, "easily adapting from outrageous novelty songs to tender ballads" (according to critic Jason Ankeny), in 1945 Kaye began hosting his own CBS radio program, launching a number of hit songs, including "Dinah" and "Minnie the Moocher". In 1947 Kaye teamed with the popular Andrews Sisters (Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne) on Decca Records, producing the number-three Billboard hit "Civilization (Bongo, Bongo, Bongo)". The success of the pairing prompted both acts to record through 1950, producing rhythmically comical fare as "The Woody Woodpecker Song" (based on the bird from the Walter Lantz cartoons, and a Billboard hit for the quartet), "Put 'em in a Box, Tie 'em with a Ribbon (And Throw 'em in the Deep Blue Sea)", "The Big Brass Band from Brazil", "It's a Quiet Town (In Crossbone County)", "Amelia Cordelia McHugh (Mc Who?)", "Ching-a-ra-sa-sa", and a duet by Danny and Patty Andrews of "Orange Colored Sky". The acts teamed for two yuletide favorites: a frantic, harmonic rendition of "A Merry Christmas at Grandmother's House (Over the River and Through the Woods)", and a duet by Danny & Patty, "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth".
  • 1976
    Age 63
    In 1976, he played Mister Geppetto in a television musical adaptation of The Adventures of Pinocchio with Sandy Duncan in the title role.
    More Details Hide Details Kaye portrayed Captain Hook opposite Mia Farrow in a musical version of Peter Pan featuring songs by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse. It was shown on NBC-TV in December 1976, the Hallmark Hall of Fame series. He later guest-starred in episodes of The Muppet Show, The Cosby Show and in the 1980s revival of New Twilight Zone. In many films, as well as on stage, Kaye proved to be an able actor, singer, dancer and comedian. He showed his serious side as Ambassador for UNICEF and in his dramatic role in the memorable TV film Skokie, when he played a Holocaust survivor.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1964
    Age 51
    He had done much the same on his television show in 1964 when his right leg and foot were burned from a cooking accident.
    More Details Hide Details Camera shots were planned so television viewers did not see Kaye in his wheelchair.
    Beginning in 1964, he acted as television host to the CBS telecasts of MGM's The Wizard of Oz.
    More Details Hide Details Kaye did a stint as a What's My Line? Mystery Guest on the Sunday night CBS-TV quiz program. Kaye was later a guest panelist on that show. He also appeared on the NBC interview program Here's Hollywood. In the 1970s, Kaye tore a ligament in his leg during the run of the Richard Rodgers musical, Two by Two, but went on with the show, appearing with his leg in a cast and cavorting on stage in a wheelchair.
  • FORTIES
  • 1963
    Age 50
    He hosted a variety hour on CBS television, The Danny Kaye Show, from 1963 to 1967, which won four Emmy awards and a Peabody award.
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  • 1960
    Age 47
    His first solo effort was in 1960 with an hour special produced by Sylvia and sponsored by General Motors; with similar specials in 1961 and 1962.
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  • 1956
    Age 43
    Kaye entered television in 1956 on the CBS show See It Now with Edward R. Murrow.
    More Details Hide Details The Secret Life of Danny Kaye combined his 50,000-mile, ten-country tour as UNICEF ambassador with music and humor.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1953
    Age 40
    In 1953, Kaye started a production company, Dena Pictures, named for his daughter.
    More Details Hide Details Knock on Wood was the first film produced by his firm. The firm expanded into television in 1960 under the name Belmont Television.
  • 1952
    Age 39
    He hosted the 24th Academy Awards in 1952.
    More Details Hide Details The program was broadcast on radio. Telecasts of the Oscar ceremony came later. During the 1950s, Kaye visited Australia, where he played "Buttons" in a production of Cinderella in Sydney.
  • 1948
    Age 35
    When his Decca co-workers the Andrews Sisters began their engagement at the London Palladium on the heels of Kaye's successful 1948 appearance there, the trio was well received and David Lewin of the Daily Express declared: "The audience gave the Andrews Sisters the Danny Kaye roar!"
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    When he appeared at the London Palladium in 1948, he "roused the Royal family to laughter and was the first of many performers who have turned British variety into an American preserve."
    More Details Hide Details Life magazine described his reception as "worshipful hysteria" and noted that the royal family, for the first time, left the royal box to watch from the front row of the orchestra. He related that he had no idea of the familial connections when the Marquess of Milford Haven introduced himself after a show and said he would like his cousins to see Kaye perform. Kaye stated he never returned to the venue because there was no way to recreate the magic of that time. Kaye had an invitation to return to London for a Royal Variety Performance in November of the same year. When the invitation arrived, Kaye was busy with The Inspector General (which had a working title of Happy Times). Warners stopped the film to allow their star to attend.
  • 1947
    Age 34
    After Kaye and his wife became estranged, circa 1947, he was publicly seen partnered with a succession of women, although he and Fine never divorced.
    More Details Hide Details Producer Perry Lafferty reported: "People would ask me, 'Is he gay? Is he gay?' I never saw anything to substantiate that in the time I was with him." Kaye's last girlfriend, Marlene Sorosky, reported that he told her, "I've never had a homosexual experience in my life. I've never had any kind of gay relationship. I've had opportunities, but I never did anything about them."
    Kaye teamed with the popular Andrews Sisters (Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne) on Decca Records in 1947, producing the number-three Billboard smash hit "Civilization (Bongo, Bongo, Bongo)".
    More Details Hide Details The success of the pairing prompted both acts to record through 1950, producing several hits, including "The Woody Woodpecker Song". While his wife wrote Kaye's material, there was much that was unwritten, springing from the mind of Danny Kaye, often while performing. Kaye had one character he never shared with the public; Kaplan, the owner of an Akron, Ohio, rubber company, came to life only for family and friends. His wife Sylvia described the Kaplan character: He doesn't have any first name. Even his wife calls him just Kaplan. He's an illiterate pompous character who advertises his philanthropies. Jack Benny or Dore Schary might say, "Kaplan, why do you hate unions so?" If Danny feels like doing Kaplan that night, he might be off on Kaplan for two hours.
  • 1946
    Age 33
    When Kaye asked to be released from his radio contract in mid-1946, he agreed not to accept a regular radio show for one year and only limited guest appearances on other radio programs.
    More Details Hide Details Many of the show's episodes survive today, notable for Kaye's opening "signature" patter ("Git gat gittle, giddle-di-ap, giddle-de-tommy, riddle de biddle de roop, da-reep, fa-san, skeedle de woo-da, fiddle de wada, reep!"). Kaye starred in several movies with actress Virginia Mayo in the 1940s, and is known for films such as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), The Inspector General (1949), On the Riviera (1951) co-starring Gene Tierney, Knock on Wood (1954), White Christmas (1954, in a role intended for Fred Astaire, then Donald O'Connor), The Court Jester (1956), and Merry Andrew (1958). Kaye starred in two pictures based on biographies, Hans Christian Andersen (1952) the Danish story-teller, and The Five Pennies (1959) about jazz pioneer Red Nichols. His wife, writer/lyricist Sylvia Fine, wrote many tongue-twisting songs for which Kaye became famous. She was an associate producer. Some of Kaye's films included the theme of doubles, two people who look identical (both Danny Kaye) being mistaken for each other, to comic effect.
  • 1945
    Age 32
    Kaye starred in a radio program, The Danny Kaye Show, on CBS in 1945–46.
    More Details Hide Details The program's popularity rose quickly. Before a year, he tied with Jimmy Durante for fifth place in the Radio Daily popularity poll. Kaye was asked to participate in a USO tour following the end of World War II. It meant that he would be absent from his radio show for nearly two months at the beginning of the season. Kaye's friends filled in, with a different guest host each week. Kaye was the first American actor to visit postwar Tokyo. He had toured there some ten years before with the vaudeville troupe.
  • 1944
    Age 31
    His feature film debut was in producer Samuel Goldwyn's Technicolor 1944 comedy Up in Arms, a remake of Goldwyn's Eddie Cantor comedy Whoopee! (1930).
    More Details Hide Details Rival producer Robert M. Savini cashed in by compiling three of Kaye's Educational Pictures shorts into a patchwork feature, The Birth of a Star (1945). Studio mogul Goldwyn wanted Kaye's prominent nose fixed to look less Jewish, Kaye refused but did allow his red hair to be dyed blonde, apparently because it looked better in Technicolor.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1942
    Age 29
    Kaye's debut album Columbia Presents Danny Kaye had been released in 1942 by Columbia Records, with songs performed to the accompaniment of Maurice Abravanel and Johnny Green.
    More Details Hide Details The album was reissued as a Columbia LP in 1949 and is described by the critic Bruce Eder as "a bit tamer than some of the stuff that Kaye hit with later in the '40s and in the '50s and, for reasons best understood by the public, doesn't attract nearly the interest of his kids' records and overt comedy routines." 1950 saw the release of a Decca single "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts", his sole big U.S. chart hit. His second Columbia LP album Danny Kaye Entertains (1953, Columbia), included six songs recorded in 1941 from his Broadway musical Lady in the Dark; most notably "Tchaikovsky". Following the success of the film Hans Christian Andersen (1952), two of its songs, written by Frank Loesser and sung by Kaye, "The Ugly Duckling" and "Wonderful Copenhagen", reached the Top Five on the U.K. pop charts.
  • 1941
    Age 28
    Kaye scored a triumph at age 30 in 1941, playing Russell Paxton in Lady in the Dark, starring Gertrude Lawrence.
    More Details Hide Details His show-stopping number was "Tchaikovsky", by Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin, in which he sang the names of a string of Russian composers at breakneck speed, seemingly without taking a breath. In the next Broadway season, he was the star of a show about a young man who is drafted, called Let's Face It!
  • 1940
    Age 27
    Sylvia discovered that Danny had worked for her father Samuel Fine, a dentist. Kaye, working in Florida, proposed on the telephone; the couple were married in Fort Lauderdale on January 3, 1940.
    More Details Hide Details Their daughter, Dena, was born on December 17, 1946. Kaye said in a 1954 interview, "Whatever she wants to be she will be without interference from her mother nor from me." When she was very young, Dena did not like seeing her father perform because she did not understand that people were supposed to laugh at what he did.
  • 1939
    Age 26
    His next venture was a short-lived Broadway show, with Sylvia Fine as the pianist, lyricist and composer. The Straw Hat Revue opened on September 29, 1939, and closed after ten weeks, but critics took notice of Kaye's work.
    More Details Hide Details The reviews brought an offer for both Kaye and his bride, Sylvia, to work at La Martinique, a New York City nightclub. Kaye performed with Sylvia as his accompanist. At La Martinique, playwright Moss Hart saw Danny perform, which led to Hart casting him in his hit Broadway comedy Lady in the Dark.
  • 1937
    Age 24
    He was working in the Catskills in 1937 under the name Danny Kolbin.
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    In 1937 he signed with New York–based Educational Pictures for a series of two-reel comedies.
    More Details Hide Details Kaye usually played a manic, dark-haired, fast-talking Russian in these low-budget shorts, opposite young hopefuls June Allyson or Imogene Coca. The Kaye series ended abruptly when the studio shut down in 1938.
  • 1935
    Age 22
    Danny Kaye made his film debut in a 1935 comedy short Moon Over Manhattan.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1933
    Age 20
    Kaye's first break came in 1933 when he joined the "Three Terpsichoreans", a vaudeville dance act.
    More Details Hide Details They opened in Utica, New York, where he used the name Danny Kaye for the first time. The act toured the United States, then performed in Asia with the show La Vie Paree. The troupe left for a six-month tour of the Far East on February 8, 1934. While they were in Osaka, Japan, a typhoon hit the city. The hotel where Kaye and his colleagues stayed suffered heavy damage. The strong wind hurled a piece of the hotel's cornice into Kaye's room; had he been hit, he might well have been killed. By performance time that evening, the city was in the grip of the storm. There was no power, and the audience was restless and nervous. To calm them, Kaye went on stage, holding a flashlight to illuminate his face, and sang every song he could recall as loudly as he was able. The experience of trying to entertain audiences who did not speak English inspired him to the pantomime, gestures, songs, and facial expressions that eventually made his reputation. Sometimes he found pantomime necessary when ordering a meal. Kaye's daughter, Dena, tells a story her father related about being in a restaurant in China and trying to order chicken. Kaye flapped his arms and clucked, giving the waiter an imitation of a chicken. The waiter nodded in understanding, bringing Kaye two eggs. His interest in cooking began on the tour.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1913
    Age 0
    On 18 January 2013, during a 24-hour salute to Kaye on Turner Classic Movies in celebration of what TCM thought was his 100th birthday, Kaye's daughter Dena revealed to TCM host Ben Mankiewicz that Kaye's stated birth year of 1913 was incorrect, and that he was actually born in 1911.
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  • OTHER
  • 1911
    Age -2
    David Daniel Kaminsky was born to Ukrainian Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn on January 18, 1911 (though he would later say 1913).
    More Details Hide Details Kaye was the youngest of three children born to Jacob and Clara Nemerovsky Kaminsky. Jacob and Clara and their two sons, Larry and Mac, left Dnipropetrovsk two years before his birth; he was the only son born in the United States. He attended Public School 149 in East New York, Brooklyn—which eventually was renamed to honor him—where he began entertaining his classmates with songs and jokes, — before moving to Thomas Jefferson High School, though he never graduated. His mother died when he was in his early teens. Not long after his mother's death, Kaye and his friend Louis ran away to Florida. Kaye sang while Louis played the guitar; the pair eked out a living for a while. When Kaye returned to New York, his father did not pressure him to return to school or work, giving his son the chance to mature and discover his own abilities. Kaye said that as a young boy he had wanted to be a surgeon, but the family could not afford a medical school education.
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