Danny Kaye

Actor, Singer, Comedian
Gifted, energetic and immensely charismatic comedic entertainer who honed his skills as a rapid-fire patter singer, a comedian and a master of fractured foreign accents and mimicry on the "Borscht Belt" circuit of ... Read more »
Born: 01/18/1913 in New York City, New York, USA


Actor (32)

Entertaining the Troops 1987 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Night of 100 Stars II 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)


Musical Comedy Tonight 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)


Disneyland's 25th Anniversary 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)


The Bob Hope Special (10/18/78) 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)


CBS: On the Air 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)


Peter Pan 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)


The Pied Piper 1971 (Movie)


The Madwoman of Chaillot 1969 (Movie)

The Ragpicker (Actor)

The Danny Kaye Show 1963 - 1967 (TV Show)


The Man From the Diner's Club 1962 (Movie)

Ernie Klenk (Actor)

On the Double 1961 (Movie)

Pfc Ernest Williams/Gen Sir Lawrence Mackenzie-Smith (Actor)

Me and the Colonel 1958 (Movie)

S L Jacobowsky (Actor)

Merry Andrew 1958 (Movie)

Andrew Larabee (Actor)

The Five Pennies 1958 (Movie)

Loring "Red" Nichols (Actor)

The Court Jester 1956 (Movie)

Hawkins (Actor)

Operation Entertainment 1954 - 1955 (TV Show)


Knock on Wood 1954 (Movie)

Jerry (Actor)

White Christmas 1954 (Movie)

Phil Davis (Actor)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 1947 (Movie)

Walter Mitty (Actor)

The Kid From Brooklyn 1945 (Movie)


Up in Arms 1943 (Movie)


A Song Is Born (Movie)

Prof. Robert Frisbee (Actor)

Hans Christian Andersen (Movie)

Hans Christian Andersen (Actor)

Here Comes Peter Cottontail (TV Show)


It's a Great Feeling (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

On the Riviera (Movie)

Henri Duran (Actor)

Pinocchio (TV Show)


Skokie (TV Show)


The Inspector General (Movie)

Georgi (Actor)
Music (1)

The Man Who Drove With Mandela 1997 (Movie)

("Life Could not Better Be" "Civiliztion (Bongo Bongo Bongo)") (Song Performer)
Producer (1)

The Five Pennies 1958 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)


Gifted, energetic and immensely charismatic comedic entertainer who honed his skills as a rapid-fire patter singer, a comedian and a master of fractured foreign accents and mimicry on the "Borscht Belt" circuit of Catskill resorts and in vaudeville, before moving to Broadway and films in the early 1940s. With clever songs and special material tailored to showcase his comedic gifts and light sweet voice written by Sylvia Fine (whom he married in 1940) and the backing of Samuel Goldwyn with whom he signed in 1943, Kaye starred in a series of evergreen comedies with music, often playing befuddled innocents who act with surprising heroism and ultimately get the girl. Among his most beloved classic films are "Wonder Man" (1945) "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (1947), "The Inspector General" (1949), "Hans Christian Andersen" (1952) and "The Court Jester" (1956).


Mac Kaminsky


Sylvia Fine

married 1940 until Kaye's death in 1987 died October 28, 1991 of emphysema at age 78

Jacob Kaminsky

worked in NY garment center

Clara Kaminsky

died when Kaye was 14

Lawrence Kaminsky

died 1969

Dena Kaye

born 1946


Thomas Jefferson High School

Dallas , Texas
quit during senior year at age 13

P S 149

Brooklyn , New York



Made guest appearance playing a dentist on "The Bill Cosby Show"


TV movie debut, "Skokie"


Played character part of ragpicker in final film, "The Madwoman of Chaillot"


Toured Vietnam war fronts with the USO


Starred on "The Danny Kaye Show" on TV


Signed with MGM to film a musical version of "Huckleberry Finn" co-starring Gene Kelly; film postponed, then project abandoned


Formed Dena Productions with Sylvia Fine


First performed at the London Palladium


Premiere of "The Danny Kaye Show" on CBS radio


Feature film debut in "Up in Arms"


Signed contract with Samuel Goldwyn who insisted he lighten his hair to blond; Sylvia Fine also signed by Goldwyn to write special material for husband


Rejected MGM contract at $3,000 per week


Starred in the Cole Porter musical "Let's Face It" on Broadway


Gained first major notice for his high-speed novelty number, "Tchaikovsky" in the Kurt Weill-Ira Gershwin Broadway musical, "Lady in the Dark"


Headlined a vaudeville revue at the Palace Theater in NY


New York stage debut, "Left of Broadway"


Broadway debut in "The Straw Hat Revue", comprised of skit material from summer camp in Pennsylvania that he, Sylvia Fine, Max Liebman and Imogene Coca had worked in


Performed in cabaret show at the Dorchester in London


Starred in "Getting an Eyeful" and "Cupid Takes a Holiday", short subjects for Educational Pictures; three shorts were later compiled into film titled, "The Danny Kaye Story/Birth of a Star" (1944)


Short film debut, "Dime a Dance" (two-reel short; produced by small independent film company, Educational Pictures)

Returned to Broadway as Noah in the Richard Rodgers-Martin Charnin musical "Two By Two"

Toured with Abe Lyman's Band

Worked as a performing busboy at Catskill summer camps; worked as a soda jerk between engagements

Travelled to the Orient with A.B. Marcus Show

Stage debut in a vaudeville revue that toured US and Asia, "La Vie Paris"

Bonus Trivia


Original last name alternately spelled Kominiski and Kominsky in various sources.


Donald Spoto in "Enchantment: The Life of Laurence Olivier" (1992) alleges that Olivier had a passionate 10-year affair with Danny Kaye and had written about it for his autobiography but Olivier's wife Joan Plowright ordered the reference deleted.


He received the UNICEF'S first award for Distinguished Service from the United Nation's Children's Fund.


UNICEF'S ambassador-at-large for 34 years.


Given the Scopus Laureate in 1977.


He received a honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Colgate University.


Honorary member of the American College of Surgeons.


Honorary member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.


He was awarded the Wateler Peace Prize from the Carnegie Foundation in 1981.


Made Chevalier in the Legion of Honor by French government 1986)


Received the Knight's Cross of the First Class of the Order of Danneborg by the Danish Government.


He was co-owner of the Seattle Mariners Baseball Club.


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