Sylvia Fine

Composer, Lyricist, Producer
Songwriter whose witty, complex lyrics and melodic tunes were often written as special material to showcase the unique talents of her husband, Danny Kaye. (Kaye once admitted, "I am a wife-made man".)

Fine wrote the ... Read more »

Born: 08/29/1913 in Brooklyn, New York, USA

Filmography

Music (11)

On the Double 1961 (Movie)

songs (Song)

Me and the Colonel 1958 (Movie)

lyrics("Suzanne") (Theme Lyrics)

The Five Pennies 1958 (Movie)

songs("The Five Pennies" "Lullaby in Ragtime" "Goodnight-Sleep Tight") (Song)

The Court Jester 1956 (Movie)

lyrics (Theme Lyrics)

The Court Jester 1956 (Movie)

(Music)

Knock on Wood 1954 (Movie)

("All About You" "Knock On Wood" "The Drastic, Livid History of Monahan O'Han") (Music)

Knock on Wood 1954 (Movie)

lyrics (Theme Lyrics)

Witness to Murder 1954 (Movie)

songs (Song)

On the Riviera (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

The Inspector General (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

The Inspector General (Movie)

(Songwriter)
Producer (2)

The Five Pennies 1958 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)

The Inspector General (Movie)

(Associate Producer)
Writer (1)

The Danny Kaye Show 1963 - 1967 (TV Show)

Writer

Biography

Songwriter whose witty, complex lyrics and melodic tunes were often written as special material to showcase the unique talents of her husband, Danny Kaye. (Kaye once admitted, "I am a wife-made man".)

Fine wrote the music and/or lyrics for such Kaye vehicles as "Up in Arms" (1944), "Wonder Man" (1945), "The Kid From Brooklyn" (1946) "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (1947), "The Inspector General" (1949) and "The Court Jester" (1956), and once estimated that she had created over 100 songs for him during their 40-year collaboration. Her songs ranged from fast-paced, tongue-twisting patter numbers such as "Anatole of Paris" and "Melody in 4-F", to the tender "Lullaby in Ragtime" from "The Five Pennies" (1959), to love songs such as "All About You" from "Knock on Wood" (1954). Fine received Oscar nominations for her songs for "The Moon is Blue" (1953) and "The Five Pennies" and also won an Emmy for the 1975 TV production "Danny Kaye: Look in at the Met".

Relationships

Samuel Fine

Father

Bessie Fine

Mother

Rhoda Gamson

Sister

Danny Kaye

Husband
married on January 3, 1940 born on January 18, 1913 died on March 3, 1987

Dena Kaye

Daughter
born in 1946

EDUCATION

Brooklyn College

Brooklyn , New York
graduated

Milestones

1979

Produced and narrated her musical theater course as a three part PBS special, "Musical Comedy Tonight"

1975

Executive produced award-winning TV special, "Danny Kaye: Look-In at the Met"

1975

Taught her musical theater course at Yale

1970

First taught a course on musical theater at UCS

1959

Associated producer of "The Five Pennies" (also songwriter)

1952

Formed Dena Productions with Danny Kaye

1942

Signed by Samuel Goldwyn to write special material for Kaye

1940

Debut as a nightclub performer with Danny Kaye at La Martinque in NYC; Fine wrote the music and lyrics and accompanied Kaye on the piano 9date approximate)

1939

Debut as Broadway composer-lyricist-skit writer when skits written for Pennsylvania summer camp produced on Broadway as "The Straw Hat Revue"

After college helped put on skits at a summer camp in Pennsylvania where fellow entertainers included Imogene Coca, Max Liebman and Danny Kaye; first wrote specialty material for Kaye including a Yiddish version of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Mikado"

Embarked on separate career as a TV producer and teacher in the 1970s

Bonus Trivia

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"I can't say what Danny Kaye is like in private life. There are too many of them." --Sylvia Fine (quoted in "Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion", 9th edition, 1998)

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"I'm Anatole of Paris,I shiek with chic;My 'at of ze weekCaused six divorces, three runaway 'orses...I'm Anatole of Paris, ze 'ats I sellMake people yell'Is zat a 'at or a two-room flat?" --Sylvia Fine's lyric from "Anatole of Paris"

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Fine was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Brooklyn College (1985

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She financed the restoration of the Hunter College Playhouse (1990)

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Fine also endowed the Sylvia Fine Chair in Musical Theater at Brooklyn College in 1991.

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