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Creator / Danny Kaye

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"Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint you can at it."

Danny Kaye (real name: David Daniel Kaminsky; January 18, 1911 (Or 1913) March 3, 1987), was a comedian, dancer, singer and actor in The Golden Age of Hollywood. He specialized in physical comedy, pantomime and rapid-fire delivery of often nonsensical patter.

He was born David Daniel Kaminski on January 18, 1911, in Brooklyn, New York. He started his show business career in vaudeville, branching out later into film, Broadway, radio and television, achieving considerable success in each medium. His variety show on CBS won four Emmys and a Peabody award.

Kaye was also a philanthropist. He became the first ambassador-at-large of UNICEF in the 1950s. Kaye also was the leader of the original ownership group of Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners (yes, those Mariners), though his group would sell out in 1980.

On March 3, 1987, Kaye passed away at the age of 76. The cause of death was heart failure, as well as complications from Hepatitis C, which he had contracted a few weeks before his death.

His films include:

His career provides examples of:

  • Hidden Depths: While he was not a trained fencer, he was so quick and agile, and such a skilled physical mimic, that he proved an excellent improv swordfighter in The Court Jester, so much that he wore out Basil Rathbone, who was still one of Hollywood's greatest fencers at the age of 63, and even the fencing master brought in to double for the man supposedly asked him to take it easy on him! He was also an accomplished pilot and flew everything from the Piper Cub to the Boeing 747.
  • Identical Stranger: In On the Riviera he played Jack Martin and his double Henri Duran.
  • Improv: Very much part of his act.
  • Motor Mouth: He was a grandmaster.
  • Patter Song: Motor mouthing to music.
  • Playing Their Own Twin: In Wonder Man he played mild-mannered librarian Edwin Dingle and his more outgoing twin, comedian Buzzy Bellew.
  • Slapstick: A staple of his routines.
  • Vaudeville: Where he got his start.