Danny Kaye
Danny Kaye

Celebrity Profile

Name: Danny Kaye
Occupation: Actor
Gender: Male
Height: 180 cm (5' 11'')
Birth Day: January 18, 1911
Death Date: Mar 3, 1987 (age 76)
Age: Aged 76
Birth Place: Brooklyn, United States
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

Social Accounts

Height: 180 cm (5' 11'')
Weight: in kg - N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Blood Type N/A
Tattoo(s) N/A

Danny Kaye

Danny Kaye was born on January 18, 1911 in Brooklyn, United States (76 years old). Danny Kaye is an Actor, zodiac sign: Capricorn. Find out Danny Kayenet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.

Brief Info

Actor, comedian, singer, and dancer who starred in White Christmas in 1954 and won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1981. His best known movies include 1947's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Court Jester.


He was fired from his job as a dental assistant when he got caught using a drill to draw designs in the furniture.

Does Danny Kaye Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Danny Kaye died on Mar 3, 1987 (age 76).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020

$10 Million

Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

While working as an insurance investigator, he made an error that cost the company $40,000. In 1935, he debuted as himself in Moon Over Manhattan.

Biography Timeline


David Daniel Kaminsky was born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 18, 1911 (though he would later say 1913), to Ukrainian Jewish immigrants Jacob and Clara (née Nemerovsky) Kaminsky. He was the youngest of their three boys. His parents and their older sons Larry and Mac, left Dnipropetrovsk two years before Danny's birth; he was their only son born in the United States.


Kaye's first break came in 1933 when he joined the Three Terpsichoreans, a vaudeville dance act. They opened in Utica, New York, where he used the stage 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 Asia on February 8, 1934. While in Osaka, Japan, a typhoon hit the city. The hotel where they 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 have been killed. By evening's performance time, the city was in the grip of the storm. With no power, the audience became 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.


In 1937, Kaye's film debut came from a contract with New York–based Educational Pictures for a series of two-reel comedies. He usually played a manic, dark-haired, fast-talking Russian in these low-budget shorts, opposite young hopefuls June Allyson and Imogene Coca. The Kaye series ended abruptly when the studio shut down in 1938. He was working in the Catskills in 1937 under the name Danny Kolbin.


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 10 weeks, but critics took notice of Kaye's work. 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, and that led to Hart's casting him in his hit Broadway comedy Lady in the Dark.

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.


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. The couple were married for life except for a separation in 1947 and 1948, when Kaye was involved with Eve Arden.


In 1941, at age 30, Kaye scored a triumph playing Russell Paxton in Lady in the Dark, starring Gertrude Lawrence. His show-stopping number was "Tschaikowsky (and Other Russians)" 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!.


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. 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".


While Kaye claimed he couldn't 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".


The couple's only child, daughter Dena, was born on December 17, 1946. 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. Kaye said in a 1954 interview, "Whatever she wants to be she will be without interference from her mother nor from me." Dena grew up to become a journalist.


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 and Patty, "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth".


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". 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.


Working alongside UNICEF's Halloween fundraiser founder, Ward Simon Kimball Jr., the actor educated the public on impoverished children in deplorable living conditions overseas and assisted in the distribution of donated goods and funds. His involvement with UNICEF came about in an unusual way. Kaye was flying home from London in 1949 when one of the plane's four engines lost its propeller and caught fire. The problem was initially thought serious enough that it might make an ocean landing; life jackets and life rafts were made ready.


In 1950, a Decca single, "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts", was released, 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 "Tschaikowsky (and Other Russians)".


He hosted the 24th Academy Awards in 1952. 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. In 1953, Kaye started a production company, Dena Pictures, named for his daughter. Knock on Wood was the first film produced by his firm. The firm expanded into television in 1960 under the name Belmont Television.


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 UK pop charts. In 1953, Decca released Danny at the Palace, a live recording made at the New York Palace Theater, followed by Knock On Wood (Decca, 1954) a set of songs from the movie of the same name sung by Kaye, accompanied by Victor Young and His Singing Strings.


Kaye entered television in 1956, on the CBS show See It Now with Edward R. Murrow. The Secret Life of Danny Kaye combined his 50,000-mile, ten-country tour as UNICEF ambassador with music and humor. His first solo effort was in 1960 with a one-hour special produced by Sylvia and sponsored by General Motors, with similar specials in 1961 and 1962.

In 1956, Kaye signed a three-year recording contract with Capitol Records, which released his single "Love Me Do" in December of that year. The B-side, "Ciu Ciu Bella", with lyrics written by Sylvia Fine, was inspired by an episode in Rome when Kaye, on a mission for UNICEF, befriended a 7-year-old polio victim in a children's hospital, who sang this song for him in Italian.


In 1958, Saul Chaplin and Johnny Mercer wrote songs for Merry Andrew, a film starring Kaye as a British teacher attracted to the circus. The score added up to six numbers, all sung by Kaye; conductor Billy May's 1950 composition "Bozo's Circus Band" (renamed "Music of the Big Top Circus Band") was deposited on the second side of the Merry Andrew soundtrack, released in 1958. A year later, another soundtrack came out, The Five Pennies (Kaye starred there as 1920s cornet player Loring Red Nichols), featuring Louis Armstrong.

In 1958 Kaye and partner Lester Smith formed Kaye–Smith Enterprises. The company owned a chain of radio stations, mostly in the Pacific Northwest. Other Kaye–Smith divisions included a concert promotion company, a video production company, and a recording studio. Kaye sold his share of the company to the Smith family in 1985.


Kaye was an aviation enthusiast and pilot. His interest was sparked by his longtime friend, choreographer Michael Kidd, who had recently earned his private pilot's licence. Kaye began studying for his own pilot's licence in 1959. An enthusiastic and accomplished golfer, he gave up golf in favor of flying. The first plane Kaye owned was a Piper Aztec. Kaye received his first licence as a private pilot of multi-engine aircraft, not being certified for operating a single-engine plane until six years later. He was an accomplished pilot, rated for aircraft ranging from single-engine light aircraft to multi-engine jets. Kaye held a commercial pilot's licence and had flown every type of aircraft except military planes.


Beginning in 1964, he acted as television host to the CBS telecasts of MGM's The Wizard of Oz. 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 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. He had done much the same on his television show in 1964, when his right leg and foot were burned from a cooking accident. Camera shots were planned so television viewers did not see Kaye in his wheelchair.


Kaye received a type rating in a Learjet, and he was named vice president of the Learjet company by Bill Lear as an honorary title (he had no line responsibility at the company). He supported many flying projects. In 1968, he was honorary chairman of the Las Vegas International Exposition of Flight, a show that utilized many facets of the city's entertainment industry while presenting an air show. The operational show chairman was well-known aviation figure Lynn Garrison. Kaye flew a Learjet to 65 cities in five days on a mission to help UNICEF.


In 1976, he played Geppetto in a television musical adaptation of Pinocchio with Sandy Duncan in the title role. Kaye portrayed Captain Hook opposite Mia Farrow in a musical version of Peter Pan featuring songs by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse. He later guest-starred in episodes of The Muppet Show and The Cosby Show, and in the 1980s revival New Twilight Zone.

Kaye and his business partner Lester Smith also led an investment group which was awarded the American League's thirteenth franchise, which became the Seattle Mariners for US$6.2 million on February 7, 1976. The ownership percentages of Kaye, Smith and two other remaining original investors were reduced to 5 percent each when George Argyros purchased 80 percent of the Mariners for $10.4 million on January 30, 1981. Kaye sold all of his business interests to Smith's family in 1985.


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 primetime television in the U.S.


In the 1960s and '70s, Kaye regularly conducted world-famous orchestras, although he had to learn the scores by ear. Kaye's style, even if accompanied by unpredictable antics (he once traded the baton for a fly swatter to conduct "The Flight of the Bumblebee") was praised by the likes of Zubin Mehta, who once stated that Kaye "has a very efficient conducting style". His ability with an orchestra was mentioned by Dimitri Mitropoulos, then conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. After Kaye's appearance Mitropoulos remarked, "Here is a man who is not musically trained, who cannot even read music and he gets more out of my orchestra than I have." 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. Over his career, he raised over US$5 million in support of musician pension funds.


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. Before his death in 1987, Kaye conducted an orchestra during a comical series of concerts organized for UNICEF fundraising. Kaye received two Academy Awards: an Academy Honorary Award in 1955 and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1982. That year he received the Screen Actors Guild Annual Award.

Kaye died of heart failure on March 3, 1987, aged 76, brought on by internal bleeding and complications of hepatitis C. Kaye had quadruple bypass heart surgery in February 1983 and he contracted hepatitis C from a blood transfusion.


The Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College in New York was opened in 1988, with a $1 million gift from Sylvia Kaye.


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.


He held a succession of jobs after leaving school, as a soda jerk, auto insurance investigator, and office clerk. Most ended with his being fired. He lost the insurance job when he made an error that cost the insurance company $40,000 ($600,000 in 2019 adjusted for inflation). A dentist who hired him to look after his office over lunch and run errands also fired him when he found Kaye using his dental drill on the office woodwork. In 1939, Kaye met the same dentist's daughter, Sylvia Fine, at an audition, and in 1940 they eloped. He learned his trade in his teenage years in the Catskills as a tummler in the Borscht Belt.

Family Life

Danny married Sylvia Fine on January 1940, and their marriage lasted until his death in 1987. They had one daughter together named Dena Kaye.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Danny Kaye is 111 years, 10 months and 16 days old. Danny Kaye will celebrate 112th birthday on a Wednesday 18th of January 2023. Below we countdown to Danny Kaye upcoming birthday.


Recent Birthday Highlights

108th birthday - Friday, January 18, 2019

Radio Spirits » Blog Archive » Happy Birthday, Danny Kaye!

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