Danny Kaye | danny kaye | Scoop.it

Danny Kaye (born David Daniel Kaminsky; 18 January 1913 – 3 March 1987).

He 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 was the court jester in 1956.

          His films were extremely popular, especially his bravura performances of patter songs and children's favorites such as "Inchworm" and "The Ugly Duckling".

         He was the first ambassador-at-large of UNICEF in 1954 and received the French Legion of Honor in 1986 for his many years of work with the organization.

         Kaye died of a heart attack in March 1987, following a bout of hepatitis. Kaye had quadruple bypass heart surgery in February 1983; he contracted hepatitis from a blood transfusion he received at that time. He left a widow, Sylvia Fine, and a daughter, Dena. He is 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 glove. Kaye's name, birth and death dates are inscribed on the glove. The United Nations held a memorial tribute to him at their New York headquarters.