Danny Kaye’s Birthday

Danny Kaye (Born: January 13, 1913 Died: March 3, 1987) was born David Daniel Kaminsky.  He was a great actor, singer, dancer and comedian.  In his professional career he was known for his physical comedy and silly songs.  He made 23 Hollywood movies from 1935 to 1969.  He had his own radio program from 1945 to 1946 and television variety show from 1963 to 1969.  Danny Kaye was a talented performer and has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio, film and music.

Danny Kaye was also known for his charity work for the United Nations and in 1954 he became the first ambassador of UNICEF.  As an example of his varied interests, from 1977 to 1981 he was part owner of the Seattle Mariners baseball team.   He continued to work in television with several guest starring roles and hosted TV specials in 1980 for Disneyland’s 25th Anniversary and in 1982 for the opening celebration of EPCOT.  In 1983 he was knighted by the Queen of Denmark for his portrayal of Hans Christian Andersen in the 1952 film.  In 1984 he was the Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade and also received the Kennedy Center Honor for his work in radio and film.

In February of 1983 Danny Kaye had a quadruple bypass heart surgery and died in March 1987 from a heart attack.  He is buried at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.  At his gravesite is a special bench carved with symbols to show his varied interests, such as a piano and musical notes, an airplane, a flower pot and a baseball, bat and glove inscribed with his name and dates of his birth and death.  It is a fitting tribute to his multi-talented man.

As a child of the 1960s, I grew up watching Danny Kaye movies and when my children got older we watched them together.  My three favorite movies are “Hans Christian Andersen” (1952), “The Court Jester” (1956) and “White Christmas” (1954).  The first two are wonderful movies to watch with the family and “White Christmas” is a holiday classic that we watch every holiday season.


I highly recommend these three movies as a wonderful example of Danny Kaye’s acting and musical talents.  As I mentioned before, these movies are great entertainment and would be great to watch with the family especially little children.