K is for…Danny Kaye
Danny Kaye was an amazing actor, dancer, singer, comedian, and a self-less humanitarian. Born in the 1913 of immigrant Jewish parents, Danny Kaye was a truly self-made man, who happened on entertainment as a career, purely by accident, and of necessity. That said, learned from Wikipedia, I have to say that Danny Kaye was someone who influenced my life.
I was all of ten years old when I saw “White Christmas” in color at a friend’s house. Danny Kaye was supposed to be the comic relief to the somber Bing Crosby, but in my view. Danny Kaye took off with his part and dominated the screen. At my young age, I didn’t see the sizzling desire between Bing and Rosemary Clooney. What I saw? Danny Kaye, with his rubbery face, funny voices, danced without the demands of gravity. Danny Kaye made me laugh.
Year later, I saw much more of Danny Kaye in different movies. He was Hans Christian Anderson in one film, then he was a court jester in another. He had a successful television variety show, which always began with one of his famous tongue twisters:
“git gat gittle-giddle-di-ap, giddle-de-tommy, riddle de biddle-de-roop, da-reep, fa-san, skeedle-de woo-da, fiddle de wada, reep”
Danny Kaye was so versatile as a performer, and even more so in his personal life. He was involved and interested in learning. He was an accomplished pilot, an internationally recognized Chinese chef, a regular USO performer, an ambassador for UNICEF, and even an honorary member of the American Medical Board of Surgeons.
The thing I will always remember about Danny Kaye is that at the end of each TV episode, Danny would dance freely around a white sound stage, with each step displaying his joy in life. He died at the age of 71 following complications of heart surgery and heart attack.