Danny Kaye was an American actor, singer, dancer, and comedian.
Born David Daniel Kaminsky to Ukrainian Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn named Jacob Kaminsky and Clara Kaminsky, Kaye became one of the world’s best-known comedians. He spent his early youth attending Public School 149 in East New York, Brooklyn, before moving to Thomas Jefferson High School, but he never graduated. He learned his trade in his teenage years in the Catskills as a tummler in the Borscht Belt.
Danny Kaye made his film debut in a 1935 comedy short titled Moon Over Manhattan. In 1937 he signed with New York?based Educational Pictures for a series of two-reel comedies. Kaye usually played a manic, dark-haired, fast-talking Russian in these low-budget shorts, opposite young hopefuls June Allyson or Imogene Coca. The Kaye series ended abruptly when the studio shut down permanently in 1938.
Kaye scored a personal triumph in 1941, in the hit Broadway comedy Lady in the Dark. His show-stopping number was “Tchaikovsky”, by Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin, in which he sang the names of a whole string of Russian composers at breakneck speed, seemingly without taking a breath.