Category Archives: news

Jacob Burns Film Center to Screen Four Danny Kaye Films

The Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY will be screening four Danny Kaye films as part of their “Movies for Kids (and their Families)” series – all show times are at noon on weekends.

The Court Jester:
Saturday, March 2nd
Sunday, March 3rd
Saturday, March 9th
Sunday March 10th

Walter Mitty:
Saturday, March 16th
Sunday, March 17th
Saturday, March 23rd
Sunday, March 24th

The Five Pennies:
Saturday, March 30th
Sunday, March 31st
Saturday, April 6th
Sunday, April 7th

The Inspector General
Saturday, April 13th
Sunday, April 14th
Saturday, April 20th
Sunday, April 21st

For more information, please visit

Dick Dinman and Dena Kaye Celebrate Danny Kaye’s 100th Birthday

Acclaimed writer/journalist Dena Kaye joins producer/host Dick Dinman with songs, stories and merriment as they celebrate the 100th Birthday of mega-talented cinema icon Danny Kaye as well as the soon-to-be 100th Anniversary of brilliant Kaye collaborator Sylvia Fine Kaye and Warner Home Video’s gorgeous Blu-ray release of Samuel Goldwyn’s Kaye triumph HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN.

Listen to Part One now:
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Danny Kaye’s talented daughter Dena Kaye returns as she and producer/host Dick Dinman continue their salute to Danny Kaye’s 100th Birthday with some alternately touching and uproarious anecdotes about the amazing Kaye which are augmented by a generous supply of rare audio clips which illustrate the length and breadth of his awe-inspiring talents.

Listen to Part Two now:
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Producer/host Dick Dinman and scintillating guest Dena Kaye close out their three show celebration of Mr. and Mrs. Danny Kaye’s 100th Birthday by focussing on their impressive and groundbreaking humanitarian contributions as well as their artistic successes and among the audio clips heard is the incredible Kaye/Louis Armstrong rendition of “When The Saints Come Marching In” (which includes additional lyrics by Sylvia Fine Kaye) and is Dick Dinman’s favorite Kaye film number.

Listen to Parth Three now:
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The spectacular Blu-ray incarnations of HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN and GUYS AND DOLLS constitute the very first Warner Home Video releases from the prestigious Samuel Goldwyn library and Warner Home Video’s Senior Vice President of Classic and Theatrical Marketing George Feltenstein and producer/host Dick Dinman can barely hide their unfettered enthusiasm for these two Gold Standard Goldwyn musical masterworks.

Listen now:
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Read the full article here at

Send in the clown – TCM celebrates Danny Kaye’s centennial

People would come up to him in restaurant, and quote the ‘Vessel with the Pestle’ routine and expect him to do it with them,’’ recalls Dena Kaye, the daughter of Danny Kaye, who was born 100 years ago last Friday in Brooklyn as David Daniel Kaminsky.

The movie that classic bit comes from — “The Court Jester,’’ perhaps Kaye’s most beloved — is one of 12 being shown today on Turner Classic Movies as part of a 24-hour marathon celebrating the singing comedian’s centennial.

Kaye had years of experience dancing, singing and clowning in the Catskill Mountains’ Borscht Belt and on Broadway when he was signed by producer Samuel Goldwyn to star in a series of lavish Technicolor musicals, beginning with his Kaye’s hilarious turn as a hypochondriac in “Up in Arms’’ (1944), a loose remake of the Eddie Cantor vehicle “Whoopee,’’ at 7 a.m.


Dena Kaye will join TCM weekend host Ben Mankiewicz to introduce four films, beginning at noon with “The Kid From Brooklyn’’ (1946), which casts Kaye as a shy milkman who accidentally becomes a boxing champion (a role previously filled by Harold Lloyd in an earlier version of the story, “The Milky Way’’).

“The Inspector General’’ (1949, 2 p.m.), made at Warner Bros., was Kaye’s first film away from Goldwyn, a lavish and very funny historical farce about a student mistaken for a government official in a small European village.

The rarest film on view today (at 4 p.m.) is the never-on-video “Me and the Colonel’’ (1958).

“I love this one because it’s a total departure from his musical Danny Kaye roles,’’ says Dena. “He’s working in black and white, for once, and playing a Jewish refugee in World War II, which really meant something to him.’’

At 6 p.m., the final film that Dena will introduce, at 6 p.m. is the more typical “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’’ (1947), a Technicolor fantasy with her dad playing a man who daydreams outrageous adventures, based on a story by James Thurber. Boris Karloff co-stars.

Dena Kaye is especially fond of the film that follows at 8, the musical bio-pic “Hans Christian Andersen’’ (1952) with Farley Granger.

“It’s a wonderful movie and it’s perfect for kids, and a departure for my father because he was playing a real person,’’ she says. “But I hated it when I was a kid because all I saw was my daddy in jail!”

“The Court Jester’’ (1956) which follows at 10, features some of the best of the clever, tongue-twisting songs that her mother, Sylvia Fine, wrote especially for her father’s movies.

It was one of several films, including the hugely popular “White Christmas,’’ which is not being shown today, that Kaye made at Paramount Pictures, his home studio for most of the 1950s.

“All of the people at Paramount had bicycles, and he had one with his name on the handlebars,’’ she recalled. “He would get on his bicycle to get his makeup done.’’

Kaye learned to fence for “The Court Jester,’’ in which he’s cast as an actor who gets into hot water when he’s mistaken for a medieval rebel.

“He got so good at it that they had to put his teacher in his fencing scene with Basil Rathbone. Nothing my father did was window dressing — he had his heart in whatever he did.”

“The Court Jester,’’ she says, “was such a wonderful vehicle for him to display his talents. It’s a very physical role, and he’s even a romantic lead, if you will, for Glynis Johns!”

TCM’s centennial celebration includes a 1963 episode from Kaye’s popular CBS variety series (6 a.m.) and a 1971 interview with Dick Cavett (10:30 a.m.).

“Many generations don’t know about Danny Kaye,’’ says Dena of her father, who passed away in 1987.

“He was an interesting guy who had a well-rounded life outside of his work. He was appointed UNICEF’s first ambassador for children in 1954, and he did that for decades.’’

Read the full article here at


My father, Danny Kaye, whose 100th birthday we are celebrating
today, was appointed the first UNICEF ambassador to the world’s children in 1954.

Though my father achieved legendary success in Hollywood, on Broadway, television and the concert stage, he often said working with UNICEF was his most rewarding role. His belief in helping children was rooted in his conviction that children were the world’s most valuable natural resource. “If children are healthy and have care and education,” he said, “surely they will be more effective adults and maybe, just maybe, make the world a better place.”

His work with UNICEF covered the globe, from Africa to India. For him, there was no such thing as a language barrier. His language was love and laughter. He engaged with children instinctively. “Children are the same the world over,” he said. “They may have a different culture, but an ache or a laugh is universal.”

My father always went the extra mile. Perhaps you will be inspired to go that extra mile, too.


Many people ask me, “What’s it like to be Danny Kaye’s daughter?” I always answer that I’ve never known anything else. What I do know is that he profoundly influenced all aspects of all my life.

By profession I’m a journalist, specializing in travel and design. It requires an innate curiosity and doggedness. Those qualities marked everything my father did, whether it was his “What ifs” in the kitchen — which I greeted with delight and trepidation, as in, “What if I added tuna to this pizza?” — or the exploration of unique roles: for example, playing a concentration camp survivor in the TV movie Skokie.

By avocation I’m a Sunday cook, photographer, jazz fan and avid traveler. The concept of a palette of interests stemmed from my growing up with a real-life Walter Mitty. My father lived out his dreams. He was a jet pilot, part owner of a Major League Baseball team, golfer, cook, and orchestra conductor. These passions balanced an intense professional career and created other worlds in which he could express himself.

My father was spontaneous and impulsive. We often went to Palm Springs, Calif., where he loved to play golf. He once came home from a golf match, dressed elegantly in a suede jacket, and walked in the front door, car keys still in hand. My mother said, “Darling, why don’t you take a dip in the pool before dinner?” He never stopped walking and jumped right into the pool. This was pure Danny Kaye. That concept of spontaneity looms large in my life.

As UNICEF’s first ambassador to the world’s children, he was among the first celebrities to use his fame to support an international cause. As president of the Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation, I am proud and personally gratified to honor his philosophy of commitment.

We have made grants to work as diverse as a hospital and women’s weaving project in India, a park in downtown Cairo and restoration of an opera foyer in Paris. We have given to education programs at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Jazz Aspen Snowmass, stem cell research and two theaters: the Danny Kaye Theatre at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., with a stove center stage; and the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse in New York. With the French Heritage Society and the World Monuments Fund, we give to the restoration and conservation of buildings and monuments, because I feel a responsibility to preserve for future travelers what has given me such pleasure.

My hope is that this centennial year will be a reminder, for the generation who knew my father, of his infinite gifts, and that it will introduce him to others who, like me, will be inspired by Danny Kaye the man, and entertained and moved by Danny Kaye the artist.

Read the full article here at

Danny Kaye Centennial Celebration at United Nations International School

A 100th Birthday celebration was held on Friday, January 11th for legendary entertainer and humanitarian, Danny Kaye at the United Nations International School (UNIS) where a new generation of children was introduced to his numerous talents, celebrated body of work as a performer and lifelong dedication to charity. The celebration featured a special screening of Hans Christian Andersen, cupcakes provided by Magnolia Bakery and a special tribute cake from TLC’s Cake Boss.

UNIS students at the Danny Kaye Centennial Celebration

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UNIS students at the Danny Kaye Centennial Celebration