Danny Kaye, the rubbery-faced, gibberish-spouting comedian, was one of the world's most successful entertainers of the 1940s, '50s and '60s. Kaye's 50-year show business career included roles in films such as "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" in 1947 and "White Christmas" in 1954.
He received a special Academy Award in 1954 for service to the film industry, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1982 and, in 1964, an Emmy for his long-running "Danny Kaye Show" on television.
For more than a quarter-century, Kaye was ambassador at large for UNICEF and seemed to have a special rapport with children; he entertained hundreds of thousands of them over the years in villages and slums in South America, Africa and India.
He was an active baseball owner for a time, holding stock in the Seattle Mariners before selling out, and continued as an orchestra guest conductor, although he admitted to Martin Bernheimer, the Los Angeles Times music critic, that he could not read a single note. Musicologists said he simply had an innate feel for the podium.
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