Jimmy Durante, pianist, comedian, singer, actor and dancer, contributed mightily to the mangled richness of the English language.
Durante, whose unique performing style defied single-word analysis, entertained millions for more than 60 years.
His career was a virtual capsule history of show business in the 20th century: saloons, speak-easies, vaudeville, motion pictures, radio, television — he tried them all, and he had triumphed.
The public character of the little man with the huge nose, gravelly voice and cyclonic personality was the one he had tried, developed and sharpened before audiences when he was in his teens.
And it is the one that follows him now into legend, along with such phrases as "Everybody wants ta get inta da act," "I'm mortified," "Hot cha-cha-cha" and "Umbriago."
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