Nobody's Fool: The Lives of Danny Kaye..Author: Martin Gottfried

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ivybeth Verified
Hendersonville, NC
Member since December 22, 2005
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Format: Hardcover; Release Date: 1994; List Price: $24.00; ISBN: 9780671864941; Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Length: 352 pages; Other: Illustrated. Condition: Very Good. From private collection, NOT a former library copy. Inside of front jacket flap is clipped in corner. Otherwise jacket and cover are both still in overall great shape, binding is strong, and pages are unmarked. Same cover design as that shown here.

Brooklyn-born in 1913 as David Daniel Kaminski, this kinetic comedian with the crooked smile got his start in summer vaudeville. Beginning at age 16, he learned the hard way and learned well. He could mesmerize a nightclub audience, reduce it to tears of laughter and then get everyone to dance the conga. His rags-to-riches career took him to Hollywood, Broadway, and the London Palladium (where he performed a triple act with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh and drank champagne with Princess Margaret). Through all this he was coached by his wife, Sylvia Fine, who wrote the songs and devised the comic business that launched his career. The couple stayed together for 47 years (Kaye died in 1987). However, Gottfried (author of All His Jazz: The Life and Death of Bob Fosse) isn't telling a fairy tale here. Despite worldwide acclaim, good works with UNICEF and a mega-movie hit with Hans Christian Andersen, there was a cold and dark side to Kaye. No one quoted in this detailed biography felt close to him; even Sylvia played more the role of mother and manager than wife or lover. Convincingly discredited as well are recent assertions that Kay and Olivier were once lovers. "Perhaps he could not be intimate with any individual", Gottfried writes, "but he certainly could be with an audience". And audiences everywhere indeed loved him and felt loved by him. Perhaps that is the way to remember him: the redheaded singing elf who spread happiness.

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