This week, I'm bringing to you one of my favorite actors and performers: Danny Kaye.
Born David Daniel Kaminsky in Brooklyn, 1911 (although sometimes he fudged that a bit to 1913), he starred in 17 films: notably The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Inspector General, Hans Christian Andersen, White Christmas, and The Court Jester.
He left school at age 13 to find work at the resorts in the Catskill Mountains — also known as "Borscht Belt." In 1935, he made his film debut in a comedy short called Moon Over Manhattan, and then in 1937, Kaye signed on with New York's Educational Pictures for a series of two-reel films.
It was a short-lived 1939 Broadway show — The Straw-Hat Revue that really changed Kaye's life direction and career. He was working with pianist/composer/lyricist Sylvia Fine who went on to become Kaye's manager and wife.
It was his role opposite Gertrude Lawrence in 1941's Lady in the Dark that basically made his career. The production contained a show-stopping number called "Tchaikovsky" by Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin. On this week's Flicks in Five, we'll hear a song from one of Kaye's most beloved roles as Hans Christian Andersen: "Inchworm."