Happy 130th Birthday Jimmy Durante

Today is the 130th birthday of the actor/singer/comedian/musician Jimmy Durante. The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left.

NAME: Jimmy Durante
AKA: James Francis Durante
DATE OF BIRTH: 10-Feb-1893
DATE OF DEATH: 20-Jan-1980
PLACE OF DEATH: Santa Monica, CA
REMAINS: Buried, Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, CA
WIFE: Jeane Olson (m. 19-Jun-1921, d. 1943)
WIFE: Marjorie Little (m. 1960, one adopted daughter)
Friars Club
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Co-Founder (1937-)
Endorsement of Kellogg Corn Flakes
Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame 1600 Vine Street (motion pictures)
Hollywood Walk of Fame 1648 Vine Street (radio)
Kentucky Colonel

BEST KNOWN FOR: James Francis Durante was an American actor, comedian, singer, and pianist.

Jimmy Durante, byname of James Francis Durante, byname Schnozzola, or The Schnoz, American comedian whose career in every major entertainment performance medium spanned more than six decades.

As a boy, Durante wanted to become a saloon pianist. His father, a barber, bought him a piano and provided intermittent lessons. Although Durante left school in seventh grade for a miscellany of jobs, he kept up his piano study, and when he was 17 he realized his dream by playing the piano at Diamond Tony’s Saloon in Brooklyn’s Coney Island.

With the vaudevillians Eddie Jackson and Lou Clayton, he opened the Club Durant in New York in 1923. The partners performed there and in other clubs throughout the 1920s. Durante had roles in such Broadway productions as Show Girl and The New Yorkers and in the movie Roadhouse Nights (1929). He starred in several radio programs during the 1940s, including “The Jimmy Durante Show” and “The Camel Comedy Caravan.” His closing line—“Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are!”—became as famous as his felt hat, cane, and his persistent malapropisms and mispronunciations; the line was used to close his various television shows during the 1950s, such as “The Four-Star Revue,” “The All-Star Revue,” and “The Jimmy Durante Show.” His outsize nose became his trademark.

His Broadway career included a role in Jumbo, a circus extravaganza; in 1962 he had a role in the film version of Jumbo. The following year he acted in the film It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (7-Nov-1963) · Smiler Grogan
Billy Rose’s Jumbo (6-Dec-1962) · Pop Wonder
Pepe (21-Dec-1960) · Himself
The Milkman (17-Oct-1950)
The Great Rupert (8-Jan-1950) · Mr. Amendola
On an Island with You (3-May-1948) · Buckley
This Time for Keeps (17-Oct-1947) · Ferdi Farro
It Happened in Brooklyn (13-Mar-1947) · Nick Lombardi
Two Sisters from Boston (Apr-1946) · Spike
Music for Millions (18-Dec-1944) · Andrews
Two Girls and a Sailor (27-Apr-1944) · Billy Kipp
The Man Who Came to Dinner (1-Jan-1942) · Banjo
You’re in the Army Now (1-Nov-1941)
Melody Ranch (15-Nov-1940) · Cornelius J. Courtney
Little Miss Broadway (16-Sep-1938)
Sally, Irene and Mary (4-Mar-1938)
Start Cheering (3-Mar-1938)
Forbidden Music (8-Oct-1936)
Student Tour (5-Oct-1934) · Hank Merman
Hollywood Party (24-May-1934) · Jimmy
Strictly Dynamite (11-May-1934) · Moxie
George White’s Scandals (16-Mar-1934)
Palooka (26-Jan-1934)
Meet the Baron (20-Oct-1933) · Joe McGoo
Broadway to Hollywood (1-Sep-1933) · Jimmy
Hell Below (25-Apr-1933) · “Ptomaine” — Ship’s Cook
What! No Beer? (10-Feb-1933)
The Phantom President (23-Sep-1932)
Blondie of the Follies (1-Sep-1932) · Jimmy
Speak Easily (13-Aug-1932) · Jimmy Dodge
The Wet Parade (17-Mar-1932)
The Passionate Plumber (6-Feb-1932)
The Cuban Love Song (5-Dec-1931) · O. O. Jones
New Adventures of Get Rich Quick Wallingford (3-Oct-1931)

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