James Francis Durante
February 10, 1893
|Died||January 29, 1980 (aged 86)|
|Cause of death||Pneumonia|
|Resting place||Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Saint Malachy's Roman Catholic Church|
|Spouse(s)||Jeanne Olsen (1921–1943; her death)|
Margie Little (1960–1980; his death)
|Children||Adopted with Little:|
James Francis "Jimmy" Durante (February 10, 1893 – January 29, 1980) was an American comedian, actor, singer, and pianist. His famous nickname was The Great Schnozzola (a reference to his big nose). He was also known for his deep raspy voice when he said "Ha-Cha-Cha-Cha-Cha-Chaaaaa!". He won an Emmy Award in 1952.
Early life[change | change source]
Career[change | change source]
Durante started acting in movies in the 1930s. He worked in comedy series with silent movie legend Buster Keaton. He later appeared in The Wet Parade (1932), Broadway to Hollywood (1933), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942, playing "Banjo", a character based on Harpo Marx), Ziegfeld Follies (1946), Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962, based on the 1935 musical) and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963).
On September 10, 1933, Durante appeared on Eddie Cantor's radio show, The Chase and Sanborn Hour. He worked on the show until November 12 of that year. When Cantor later left, Durante took over the show as its star from April 22 to September 30, 1934. He then moved on to The Jumbo Fire Chief Program (1935–36).
On August 4, 1955, The Jimmy Durante Show on NBC was the venue of the final role by the famous Brazilian singer Carmen Miranda. Miranda fell to her knees while dancing with Durante, who quickly told the band, "STOP--the music!" He helped Miranda up to her feet as she laughed, "I'm all out of breath!". He repled, "That's OK, honey, I'll take your lines." Miranda laughed again and quickly pulled herself together and finished the show. However, the next morning, August 5, Miranda died at home from another heart attack.
Marriages[change | change source]
Durante was married to Jeanne Olsen from 1921 until her death in 1943 from heart disease. He was later married to Margie Little from 1960 until his own death in 1980. Little and Durante adopted one daughter, Cecilia Alicia.
Political views and health[change | change source]
Death[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Fowler, Gene Jr. Schnozzola: The Story of Jimmy Durante Viking Press, 1951
- Bakish, David Jimmy Durante: His Show Business Career, with an Annotated Filmography and Discography McFarland & Co., 1994 ISBN 978-0-89950-968-6
- Posted by Vincenzo (2009-10-24). "The Actors' Chapel". Sancte Pater. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
- See California Death Records - Jeanne Durante
- "Margaret "Margie" Durante Obituary: View Margaret Durante's Obituary by La Jolla Light". Legacy.com. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
- "Give a Man a Job - 1933". YouTube. 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
- "Durante Family and Friends attend Funeral Rite," The New York Times, February 2, 1980, p. 13.
Other websites[change | change source]
- Jimmy Durante on IMDb
- Jimmy Durante at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jimmy Durante at AllMovie
- Jimmy Durante at Find a Grave
- Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs: The Jimmy Durante Show (1933-50)
- Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs: The Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore Show (1943-47)
- Jimmy Durante on "Four Star Revue/All Star Revue" (1950-53) at Classic TV Info.
- Jimmy Durante on "The Colgate Comedy Hour" (1953-54) at Classic TV Info.
- Jimmy Durante on "Texaco Star Theater" (1954-56) at Classic TV Info.