Friday, September 9, 2011

Danny Thomas.

Danny Thomas(January 6, 1912 – February 6, 1991) was a nightclub comedian and television and film actor, best known for starring in the television sitcom Make Room for Daddy. He was also the founder of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He was the father of Marlo Thomas, Terre Thomas, and Tony Thomas. TCM, is showing a couple of his movies today:

I'll See You in My Dreams(1951). Cast: Doris Day and Danny Thomas, directed by Michael Curtiz. The film is a biography of lyricist Gus Kahn, and includes songs written by Kahn.

The story is about, aspiring lyricist Gus Kahn, who wants Grace LeBoy, who works for a music company to read some lyrics he has written. She then tells him that the most popular songs give people a way to say "I love you."

Later that evening, Gus, surprises Grace at her home where she lives with her parents. Her parents, invite him to have dinner with them. During dinner, Grace's father recites "Songs from the Portuguese". Gus, begins to feel uncomfortable and leaves his new song with Grace. The next morning Grace, brings the song into her boss, but... he refuses to listen to it. She quits her job and sells the song, to Fred Townsend. The song turns out to be very successful. but, the team's other songs do not do as well.

It is not long before Townsend, wants Gus team up with composer Egbert Van Alstyne. After John McCormack introduces Gus and Van Alstyne's song "Memories," Gus finally proposes to Grace, and the two are married. When Grace announces her pregnancy, Gus writes a song "Pretty Baby,".

Gus goes on to write many wonderful songs, but when Townsend refuses to publish "The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else," Grace takes the song to Sam Harris, who wants it for his new show.

Gus leaves to fight in World War I and when he gets home, Gus and Grace have another baby. As Gus's reputation grows, Ziegfeld asks him to write a show for him. Gus at first refuses, but.. Grace again accepts the offer for him.

Gus writes the song "Carolina in the Morning," while sitting at the race track with Donaldson and his girl friend. Gloria Knight, the Ziegfeld star, does not like the song, so.. Gus writes another song, "Love Me or Leave Me," which Gus has Gloria sing over the phone to Grace. When the new show, opens, Grace, who has her suspension's of Gloria and Max, makes a surprise visit to New York, where Gloria tells her that Gus, has always been faithful to her..

Sometime later, Gus and Donaldson do not have a meeting of the minds and end their partnership. Gus cannot find work and Grace wants Gus, to call Townsend in Hollywood. Gus's pride prevents him from making the call, so, Grace makes the call for him, and Gus is soon leaving for California. Grace flies out to Hollywood to talk him into continuing working, even though his doctor has warned him to get more rest because of his heart problems. Grace sends for Donaldson, and reunited, the team writes "I'll See You in My Dreams".

You will want to watch the movie, because of the great songs, "Ain't We Got Fun," "My Buddy," "Toot Toot Tootsie," and "Yes Sir, That's My Baby". The highlight of the film is the duet with Thomas and Day, "Makin' Whoopee".

Doris Day (April 3, 1924). Is an actress, singer and, animal rights activist. Day started her career as a big band singer in 1939, but only began to be noticed after her first hit recording, "Sentimental Journey", in 1945. After leaving the Les Brown and His Band of Renown to try a solo career, she started her partnership with Columbia Records. Recording more than 650 songs, the contract lasted from 1947 to 1967, becoming Day's only recording label and one of the label's greatest recording stars. In 1948, after being persuaded by Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne and her agent at the time, Al Levy, she auditioned for a part to Michael Curtiz, which led to her the lead in, Romance on the High Seas, her first film.

With a "girl-next-door" image and capable of performing in comedy, romance as well as drama, she performed in 39 films, recorded 28 albums. She also received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in Pillow Talk.

The Jazz Singer(1953). Directed by Michael Curtiz. Cast: Danny Thomas, Peggy Lee and Mildred Dunnock.

War veteran Jerry Golding, returns home to celebrate the Jewish New Year with his family. Later, at a nightclub, Jerry sees Judy Lane, a U.S.O. singer he met while in Korea, and she introduces him to her producer, George Miller. Miller, who is very impressed with Jerry's performance offers him a part in the show. His father is very disappointed, when he goes to New York, to begin rehearsing for the musical show "Top of the Town." The show is a huge flop and closes after the first night. Judy has another job to go to, but Jerry is left in New York, with work for one night at a bar in Hoboken. Judy tries to talk her producer, Ray Mullins, to hire Jerry to sing her on her next record, but he refuses.

Jerry gets an audition for the lead in Judy's next show. Unfortunately, Jerry finds himself back where he started. Jerry returns to Philadelphia with Louie, and Judy, who quits the show to be with him. Jerry decides to go back to his family, but Judy, is unconvinced that Jerry, really wants to sing for his father's choir.

It is not long before Jerry leaves the congregation. His father, is furious and throws him out of the house. Back in New York, Jerry gets back with Judy and back into show business. Miller casts Jerry, in the lead role of his next show. Hours before the show is to open, Jerry gets a phone call from home, informing him that his father is very ill, Jerry and his father reconcile and Jerry sings for his father the song, "Kol Nidre" at the synagogue. His father makes a full recovery, and Jerry returns to Broadway.

If you love classic musicals, you will love this movie. Danny Thomas, gives a wonderful performance. Peggy Lee, also is wonderful in her role as a Broadway and recording star.

In 1952 Peggy Lee played opposite Danny Thomas, in a remake of , The Jazz Singer. In 1955 she played an alcoholic blues singer in, Pete Kelly's Blues, for which she received an Academy Awards nomination. In 1955 Lee did the speaking and singing voices for several characters in, Disney's Lady and the Tramp movie: she played the human "Darling", the dog "Peg", and the two Siamese cats "Si" and "Am".

Big City(1948).Directed by Norman Taurog. Cast: Margaret O'Brien, Robert Preston, Danny Thomas, and George Murphy.

One day, singer David Irwin Feldman, finds a abandoned baby girl on an apartment building steps. David and his friends, Phillip Y. Andrews, a minister, and Patrick O'Donnell, a police officer, all decide to adopt the baby girl. Judge Abercrombie, agrees to the adoption, but, wants the first of the three men to marry to become her foster father. They name the baby Midge and they go on with their lives. As time passes, Midge, now in grade school student, is unhappy when the other children make fun of her for not having a mother. When, Lewis Keller, hits her with a tomato, Midge tells Phillip, that she wants a mother.

Midge's teacher, Florence Bartlett, tells Phillip that Midge is "different" from the other children, because of their family arrangement. Phillip, decides to invite Florence to visit their home and see their home life for herself. Midge, changes her mind about their unconventional family.

The real trouble begins when Feldman and O'Donnell, each fall in love and marry. Both want to adopt Midge and have her live with them and their new wife. Now, Midge has to find some way for them to all be happy again..

This is a very charming family movie and you will love when Margaret sings the Shu-Shu song.

Her father Lawrence O'Brien, a circus performer, died before she was born. O'Brien's mother, Gladys Flores, was a well-known flamenco dancer who often performed with her sister Marissa, also a dancer.

She made her first film appearance in, Babes on Broadway (1941) at the age of four, but it was the following year she performed in her first major role. As a five-year-old in Journey for Margaret (1942), O'Brien won wide praise for her acting style. By 1943, she was considered a big enough star to have a cameo appearance in the all-star military show finale of, Thousands Cheer.

She played a young French girl, and spoke and sang all her dialogue with a French accent, in Jane Eyre (1944). Her most memorable role was as "Tootie" in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), opposite Judy Garland. O'Brien had by this time added singing and dancing to her achievements and was rewarded with an Academy Juvenile Award the following year as the "outstanding child actress of 1944." Her other successes: The Canterville Ghost (1944), Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945), The Secret Garden (1949).


  1. Dawn, Danny Thomas was such a wonderful man. I always enjoyed him (used to watch Make Room for Daddy all the time), and he is so talented. He was also a devout Catholic, and I read that when his career was just going so badly, he went to a church and promised St. Jude (the patron saint of lost causes) that if he could succeed in his dream, he would create a foundation for what ended up being St. Jude's. What a fabulous person! I enjoyed your whole article, but Danny is just someone I had to highlight in my comment. Wonderful piece of work, Dawn.

  2. Becky, thank you for stopping by and sharing the wonderful info. about, Danny Thomas. I have always thought that he should have performed in more films.


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