Born: February 10, 1893 (Manhattan, New York City)
Died: January 29, 1980 (Santa Monica, California)
Famous For/Known For:
Popular comic who entertained on stage, radio and television.
A Little About Jimmie Durante:
Born James Francis Durante to parents Bertolomeo and Rose. Both parents were Italian immigrants. Bertolomeo was a barber.
Durante left school in the 7th grade to pursue his passion for entertaining. He started out playing piano at bars and clubs.
In 1923 Durante opened a club with two other performers, Lou Clayton and Eddie Jackson called Club Durant. The three performed as a comedy team. The club did quite well until it was shut down for illegal alcohol sales.
Durante was best known for his song, Inka Dinka Doo, which he performed in the movie Palooka in 1934.
Audiences loved Durante for the way he humorously made fun of himself, especially when referring to his schnozzle (large nose). Also for his raspy voice and the way he would mispronounce words.
Durante was married twice. His first marriage was to Jeanne Olsen in 1921. She died in 1942. He then married Marjorie Little in 1960 and the two adopted a baby girl a year later.
Durante performed on Broadway, on radio and television, and appeared in movies such as It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World with Milton Berle, Ethel Merman and Spencer Tracy.
After suffering a stroke, that left him in a wheel chair, Durante retired from the entertainment business.
Jimmy Durante died from pneumonia at the age of 86.