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Jimmy Durante ACTOR


Jimmy Durante was born on February 10th, 1893 in New York City, New York with the birth name James Francis Durante, born to Bartolomeo and Rosa Durante.  Throughout his career in the industry he worked as not only an actor but also a composer, producer, singer, comedian and song writer. 

Durante received his early years schooling in the New York public school system and excelled at playing the piano from a young age.  In the eight grade he dropped out of school to work as a full-time pianist.  In 1916 he found work as a pianist in Coney Island performing with his own band.
Soon he was also performing on vaudeville and then began performing on Broadway appearing in such productions as, "Show Girl", "The New Yorkers", "Strike Me Pink", "Jumbo", "Red Hot and Blue" and "Stars in Your Eyes".
His Broadway success followed with some appearances on the London stage and then back to the United States where he was given the chance to have his own radio show.  By the early 30's he was appearing on such films as, "Roadhouse Nights" (1930) starring with Helen Morgan, Charlie Ruggles and Fred Kohler, "The Cuban Love Song" (1931) with Lawrence Tibbett, Lupe Velez and Ernest Torrence, "The Passionate Plumber" (1932) with Buster Keaton and Polly Moran and "The Wet Parade" (1932) also starring Robert Young, Myrna Loy and Walter Huston.
Other successful film roles he added to his resume included, "The Man Who Came to Dinner" (1942) starring Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, Monty Woolley, Billie Burke and Reginald Gardiner, "Ziegfeld Follies" (1946) starring Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, Lucille Bremer, Fanny Brice, Judy Garland, Kathryn Grayson, Lena Horne, Gene Kelly, James Melton, Victor Moore, Edward Arnold, Cyd Charisse, Hume Cronyn, William Frawley, Keenan Wynn, William Powell, Red Skelton and Esther Williams, "The Great Rupert" (1950) co-starring Tom Drake, Don Beddoe, Chick Chandler, Frank Orth, Frank Cady, Queenie Smith and Terry Moore, "Billy Rose's Jumbo" (1962) co-starring Doris Day, Martha Raye, Dean Jagger and Stephen Boyd and "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (1963) starring alongside an ensemble cast including Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Phil Silvers, Edie Adams, Dorothy Provine, Buster Keaton, Peter Falk, Terry Thomas, Jonathan Winters, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, William Demarest, Jim Backus, Jack Benny, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Joe E. Brown, Andy Devine, Howard Da Silva, Stan Freberg, Norman Fell, Leo Gorcey, Edward Everett Horton, Harry Lauter, Don Knotts, Sterling Holloway, ZaSu Pitts, Mike Mazurki, Charles McGraw, Jerry Lewis, Carl Reiner, Doodles Weaver, The Three Stooges, Jesse White, Nick Stewart, Allen Jenkins, Dick Shawn and Buddy Hackett.

In addition to his vaudeville, film and stage work he also appeared on a variety of television programs such as, "All-Star Revue", "The Polly Bergen Show", "Summer Playhouse" and "Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre".  His popular voice was also known for portraying the 'dog' in the, "Tom and Jerry" cartoon series. 

Along with his success as an actor he also composed a number of popular songs such as, "I'm Jimmy That Well-Dressed Man", "I Know Darn Well I Can Do Without Broadway", "Daddy Your Mamma Is Lonesome for You" and "Any State In the Forty-Eight", among many others.  Many remember him for the voice of the 1969 animated special, "Frosty the Snowman" which he narrated as well as sang the popular song.

In addition to his career in the industry he made time to contribute to a number of charitable causes such as the non-profit organization, Fraternal Order of Eagles Children, which helped raise money for handicapped and abused children.  He was also honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to the Motion Picture and Radio Industry. 

Jimmy Durante married twice throughout his lifetime, first to Jeanne Olsen in 1921 and they remained together until she passed away in 1943.  He then wed Margie Little in 1960 and they adopted a little girl, Cecelia Alicia and remained married until he passed away on January 29th, 1980 in Santa Monica, California after suffering from pneumonia at the age of eighty six.  His remains are buried at Holly Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.  


1970         Howdy
1969         Frosty the Snowman
1966         Alice Through the Looking Glass
1966         Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre
1964         Summer Playhouse 
1963         It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
1962         Billy Rose's Jumbo
1961         The Last Judgment
1957-1958    The Polly Bergen Show
1957-1958    The Jimmy Durante Show
1951-1953    All Star Revue 
1950         The Milkman
1950         The Great Rupert
1948         On an Island with You
1947         This Time for Keeps
1947         It Happened in Brooklyn
1946         Two Sisters from Boston
1944         Music for Millions
1944         Two Girls and a Sailor
1942         The Man Who Came to Dinner
1941         You're in the Army Now
1940         Melody Ranch
1938         Little Miss Broadway
1938         Sally, Irene and Mary
1938         Start Cheering
1936         Forbidden Music
1935         Carnival
1934         Student Tour
1934         Strictly Dynamite
1934         George White's Scandals
1934         Palooka
1933         Meet the Baron
1933         Broadway to Hollywood
1933         Hell Below
1933         What-No Beer?
1933         Give a Man a Job 
1932         Le plombier amoureux
1932         The Phantom President
1932         Blondie of the Follies
1932         Speak Easily
1932         The Wet Parade
1932         The Passionate Plumber
1931         The Christmas Party 
1931         The Cuban Love Song
1931         New Adventures of Get Rich Quick Wallingford
1930         Roadhouse Nights 

Matinee Classics - Melody Ranch starring Gene Autry, Jimmy Durante, Ann Miller, Barton Maclane, Barbara Allen, George 'Gabby' Hayes, Jerome Cowan and Mary Lee
Matinee Classics - Speak Easily starring Buster Keaton, Jimmy Durante, Ruth Selwyn, Thelma Todd, Hedda Hopper, William Pawley, Sidney Toler, Lawrence Grant, Henry Armetta and Edward Brophy
Matinee Classics - Melody Ranch starring Gene Autry, Jimmy Durante, Ann Miller, Barton MacLane, Barbara Jo Allen and George 'Gabby' Hayes
Matinee Classics - Melody Ranch starring Gene Autry with Jimmy Durante
Matinee Classics - Speak Easily starring Buster Keaton, Jimmy Durante, Ruth Selwyn, Thelma Todd, Hedda Hopper, William Pawley, Sidney Toler, Lawrence Grant, Henry Armetta and Edward Brophy
Matinee Classics - Danny Thomas, Jimmy Durante and Gina Genardi
Matinee Classics - A Christmas Wish starring Jimmy Durante, Tom Drake, Frank Orth, Sara Haden and Terry Moore
Matinee Classics - Ford Theater Radio Show
Matinee Classics - Schnarzan and Tarzan Movie Trailers - Jimmy Durante as Schnarzan the Conqueror (1934)
Matinee Classics - On an Island With You starring Esther Williams, Peter Lawford, Ricardo Montalban, Jimmy Durante, Cyd Charisse, Leon Ames, Kathryn Beaumont and Dick Simmons

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