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Danny Thomas Biography

Birth Name:
Muzyad Yakhoob
Birth Place:
Deerfield, Michigan, United States
Comedian, actor, producer

Fast Facts

  • Father changed family surname from Yakhoob to Jacobs, and Thomas was renamed Amos Jacobs
  • He took the moniker of Danny Thomas on August 12, 1940, for a performance at a Chicago club
  • Started working at 11 years old, selling candy and ice cream at a burlesque house; dropped out of high school after freshman year
  • Began showbiz career in 1932 on a Detroit radio program, "The Happy Hour Club"; a guest appearance on Fanny Brice's radio show led to his own radio program, "The Danny Thomas Show" (1944-49)
  • Made TV debut in 1950 on Four Star Revue as a rotating weekly host with Ed Wynn, Jack Carson and Jimmy Durante; did not fare well and later declared the new medium "for idiots
  • " Began producing television in the late-1950s and eventually partnered with Sheldon Leonard and, later, Aaron Spelling
  • Considered his greatest contribution to be the founding of the St
  • Jude Children's Research Hospital, which opened in Memphis in 1962
  • Received Congressional Gold Medal in 1983
  • Inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 1991
  • Penned the 1990 autobiography Make Room for Danny


  • 1971Golden Globe-Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: nominated
  • 1970Emmy-Outstanding Dramatic Series: nominated
  • 1959Emmy-Best Actor in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Comedy Series: nominated
  • 1958Emmy-Best Continuing Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic or Comedy Series: nominated
  • 1956Emmy-Best Actor-Continuing Performance: nominated
  • 1955Emmy-Best Actor Starring in a Regular Series: winner
  • 1955Emmy-Best Written Comedy Material: nominated