Kaye's daughter Dena seeks to spread his legacy
FILE - In this Sept. 27, 1983 file photo, entertainer Danny Kaye is interviewed by the media in Pasadena, Calif. In the 100th year of his birth, Dena Kaye is determined to help a new generation discover the genius, and the generosity, of her father, who died in 1987 at age 74. Danny Kaye is now on Facebook with an official page. His official Website has been relaunched with plenty of multimedia. The Library of Congress unveiled its new Danny and Sylvia Fine Archive, where countless documents, including video, audio and photographs from Dena's parents' own collection, are available for examination on the Internet. (AP Photo/Wally Fong)
NEW YORK (AP) — Dena Kaye frequently hears from people who have vivid stories about how her legendary father, Danny Kaye, affected their lives.
Whether it was through his movie performances, which ranged from slapstick to dramatic, or his crooning voice, his effortless dancing or his charitable works, for many, Kaye provided indelible memories that continue to be cherished to this day.
But as Dena Kaye explains, those comments are usually from those of a "certain generation" — translation, an older generation. Those fans were around when classics like "White Christmas" or his television shows and specials or his music were in the public consciousness.
Now, in the 100th year of his birth, Dena Kaye is determined to help a new generation discover the genius, and the generosity, of her father, who died in 1987 at age 74.
"That's one of the reasons why I am putting my heart into this centennial," said Kaye, her father's only child, during an interview. "My goal is the centennial is a springboard. And that if parents knew him, the fact that there's going to be more interest in him, that they'll take their children, their grandchildren."
So, Danny Kaye is now on Facebook with an official page. His website has been relaunched with plenty of multimedia. The Library of Congress unveiled its new Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Collection, where countless documents, including video, audio and photographs from Dena's parents' own collection, are available for examination on the Internet.
"We have a big following on Facebook and his website is getting a lot of attention," said Scott Mauro, a producer who is working with Dena Kaye to coordinate the centennial celebration.
There are also numerous concerts, tributes, and film screenings planned throughout the yearlong celebration, which officially kicked off last December (and included a Los Angeles-area screening of the classic "White Christmas," complete with man-made snow).
"Ultimately what's going to make this centennial successful in my mind is that the movies are out, the DVDs are out — that people see him," said Dena, a journalist. "You know, it's one thing to be honored at a dinner, but really, the point is for people to experience (him)," she said.
This undated publicity photo provided by PMK-BNC shows journalist and TV broadcaster Dean Kaye in Paris. (AP Photo/PMK-BNC, Philippe Lavieille)
Michael Feinstein, the singer known for his interpretation of the Great American Songbook, remembers singing as a child to Kaye's children's album, "Mommy, Gimme a Drinka Water." That started a lifelong love of Kaye for Feinstein, who paid a musical tribute to him during the Library of Congress unveiling this month.