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Sylvia Fine
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Songwriter
    (August 29, 1925-October 28, 1991)
    Born in Brooklyn, New York
    Lyricist, composer, producer, and philanthropist
    Wife of Jewish-American comedian, Danny Kaye (m. January 3, 1940)
    Frequently billed as Sylvia Fine Kaye
    Made her Broadway debut as the co-composer for the ‘Straw Hat Review,’ where she first met Kaye (1939)
    Composed over 100 songs for both the Broadway stage and Hollywood musicals
    Wrote songs for 'Up in Arms' (1944), 'Wonder Man' (1945), 'The Kid from Brooklyn' (1946), 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' (1947), 'The Inspector General' (1949), 'On the Riviera' (1951), and 'The Court Jester' (1956)
    Television credits included 'Assignment Children,' 'Danny Kaye: A Look in at the Met,' and 'Musical Comedy Tonight' (Parts I, II, III)
    Best known songs include 'Anatole of Paris,' 'Stanislavski Vonschtickfitz Monahan,' 'Melody in 4-F,' 'Lullaby in Ragtime,' 'Five Pennies,' 'Popo the Puppet,' 'Soliloquy for Three Heads,' and 'All About You'
    Received Best Original Song Academy Award nominations for her work in 'The Moon is Blue' (1953) and 'The Five Pennies'(1959)
    With her husband, formed their own production company, Dena Productions, in 1956
    Taught musical comedy at the University of Southern California and Yale (1971-1975)
    Her father was a dentist.
    Her biggest musical influence was Gilbert & Sullivan.
    She wrote her husband's trademark 'tongue-twister' patter song numbers.
    Google searches for her name inevitably turn up images of Fran Fine's loud-mouthed Beluga of a mother on The Nanny.
    Her marriage was believed to be one 'of convenience,' at least judging by their periodic estrangements from one another (after 1947 they rarely lived in the same city).
    The two allegedly grew up within blocks from one another in Brooklyn, but never met once (yet, they married a year after meeting one another).
    She held behind-the-scenes veto power over all aspects of her husband's projects which made her unpopular with the likes of Sam Goldwyn and Frank Loesser, earning her a reputation for being difficult.
    It was a badly kept secret that her husband cheated on her with Laurence Olivier, while he was married to Joan Plowright (rumors were abound that Sylvia, herself, was a lesbian).
    She started playing the piano at the age of 3.
    She was an active supporter of prominent Jewish causes.
    She helped her husband develop his inimitable style and brand.
    She was so instrumental in his success that it is believed he wouldn't have succeeded in show business without her (she wrote some of his most beloved songs).
    She jointly founded the Palm Springs Tamarisk Country Club, with her husband, after they learned that other clubs were 'restricted'; forbidden to blacks and Jews.
    She won an Emmy for her work in the special ‘Danny Kaye: Look in at the Met.’
    She shared honors with her husband for their tireless work for UNICEF, over a thirty year period.
    She received the Pillars of Hope award from Hadassah in recognition of her forty-year work on behalf of the State of Israel (1983).
    She contributed $4.1 million to refurbish the Hunter College auditorium, which reopened in 1994 as Sylvia Fine and Danny Kaye Theater.
    She won a Peabody Award for the 90-minute PBS program, 'Musical Comedy Tonight,' which she both produced and narrated (1979).
    She never publicly trashed her husband, nor tried to take credit for his success, including him in any honor that was bestowed on her.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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