“‘No Substitute For Quality’ Is Danny Kaye’s Credo”

The Dispatch – Dec. 1, 1964

By: Vernon Scott (UPI Hollywood Correspondent)

HOLLYWOOD (UPI) – Danny Kaye is perhaps the least publicized major television star on the air—and that’s the way he likes it.

Kaye is essentially a quiet-living man who lets his performances do the talking for him. His private life, he figures, is nobody’s business. But occasionally he opens up. At least he did for United Press International recently.

Kaye was perched in the dining nook of his three-room cottage atop CBS-TV City in West Los Angeles. He spends most of his time there during the working day planning shows, mapping out sketches, dances and musical numbers.

Once or twice a week rehearsals and other details of his hour show force him to spend the night in the comfortable bedroom of the cottage which also doubles as dressing room and office.

Danny’s home is a Georgian style house in the hilly section of Beverly Hills. He has lived there 16 years with his wife Sylvia and daughter Dena. It isn’t large by TV-movie star standards: four bedrooms, an office, servants quarters and a pool.

There is fulltime help and a gardener. But the kitchen belongs to Danny.

He is a thoroughgoing Chinese food specialist. All manner of Oriental cooking equipment has been moved into the kitchen where Danny dons an apron and concocts intricate exotic dishes. His specialty is Cantonese goodies. He owns books on the subject and fancies himself a gourmet.

Sylvia, who is a brilliant writer in her own right, recently redecorated their home in gay, informal country modern.

Dena, long the apple of her father’s eye, is a freshman at Stanford University. At the mention of her name Danny’s face softens and a gentleness comes into his voice. He adores his daughter.

But the constant pressure of his taped show, his cooking avocation and his love of flying keep the comedian from wondering what to do with himself.

Danny owns a twin-engine eight-passenger job that he hangars at Van Nuys airport in the San Fernando valley—a 20-minute drive from home.

Almost every weekend he flies to various cities in the west looking for talent for his show or just on pleasure jaunts. He’s been flying four years and has owned three planes.

His tastes on the ground are less spectacular. He drives a new auto. In fact he owns five of the same make—both Dena and Sylvia share his mania for the cars which sponsor part of his show.

At 46 Danny is still filled with enthusiasm for his job. Frequently he works from 10 a.m. until 6 in the evening and after Thursday and Friday night runs-through he often helps writers and directors polish the show until 11 p.m.

Danny’s clothes are made by the best tailors in town. They fit him perfectly, yet he always seems elegantly casual.

“I never wear a shirt and tie, if I can avoid it,” he says, “I love to lounge around in sports clothes and feel comfortable.”

And though he is impeccably well-groomed his hair always appears as if he’d combed it with an electric fan.

He’s an eccentric socially. Danny rarely goes to Hollywood parties despite the fact movieland hostesses consider him an excellent and status-inspiring catch.

A whimsical character, Kaye loves to pull the unexpected. He’s a non-conformist who delights in living as he pleases. Still, he’s a patsy for good causes and has devoted much of his time and energy to UNICEF on behalf of the United Nations.

At 150 pounds he is lean and athletic. His work schedule and dancing preclude the necessity for exercise. Danny was once an avid golfer but gave up the game.

Most of the time during rehearsals Danny can be found with a pipe in his hand. He owns eight or ten Charatan pipes and smokes an expensive blend of tobacco. He fiddles around with a couple of expensive still and movie cameras but has no hobbies.

At home he is master to a boxer named Beavy and a cat named Cream Nose (name contributed by Dena when she was a tot).

Part of Danny’s credo is that there is no substitute for quality. He buys only the most expensive steaks. His clothes are the finest. The Kaye furniture is the best money can buy.

He carries his relish for quality into his professional life, too. And it shows up on the television screen.

Danny’s is a quality television show—most likely because Danny Kaye is a man of quality himself.

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