Stubby Kaye

Active - 1953 - 1988  |   Born - Nov 11, 1918   |   Died - Dec 14, 1997   |   Genres - Comedy, Musical, Science Fiction, Drama, Western

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Rotund musical comedy actor Stubby Kaye was a 1939 winner on Major Bowes' Amateur Hour radio program. He spent much of World War II touring USO bases, developing an ingratiating comic style that has dimmed but little with the passage of time. Earlier efforts by movie historians to determine Mr. Kaye's real name have been fruitless, but it should be noted that someone named "Stubby Kruger" appeared as comedy relief in several PRC films of the early 1940s. Kayes' popularity soared when he created the role of Nicely-Nicely Johnson in the 1950 Broadway hit Guys and Dolls, a part that he re-created with equal success in the 1955 film version. Another Broadway-to-Hollywood triumph for Kaye was the part of Marryin' Sam in the musical version of Li'l Abner. In 1965, Kaye hosted a Saturday morning TV kiddie series titled Shenanigans, commuting on a weekly basis between the U.S. and London, where he was simultaneously hosting a similar children's TV program. Stubby Kaye's last screen appearance was as the ill-fated funster Marvin Acme in 1988's Who Framed Roger Rabbit? He made his final television appearance that same year in the telepic The Big Knife.

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