Danny Thomas, circa 1957.
 
Danny Thomas on Wikipedia
DannyThomas on the Internet Movie Database
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Danny Thomas
Forecourt Ceremony held on Sunday, January 24, 1954
 
Born: Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz, January 6, 1912, in Deerfield,Michigan
Age at the time of the ceremony: 42
Died: February 6, 1991, in Los Angeles, California, age 79
 
Danny Thomas represents a new phase for the Chinese Theatre Forecourt: inclusion due to fame acheived on television. Danny Thomas was a very popular figure in television comedy during this timeframe. Everybody loved the guy. He would go on to help create several important television programs.

Born into a large family which had emmigrated from Lebanon, Thomas was raised in Toledo, Ohio as a Roman Catholic, attending the St. Francis de Sales Church, the Woodward High School, and the University of Toledo.

Performing as "Amos Jacobs" Thomas began performing at WMBC Radio in Detroit, Michigan, beginning in 1932. In 1936 at age 24, he married Rose Marie (he would have much to do to with raising her to stardom). Moving to Chicago in 1940 to work in nightclubs where the pay was better, he changed his name to "Danny Thomas" to avoid having his parents find out about his gigs.

Thomas got his first attention by playing brother-in-law Amos on The Bickersons over NBC, then CBS from 1946 to 1951. He also appeared as Dingle the postman on Franny Brice's radio show The Baby Snooks Show on CBS. Beggining in 1942, Thomas hosted a half-hour variety radio show called The Danny Thomas Show over ABC until 1943, and after World War II, it returned on CBS in 1947-48.

During the early 1950s, Thomas dabbled in films, co-starring with Betty Grable in Call Me Mister (which played the Chinese in February, 1951). Thomas played songwriter Gus Kahn in I'll See You in My Dreams (released in December, 1951) with Doris Day. He starred in a re-make of The Jazz Singer (released in February, 1953) with Peggy Lee.

Thomas is best remembered however, for his long-running television show Make Room for Daddy, which premiered on ABC in September, 1953, and ran until 1964, when it was known as The Danny Thomas Show. Several guest stars who appeared on Make Room would become household names: Andy Griffith, Joey Bishop and Bill Bixby. Television daughter Angela Cartwright was allowed to skip the last season of the show in order to appear as Brigitta in the film version of The Sound of Music (released in March, 1965).

Danny Thomas had quite a career as a television producer. He began with Walter Brennan starring in The Real McCoys on ABC from 1957 to 1962, and CBS from 1962-1963, producing 224 episodes.

Then, a funny thing happened: they were doing an episode of Make Room where Thomas' character is out for a drive, and he get stopped for running a stop sign in Mayberry R.F.D. by Sherrif Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith). The episode was used as a pilot to sell The Andy Griffith Show, which ran on CBS from 1960 to 1968, producing 249 episodes.

He did the same thing for Joey Bishop. They did an episode of Make Room, where Thomas has to put up with inept PR guy Joey Mason (Bishop), and his strange family (which included Thomas' daughter, Marlo). The The Joey Bishop Show was picked up by NBC and ran for 123 episodes from 1961-1964, then on CBS from 1964-1965.

Thomas stuck gold with The Dick Van Dyke Show, which aired from 1961 to 1966 over CBS for 158 episodes. Thomas was the one who recalled seeing Mary Tyler Moore in an audition for the role of Laura, and insisted that she be cast. Thomas' wife Rose Marie became a household name on this show.

1963, he launched another spinoff from Make Room, The Bill Dana Show (where Dana played his character from Make Room, José Jimenez, on ABC for 43 episodes from 1963 to 1965. Thomas directed episodes of this show as well.

Thomas was involved with a bunch of things which didn't pan out until 1968 when, teaming with Aaron Spelling, The Mod Squad became popular on ABC. It ran for 124 episodes from 1968 to 1973. Thomas agreed to do a season of Make Room for Grandaddy in 1970.

Thomas' son Tony formed Witt/Thomas Productions by 1975, which produced shows for his father to appear in: The Practice on NBC in 1976-77, and I'm a Big Girl Now on ABC in 1980-81. Thomas' last starring series was One Big Family in syndication in the 1986-87 season. He co-starred with Milton Berle and Sid Caesar in the television movie Side by Side in 1988.

Early in life, Thomas had made a vow: If he ever became successful, he would honor St. Jude Thaddeus, patron saint of lost causes. Beginning in the early 1950s, he and Rose Marie began touring the country, rasing funds for what would become the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which opened its doors in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1962. Without Danny Thomas, there would be no St. Jude's hospital.

A Mason, a Shriner, a Knight of Columbus, a Congressional Medal of Honor holder, golfer — Danny Thomas had his hand in much of life's offerings. Thomas died of heart failure in 1991, at the age of 79. He is buried alongside Rose Marie at St. Jude Hospital.
 
 
Caption TK
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Danny Thomas Forecourt ceremony, Sunday, January 24, 1954. Danny Thomas shares a laugh with his wife, Rose Marie.
 
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