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Danny Thomas: Old Time Radio Star

Danny ThomasAmos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz (January 6, 1912 – February 6, 1991), known professionally by his stage name Danny Thomas, was an American nightclub comedian, singer, actor, and producer, whose career spanned five decades. He created and starred in one of the most successful and long running situation comedies in the history of American network television. In addition to guest roles on many of the comedy, talk and musical variety programs of his time, his legacy includes a lifelong dedication to fundraising for charity.

Thomas’s long career began in films in 1947, playing opposite child actor Margaret O’Brien in The Unfinished Dance (1947) and Big City (1948). He then achieved continuing success starring in the long-running television sitcom Make Room for Daddy (also known as The Danny Thomas Show) (1953–1964), in which Thomas played the lead role of Danny Williams. He was also the founder of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He was the father of Marlo Thomas, Terre Thomas, and Tony Thomas.

Thomas first reached mass audiences on network radio in the 1940s playing shifty brother-in-law Amos in The Bickersons, which began as sketches on the music-comedy show Drene Time, starring Don Ameche and Frances Langford. Thomas also portrayed himself as a scatterbrained Lothario on this show. His other network radio work included a stint as Jerry Dingle the postman on Fanny Brice’s The Baby Snooks Show. In the early 1950s he made several appearances on the popular NBC variety program, The Big Show, hosted by stage legend Tallulah Bankhead.

Thomas also had his own radio program, The Danny Thomas Show. The 30-minute weekly variety show was on ABC in 1942-43 and on CBS in 1947-48.

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