Davy Kaye

Davy Kaye MBE (25 March 1916 in London - 3 February 1998, Paradise Island in the Bahamas), born as David Kodeish, was a British comedy actor and entertainer. Born in Mile End Road in the East End of London to Jewish parents Koppel and Dora Kodeish, Kaye was so small at birth that he was not expected to live. As a schoolboy he appeared in amateur revues and shows at his school, making his professional debut at the Mile End Empire in 1935. On the outbreak of the Second World War Kaye tried to join up but was turned down due to his short stature. Instead, he spent the war years entertaining troops at RAF bases, munitions factories and Army camps as well as on BBC radio. Following the war the 4' 11" tall Kaye toured in his own revues with his then agent Joe Collins, the father of Jackie and Joan Collins in a partnership which lasted for more than thirty years. He played Benny Southstreet in the original 1953 London production of Guys and Dolls at the London Coliseum, and played five different characters in the 1961 Wolf Mankowitz musical Belle (based on the case of Dr Crippen) at the Strand Theatre. From 1954 to 1968 Kaye presented a new show each month at London's Embassy Club.


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