Danny Thomas (born: Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz; January 6, 1912 – February 6, 1991) was an American nightclub comedian and television and film actor and producer, whose career spanned five decades. Unincribed Photograph, n.d. - 8 x 10 B/W No. 173 with some light age-toning seen. Overall, fine condition.
Thomas was best known for starring in the television sitcom Make Room for Daddy (also known as The Danny Thomas Show). He was also the founder of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He was the father of Marlo Thomas, Terre Thomas, and Tony Thomas.
One of 10 children, Danny Thomas was born on January 6, 1912, in Deerfield, Michigan, to Charles Yakhoob Kairouz and his wife Margaret Taouk. His parents were Maronite Catholic immigrants from Lebanon.
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, co-hosted by Don Ameche and Frances Langford.
Thomas enjoyed a successful 13-year run (1953–1965) on Make Room For Daddy, later known as The Danny Thomas Show. Jean Hagen and Sherry Jackson were his first family. The Hagen character died in 1956, replaced by Marjorie Lord. On January 1, 1959, Thomas appeared with his Make Room For Daddy child stars, Angela Cartwright and Rusty Hamer, in an episode of NBC’s The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Thomas was responsible for Mary Tyler Moore's first "big break" in acting. In 1961, Carl Reiner cast her in The Dick Van Dyke Show after Thomas personally recommended Moore. He had remembered her as “the girl with three names” whom he had turned down earlier, but rediscovered her after a lengthy search through photos and records.
As a "starving actor", Thomas had made a vow: If he found success, he would open a shrine dedicated to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes. Thomas never forgot his promise to St. Jude, and after becoming a successful actor in the early 1950s, his wife joined him and began traveling the United States to help raise funds to build his dream - St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Thomas died on February 6, 1991, of heart failure at age 79. Two days prior, he had celebrated St. Jude Hospital's 29th anniversary and filmed a commercial, which aired posthumously. He is interred in a mausoleum on the grounds of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee; Cassaniti, his wife of 55 years, was interred with him after her death in July 2000.