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 Victor Borge

Victor Borge

Original Name Borge Rosenbaum
Birth
Copenhagen, Kobenhavns Kommune, Hovedstaden, Denmark
Death 23 Dec 2000 (aged 91)
Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
Burial Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
Plot Half of cremated remains
Memorial ID 19808 · View Source
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Pianist, Comedian, Composer. He is remembered for blending humor and symphony music and having his audience laughing while listening to a classical piece. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, he was the son of Jewish parents, Bernhard and Frederikke Rosebaum, who were both musicians. Educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, he had his piano debut in 1926 at the Danish concert hall, Old Fellow Palace. He became one of Denmark's most popular artist in the 1930s. His film debut was in Europe in 1937. He publicly derided Hitler on the stage with jokes throughout Europe and narrowly escaped to America through Finland on August 28, 1940, as the Nazi Army was invading Denmark. He was able to obtain an American visa as his wife, Elsie Clinton, was an American. Before leaving, he did returned to occupied Denmark disguised as a sailor to visit his dying mother. Although he could barely speak English upon arriving to America, he attended movies daily to learn the language, translated his own brand of humor to English, performed on the radio first with Rudy Vallee, then one with Bing Crosby in December 1941, and given the title “Best New Radio Performer” in 1942. He started a trust to aide Jews to escape the German persecution during the war. He accepted Hollywood film roles. He became an American citizen in 1948. After divorcing his wife, he married Sarabel Sanna Scraper in 1953; he had a son and a daughter with the first wife and another son and two daughters with the second. He made Broadway history with 849 performances in his one-man show “Comedy in Music” that ran 1953 to January 21, 1956 at the Golden Theater in New York City; this is documented in the “Guinness Book of World Records.” In 1961, he composed the waltz, “Blue Serenade.” which is said to be a hybrid of Strauss' “Blue Danube” and “Schubert's Serenade.” He was saluted world-wide as the “comedian of the keyboard” and “unmelancholy Dane.” He co-author “My Favorite Intermissions” in 1971, “My Favorites Comedies in Music” in 1981 and an autobiography written in Danish, “Smilet er den korteste afstana.” In 1999 he was the recipient of the 22nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors for his lifetime contribution to arts and culture, presented by President Bill Clinton in Washington, D. C. While over 80-years-old, he had a solo performance playing a Bosendorfer Imperial piano at the D.A.R. Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. He received the Orders Of Knighthood from several Scandinavian countries and the Commander Cross of Dannebrog bestowed by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. One of his famous skits involves “phonetic punctuation,” in which he accents comma, question marks and periods with sound effects. He was a tireless, prolific performer doing 60 shows a year at the age of 90, ending a performance with “So not good-bye, then. Never good-bye. Just...so long.” Half of his cremated ashes are buried with his parents, the other half with his second wife.

Bio by: D C McJonathan-Swarm


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 28 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 19808
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Victor Borge (3 Jan 1909–23 Dec 2000), Find A Grave Memorial no. 19808, citing Putnam Cemetery, Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .