Jimmy Durante

durante1February 10, 1893 – March 29, 1980

James Frances Durante and his nose were born in New York City to Italian immigrant parents. Young Jimmy dropped out of school to become a jazz and ragtime pianist. Something he was very good at. By the time he was 27, Durante had his very own New Orleans Jazz Band. But, his piano chops aside, Jimmy Durante was most famous for being a comedian. His self-deprecating humor – he called himself “The Great Schnozzola” because, well… – intentionally butchered language and staccatoed speech patterns earned him fame on the Vaudeville stages, the radio and, ultimately, film and television. He also wrote songs, the music at least, and penned what would become his unofficial career anthem, the nonsensical “Inka Dinka Doo.”  To younger audiences, his raspy voice is most recognized from his narration of the annual holiday television staple Frosty the Snowman, though impressions of him and shout-outs to his classic one-liners are often included in much of pop-culture, even today. Jimmy continued to perform until he was sidelined in 1972 by a stroke.  He died of pneumonia eight years later.

Burial

Holy Cross Cemetery – Culver City, CA

Specific Location

Section F, T96, space 6; Two rows to the north of the Grotto section, about 3 spaces in from the sidewalk.

grotto_durante

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