Danny Thomas (January 6, 1914 - February 6, 1991) was an American nightclub comedian and television and film actor of Lebanese Maronite descent. Danny Thomas was born Amos Yakhoob in Deerfield, Michigan. He first performed under his Anglicized birth name, Amos Jacobs, before settling on Danny Thomas. Lived in various cities while growing up as a child, including Toledo, Ohio and Rochester, NY.
On the big screen he starred in the 1953 remake of The Jazz Singer and played songwriter Gus Kahn opposite Doris Day in the 1951 film biography I'll See You in My Dreams. But his most famous role was on his television show, Make Room for Daddy (later retitled The Danny Thomas Show to capitalize on Thomas' popularity). Thomas later became a successful television producer, working on many popular shows including The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mod Squad.
Known as a generous philanthropist, Thomas founded the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee in 1962.
He was, along with Joe Robbie, one of the original owners of the Miami Dolphins, although he sold his share of the team shortly thereafter.
His children are also performers, the most famous being his daughter Marlo, who is married to Phil Donahue. His son Tony Thomas is a noted television producer.
He is sometimes credited for popularizing the use of the spit-take in comedy.
He and his wife, Rose Marie Mantell (born Cassaniti), were arguably America's most famous Catholic(]) couple. Rose Marie was of Italian descent. The Daily Catholic placed him 86 on the list of top 100 Catholics(]), just above (]) the Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi.
He died in 1991 of natural causes, aged 77, and his funeral was at the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Danny Thomas and his wife (who died in 2000) are interred in a crypt in a mausoleum on the grounds of the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.