|The picture shows a view of all (6) Old Jimmy Durante Gum Ball Machine Prize Character Charms in this lot. These are believed to be from the late 1940s or early 1950s. They are made of bronze colored plastic. The backs are marked ''ROYCE N.Y.''.|
Here is a mini Biography that was found online for Jimmy Durante:
Comedian, composer, actor, singer and songwriter ("Inka Dinka Doo"), educated in New York public schools. He began his career as a Coney Island pianist, and organized a five-piece band in 1916. He opened the Club Durant with Eddie Jackson and Lou Clayton, with whom he later formed a comedy trio for vaudeville and on television. He appeared in the Broadway musicals "Show Girl", "The New Yorkers", "Strike Me Pink", "Jumbo", "Red Hot and Blue", and "Stars in Your Eyes". By 1936, he had appeared at the Palladium in London. Later he had his own radio and television shows, and was a featured headliner in night clubs. Biographer Gene Fowler wrote his biography, "Schnozzola". Joining ASCAP in 1941, he collaborated musically with Jackie Barnett and Ben Ryan, and his other popular-song compositions include "I'm Jimmy That Well-Dressed Man", "I Know Darn Well I Can Do Without Broadway", "I Ups to Him and He Ups to Me", "Daddy Your Mamma Is Lonesome For You", "Umbriago", "Any State In the Forty-Eight", "Chidabee Chidabee Chidabee", and "I'm Jimmy's Girl".
For years, Jimmy signed off his radio and tv shows with, "Goodnight Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are". But he would never divulge who she was. Some speculated it was a "code name" for a current or former lover, some doubted she ever existed. It was not until after his death in 1980 that it was revealed she was, indeed, a real person.
According to the book, "Hollywood Trivia," (Greenwich House, 1984), by David P. Strauss, Jimmy Durante's famous "Mrs. Calabash" sign-off referred to his first wife, Jeanne Olson. Calabash was the name of a Chicago suburb they both liked.
Comic Sonny King, who worked with Jimmy Durante during his career, stated in an interview that the mysterious "Mrs. Calabash" was indeed Jimmy's late wife Jeanne Olson, but "Calabash" was a reference to Calabasas, California, where she was hospitalized in her later years. She had difficulty in pronouncing the city name, often calling it "Calabash", and it became an inside joke for the Durantes.
Dropped out of school in the eighth grade and a couple of years later played ragtime piano for a living, taking jobs whereever he could, including bars, cabarets and whorehouses. He became known for a time as "Ragtime Jimmy." He also made a living as a bandleader and talent booker.
Famous for a number of other beloved catch-phrases besides the "Mrs. Calabash" routine, including: "It's a castastrophe!", "I'm mortified!" "Surrounded by assassins!", "Everybody wants ta get inta da act!, and "Hotch-cha-cha-cha-cha!"
Sang the famous 'Frosty The Snowman' song.
The charms each measure 1-1/4''tall and they are in mint condition.