January 3: Happy Birthday, Victor Borge
Victor Borge was a Danish and American comedian affectionately known as “The Great Dane” and “The Clown Prince of Denmark.”
World War II, Borge was playing a concert in Sweden and was able to escape to Finland. He traveled to America on the USS American Legion, the last ship to make it out of Petsamo, Finland.
Borge didn’t speak any English when he arrived in America, but he quickly learned by “studying” in movie theaters. Rudy Vallee offered him an opportunity on his radio show, and Borge soon became part of Kraft Music Hall. He also made many guest appearances on Command Performance, Fibber McGee and Molly, Jubilee, and Mail Call.
Victor never stopped working. He continued to perform and tour throughout his life. Even at the age of 90, Borge was still making 60 appearances a year.
Many of Borge’s performances had physical elements that were more suited for television and the stage than radio. He made many appearances on both throughout his storied career of almost 75 years.
Victor Borge, the melancholy Dane, passed away on December 23rd, 2000 at the age of 91.