Sylvia Fine

Even after their separation in 1947, Sylvia Fine collaborated with her husband, Danny Kaye, creating playful, complex songs to support his effervescent performances on screen. Fine began writing parodies when she was still in high school, and met Kaye during rehearsals for the Broadway show Straw Hat Review in 1939. They eloped in 1940. Fine wrote over 100 songs for Kaye, including the music for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in 1947, The Inspector General in 1949, and On the Riviera in 1951, and co-wrote the songs for The Court Jester in 1955 with Sammy Cahn. Despite their separation, Fine and Kaye formed Dena Productions in 1956, named for their daughter, and produced Kaye’s radio series and television specials together. Fine was nominated for Academy Awards for The Five Pennies in 1959 and The Moon Is Blue in 1953, and won a Peabody in 1979 for producing and narrating the PBS special Musical Comedy Tonight. She taught musical comedy at both the University of Southern California and Yale, endowed a chair at Brooklyn College, and contributed over $4 million to renovate the Hunter College Auditorium, now called the Sylvia Fine and Danny Kaye Theater.


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Sylvia Fine composes at the piano.

Courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress, Music Division.

Date of Birth

Brooklyn, NY
United States

Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Sylvia Fine ." (Viewed on April 19, 2021) <>.


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