Sylvia Fine (1913 – 1991) was a Jewish American lyricist and the wife of the comedian Danny Kaye.

Raised in East New York, she attended Thomas Jefferson High School and studied music at Brooklyn College, where she wrote the music for the school's alma mater, with lyrics from the poet Robert Friend.

She was working as an audition pianist when she renewed her acquaintance with Danny Kaye, whom she had not seen since they were in high school together, nine years previously. After a whirlwind romance, they were married in 1940.

She took a direct role in managing her husband's career and wrote many of his songs for him, both in film and recordings. Those for the film The Court Jester were co-written with Sammy Cahn. Fine received a Peabody Award in 1980, and during her career she was also nominated for two Oscars and two Emmys.

Fine and Kaye had a daughter, Dena, who was born in 1946, and they remained married, although estranged circa 1947, until his death in 1987.

In the last three years of her life, she had been writing an autobiography Fine and Danny about her life with Danny Kaye, for Knopf Books.

Selected list of Sylvia Fine songs

  • "Anatole of Paris" from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)
  • "The Inspector General" and "Happy Times" (Johnny Green, Sylvia Fine) from The Inspector General (1949)
  • "The Moon Is Blue" (Herschel Burke Gilbert, Sylvia Fine) from The Moon Is Blue (1953) - Oscar nominee, Best Original Song
  • "Knock on Wood" from Knock on Wood (1954)
  • "(You'll Never) Outfox the Fox" (Sammy Cahn, Sylvia Fine) from The Court Jester (1956)
  • "The Five Pennies" from The Five Pennies (1959) - Oscar nominee, Best Original Song
  • "Lullaby in Ragtime," also from Five Pennies, a sumptuous song that fulfills both its title words, and which Barbara Cook turned into a standard


Sylvia Fine Kaye died of emphysema at the age of 78 in New York City on October 28 1991.

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Sylvia Fine. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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