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Sample Autograph Signature: Victor Borge

Danish comedian and world-class pianist . Victor Borge (January 3rd, 1909 - December 23, 2000) was a beloved entertainer of Danish-Jewish origin who was affectionately known as the Clown Prince of Denmark and the Great Dane. Victor Borge's parents were both musicians (his father Bernhard played violin with the Royal Danish Chapel, his mother Frederikke piano). Little Borge Rosenbaum (young Victor's real name) began playing piano like his mother, at the age of 3. It was soon evident that he was a prodigy: he played his first recital at 8, and was given a full scholarship the next year to the Royal Danish Academy of Music. After a few years playing local halls as a classical concert pianist, Victor began doing his now world-famous stand up act featuring a blend of piano and jokes. Sometimes his piano would begin to slide off the stage as he tried to play it, other times his fingers would become entangled in the keyboard cover. He married American Elsie Chilton in 1933, and began touring Europe extensively, peppering his act with anti-Nazi jokes. Hitler put Victor Borge on his enemies list. When stormtroopers began to occupy Denmark, Victor was playing a concert in Sweden and managed to escape to Finland. He came to America on the very last pre-war ship leaving Europe, where he taught himself enough English (watching movies) to introduce his act to American audiences. He began performing on the Rudy Vallee and Bing Crosby Kraft radio shows, then went on to star in his own radio show where he developed much of the trademark shtick he used throughout the years. He became naturalized American citizen in 1948, becoming even more well-known when he appeared on the very popular Ed Sullivan show Talk of the Town. He divorced Elsie in 1953, remarried (Sarabell). He continued touring and appearing on television, as well as playing concerts with the the New York and London Philharmonic. In 1992 he was asked to conduct the Danish Royal Symphony Orchestra which he was honored and touched to do. In 1999 he recieved the Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime achievement. He continued to tour and entertain new generations of audiences right up to the end, passing away in his sleep at the age of 90 in Greenwich Ct.(the day after returning from a concert in Denmark). Borge was also the author of several books: My Favorite Intermissions, My Favorite Comedies in Music with lyricist Robert Sherman, and his autobiograhy The Smile is the Shortest Distance which he wrote with Niels-Jørgen Kaiser. Selected Discography: Phonetic Punctuation (Parts 1 and 2) (78rpm), Brahms' Lullaby/ Grieg Rhapsody (78rpm), Mozart Opera By Borge/ All The Things You Are (78rpm), Brahms, Bizet and Borge Concert Favorites(Columbia Records CL-1305), Victor Borge - Live(!) (Re-released on CD in 1992 - Sony Masterworks MDK 48482), Two Sides of Victor Borge (1998). Content provided by Not Quite New - Gently Used Books & Collectibles.

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Author: Victor Borge

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