Danny Thomas, the brilliant actor who the world remembers as the doting daddy from the
American sitcom Make Room for Daddy, made significant contributions to the world of both television and radio. Born Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz, Danny began his career on radio. In 1932, he joined The Happy Hour Club on WMBC, where he performed under the name ‘Amos Jacob Kairouz.’ However, in 1940, after he moved to Chicago, he came up with
the pseudonym ‘Danny Thomas’. Danny Thomas is, therefore, the first actor to have changed his name twice.
In the 1940s, Danny took up several roles on the radio — he played the duplicitous Amos in The Bickersons, the day-dreaming postman Jerry Dingle on The Baby Snooks Show, and
made several appearances on Tallulah Bankhead -hosted The Big Show. Danny also did The Danny Thomas Show for the ABC between 1942-43 and CBS between 1947-48.
In the early 50s, Thomas appeared in films like The Jazz Singer and I’ll See You in My Dreams. However, his career reached its zenith after he signed the contract for Make Room for Daddy with ABC. The show, which starred Jean Hagen, Sherry Jackson, Angela
Cartwright and Rusty Hammer, enjoyed a successful 11-year-long run and won many awards alongside securing Danny Thomas a place in TV Guide’s list of “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time.” The show also inspired a spin-off, the iconic The Andy Griffith Show.
The coming years saw Danny Thomas shake hands with Sheldon Leonard, one of the directors of the Make Room for Daddy, to establish Thomas-Leonard Productions, which
produced several pioneering shows, including The Andy Griffith Show and The Dick Van
Thomas, along with his wife, also raised funds to establish the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In this video, we revisit the iconic show Make Room for Daddy and pay homage to the brilliant career and inspiring life of Danny Thomas.
Make Room for Daddy: Danny Thomas’ Brilliant Career