Larry Daniels, a stand-up comedian and television and stage performer, died Feb. 6 of Alzheimer’s at the Jewish Home for the Aging in Reseda, Calif. He was 92.
At the peak of his show business career, Daniels appeared on the Ed Sullivan, Steve Allen and Jack Paar shows and was a familiar comedy star at leading night clubs in the U.S. and abroad, including the famed Copacabana in New York. When he moved to Los Angeles in 1961, he guest starred on “Dobie Gillis” and “The Danny Thomas Show” and continued performing standup in the U.S., Canada and Australia.
During World War II, he served as an entertainment director for the U.S. Army Air Force stationed in China, Burma and India, where he wrote, directed and produced musicals in which soldiers participated. When he returned to the States, he headlined shows at the Eden Roc in Miami Beach, the Palmer House in Chicago, the Versailles and the Copa in New York. He was also the opening act for Johnny Mathis in Las Vegas.
Born in Brooklyn as Harry Nahamkin to Russian immigrant parents, Daniels chose his own stage name when he started working in vaudeville at age 15. Five years later, he was signed by the Shuberts for the lead in a revue called “Meet the People.”
Daniels is survived by his wife of 60 years, Peggy, a former NBC associate director and producer; son Larry Daniels Jr., an entertainment attorney and producer; daughter Meg McGary, a screenwriter and director; daughter-in-law Alexis Daniel, a TV and film producer; son-in-law Will McGary; and five grandchildren.
Family suggests donations to Los Angeles Jewish Home — Alzheimer Care & Research.