What was Danny Thomas’s Net Worth?

Danny Thomas was an American actor, comedian, singer, television producer, and philanthropist who had a net worth of $9 million at the time of his death. That’s the same as around $20 million today after adjusting for inflation. Danny Thomas is best know for his television sitcom “The Danny Thomas Show.” He also appeared on numerous talk and variety shows during his lifetime, and acted in some movies. On the philanthropic side of things, Thomas founded St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, which has since expanded to other cities.

Danny Thomas passed away on February 6, 1991 at 79 years old. His daughter, actress Marlo Thomas, has been the longtime spokeswoman of St. Jude’s and has helped the organization raise hundreds of millions of dollars. In 2017, a Beverly Hills property that at one time was owned by Danny Thomas hit the market for $135 million.

Early Life and Education

Danny Thomas was born as Amos Yaqoob Kairouz on January 6, 1912 in Deerfield, Michigan as one of ten children of Maronite Catholic immigrants Margaret and Charles, who came from Lebanon. Raised in Toledo, Ohio, he went to St. Francis de Sales Church, Woodward High School, and the University of Toledo.

Career Beginnings on Radio

Thomas began his career in entertainment in the early 1930s performing on the radio program “The Happy Hour Club” in Detroit. After moving to Chicago in 1940, he worked in clubs. Thomas went on to land his own half-hour weekly radio program, “The Danny Thomas Show,” in 1942. The show ran on ABC until 1943 and later on CBS from 1947 to 1948. Meanwhile, Thomas performed on the radio series “The Bickersons” alongside Don Ameche and Frances Langford. In the early 1950s, he made several appearances on the radio variety program “The Big Show.”

Television Acting

Thomas had his breakthrough role in 1953 when he began starring on the ABC television sitcom “Make Room for Daddy.” He played successful nightclub performer Danny Williams, with his family members originally played by Jean Hagen, Rusty Hamer, and Sherry Jackson. After its third season, “Make Room for Daddy” was renamed “The Danny Thomas Show.” It aired one more season on ABC before moving to CBS for the rest of its run through the spring of 1964. Later, from 1967 to 1968, Thomas starred in the NBC anthology series “The Danny Thomas Hour.” He went on to star on the short-lived “Make Room for Grandaddy,” an update of his old show. Thomas’s next main television series role was on the NBC sitcom “The Practice,” which ran from 1976 to 1977. After that, he appeared in the series finale of the detective drama “Kojak.” From 1980 to 1981, Thomas starred on the ABC sitcom “I’m a Big Girl Now.” Later in the decade, he starred on the sitcom “One Big Family” and appeared in the television film “Side by Side.”

Television Producing

In addition to acting on television, Thomas was a successful television producer in the 1960s, often working with such producers as Aaron Spelling and Sheldon Leonard. He had producing credits on “The Andy Griffith Show,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Mod Squad,” “That Girl,” and the Walter Brennan series “The Real McCoys,” The Tycoon,” and “The Guns of Will Sonnett.”


Film Career

Thomas made his film debut in the 1947 musical drama “The Unfinished Dance,” starring Margaret O’Brien. He was in another Margaret O’Brien vehicle, “Big City,” in 1948. Thomas next appeared in two 1951 films: the musicals “Call Me Mister” and “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” in the latter of which he starred opposite Doris Day. Subsequently, he starred in the 1952 remake of “The Jazz Singer.” Thomas didn’t appear much on the big screen after that. He returned in 1964 to play himself in the romantic musical comedy “Looking for Love,” and in 1966 had an uncredited part in the comedy “Don’t Worry, We’ll Think of a Title.” In 1972, Thomas voiced the Tin Man in the animated musical “Journey Back to Oz.”


In 1962, Thomas founded St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Since its founding, St. Jude has expanded across the United States to several other cities. It continues its mission to find cures for pediatric diseases and save children’s lives.

Group Affiliations

A devout Roman Catholic, Thomas was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre by Pope Paul VI. He was also a member of the Good Shepherd Parish and the Catholic Motion Picture Guild in Beverly Hills, and the first non-Jewish member of Los Angeles’s Hillcrest Country Club. Elsewhere, Thomas was initiated to the Freemasonry in Prudence Lodge No. 958 in Chicago, and was eventually raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in Gothic Lodge No. 270 in New Jersey.

Personal Life and Death

In early 1936, Thomas married singer Rose Mantell. They had three children: Margaret (better known as Marlo), Theresa (known as Terre), and Charles (known as Tony), all of whom went on to join the entertainment industry.

On February 6, 1991, Thomas died from a heart attack at his home in Beverly Hills. He is buried alongside his wife in a mausoleum on the grounds of the original St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

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