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Saturday, December 9, 2023


Musical humorist Victor Borge, who kept a home on St. Croix for more than two decades and contributed to the island in numerous ways, died Saturday in Greenwich, Conn. He was 91.
Borge was known the world over as "the comedian of the keyboard" and "the unmelancholy Dane," blending virtuosic skill at the piano with an irrepressible sense of humor.
Borge's show "Comedy in Music" ran for 849 performances at the Golden Theater on Broadway in the 1950s, a record for a one-man engagement. His act included sight gags, ad libs and fond satire of serious music.
Borge bought a house in Christiansted in 1961 and visited often until Hurricane Hugo nearly leveled it.
Borge and his wife, Sanna, helped found the St. Croix Country Day School and also set up scholarships at various colleges. A 1979 concert by Borge at the Island Center raised thousands of dollars for the St. Croix Boys Club.
Born Borge Rosenbaum in Copenhagen, Borge was hailed as a prodigy and studied with some of the foremost piano instructors of the day. But his wit and fun-loving nature overflowed the stuffy confines of a straight performing career, and his antics onstage endeared him to millions. He would stumble into a Steinway, sound a chord with his backside, and then confess to his audience, "I play much better by ear, I can assure you."
Though aided by a team of writers that at one time included Mel Brooks and Neil Simon, many of his best lines started out as ad-libs that he then worked into his act. Musical jokes showed off his keyboard skill such as when he deftly worked "Happy Birthday" into the music of Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart and Debussy.
Borge is survived by five children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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