Tiny Tim was an American singer, ukulele player, and musical archivist. He was born on April 12, 1932, in Manhattan, New York City, as Herbert Khaury. He started playing the ukulele at the age of five and went on to perform at various clubs and cafes throughout New York City during his early years.
Tiny Tim gained national recognition in 1968 when he appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and performed his signature song, “Tip-Toe Thru’ the Tulips with Me.” His quirky appearance, falsetto voice, and unique performance style quickly made him a cult favorite.
Despite his success, Tiny Tim’s personal life was filled with turmoil. He was married three times, with his first marriage ending in annulment, and his second and third marriages both ended in divorce. His second marriage to Victoria Mae Budinger, known as “Miss Vicki,” was a highly publicized event that took place on “The Tonight Show” in 1969, with over 40 million people tuning in to watch.
After his brief moment in the limelight, Tiny Tim struggled to maintain his career and personal life. He continued to perform at various venues, but his popularity waned, and he often faced financial difficulties. He also suffered from numerous health problems, including heart disease and diabetes.
In 1996, Tiny Tim suffered a heart attack while performing at a ukulele festival in Massachusetts. He was rushed to the hospital and underwent a successful bypass surgery. However, in September of that same year, he collapsed on stage during a performance in Minneapolis and was later pronounced dead at the hospital. He was 64 years old.
The circumstances surrounding Tiny Tim’s death were particularly tragic and peculiar. His third wife, Susan Marie Gardner, whom he had married just a few months prior, was with him at the time of his collapse. She later revealed that she had urged him to cancel the performance due to his poor health, but he had refused, insisting that “the show must go on.”
Tiny Tim’s personal life was as peculiar as his music. He was married three times and had several affairs throughout his life. His first marriage was to Victoria Budinger, a teenage fan he met after one of his shows. The two married in 1969, but their marriage ended in divorce in 1977.
In 1984, Tiny Tim married Miss Sue, a fan who was also his manager. The two had a daughter together named Tulip Victoria. However, their marriage was tumultuous, and they separated several times before ultimately divorcing in 1995.
After his divorce from Miss Sue, Tiny Tim had several affairs and relationships, including one with a woman named Miss Vicki, who was his first wife’s younger sister. Despite their significant age difference, the two became romantically involved, and Tiny Tim proposed to her on live television during a benefit concert. The couple married in 1995 but their marriage was short-lived. Tiny Tim suffered a heart attack on stage during a performance just a few months after their wedding, and he passed away shortly after.
Tiny Tim’s legacy lives on, and his unique style and quirky personality continue to inspire and entertain audiences. Despite his personal struggles and tragic end, he will always be remembered as a one-of-a-kind performer who captured the hearts of many.