Victor Borge

Died December 23, 2000

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) - Victor Borge, the daffy pianist whose whimsical approach to the classics earned him the moniker the "clown prince" of Denmark, died Saturday. He was 91.

Borge's daughter, Rikke Borge, said her father died peacefully in his sleep at his home as the family was gathering to celebrate Christmas. He had just returned from a trip to Copenhagen, the city of his birth.

For decades, Borge delighted audiences by deflating the pomposity of classical music. He fell off his bench, played music upside down and repeatedly milked laughs from such classic routines as "phonetic punctuation" in which he used goofy sounds to indicate commas, periods and question marks in his monologue.

"I think he brought laughter to every person he came in contact with," Rikke Borge said Saturday. "He had a long and happy life."

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