Jimmy Boyd

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Jimmy Boyd
Publicity Photo of Jimmy Boyd.jpg
Publicity Photo of Jimmy Boyd
Jimmy Devon Boyd

(1939-01-09)January 9, 1939
DiedMarch 7, 2009(2009-03-07) (aged 70)
  • Actor
  • musician
  • singer
Years active1951–1983
(m. 1960; div. 1962)

Anne Forrey
(m. 1980; div. 1984)

Jimmy Devon Boyd (January 9, 1939 – March 7, 2009) was an American singer, musician, and actor known for his recording of the song "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus".

Early years[edit]

Boyd was born in Mississippi to Leslie and Winnie Boyd. His father was a farmer and picked cotton to help support the family. When Jimmy Boyd was two years old, Leslie Boyd put Winnie, Jimmy, and one of Boyd's brothers on a train to Riverside, California.

"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"[edit]

Boyd recorded the song "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" for Columbia Records in 1952, when he was 13 years old. It became a hit, selling over two and a half million records in its first week's release and Boyd's name became known internationally. Boyd was presented with two gold records. Boyd's record went to number one on the charts again the following year at Christmas, and continues to sell as a Christmas song. Collective disc sales by 1966 amounted to over 11 million copies.[1]

Boyd owned horses, so Columbia presented him with a silver mounted saddle. Inscribed in the silver plate on the back of the saddle were the words, Presented by Columbia Records to Jimmy Boyd commemorating his 3,000,000 record of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus". When first released, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston condemned the song for implying even a tenuous link between sex and the religious holiday, and radio stations in several markets banned it. Boyd made worldwide news when he went to Boston to explain that, of course, Santa Claus and Daddy were the same man. The following Christmas the ban was lifted.[2][3]

Other recordings[edit]

One of his surviving performances available online is with Betty White on The Betty White Show in the mid-1950s.[4]

Personal life[edit]

In 1960, Boyd married actress Yvonne Craig (TV's Batgirl), which ended in divorce in 1962. Boyd married a second time in 1980. He and Anne Forrey Boyd had a son together, but divorced in 1984. He remained single for the rest of his life.[5] When asked, "What's the most exciting thing that ever happened to you?" his reply was, "The birth of my son."

Jimmy Boyd died of cancer in 2009 at the age of 70.[3]


For his contributions to the recording industry, Boyd was awarded a star (located at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.) on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1959. It made Boyd (at age 20) the youngest-ever recipient of the honor for 45 years, until actress twins Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen (then 18) jointly received a star in 2004.


Year Title Role Notes
1954 Racing Blood David
1955 The Second Greatest Sex Newt McClure
1960 Platinum High School Bud Starkweather
1960 Inherit the Wind Howard
1960 High Time Robert Higgson
1961 The Two Little Bears Johnny Dillion
1970 Norwood Jeeter
1975 That's the Way of the World Gary Page
1978 Mean Dog Blues Sonny
1983 Brainstorm Col. Howe (final film role)


  1. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-2142-0480-7.
  2. ^ Kim, Wook (2012-12-14). "Yule Laugh, Yule Cry: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Beloved Holiday Songs". Time. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  3. ^ a b Nelson, Valerie J. (2009-03-09). "Jimmy Boyd dies at 70; singer of 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  4. ^ Video on YouTube
  5. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (2009-03-09). "Jimmy Boyd, Actor and Child Singer, Dies at 70". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-15.

External links[edit]