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George Burns

Mostly Credited As: George Burns
Sometimes Credited As: George N. Burns
Burns

Birth Name: Nathan Birnbaum
Date Of Birth: January 20, 1896 (Age 100)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: New York City, New York
Date Of Death: March 09, 1996
Cause Of Death: Natural Causes (Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, CA)
Height: 5' 7" (1.7 m)

George Burns


Both performing vaudevillians from childhood, neither achieved particular distinction in their overcrowded field until teaming in 1922. The mentally nimble Burns initially fired off all the jokes, but as the act evolved it became apparent that Allen's scatterbrained magpie antics got better laughs, so Burns wisely adopted the pose of straight man. Like many vaudeville stalwarts, they broke into movies with the coming of sound, recreating their popular stage routines in short subjects (notably 1929'sLamb Chops After several such efforts, Burns and Allen were signed by Paramount to play comedy support in many of the studio's musicals and comedies, beginning with The Big Broadcast (1932) and including International House, College Humor (both 1933), We're Not Dressing, Six of a Kind, Many Happy Returns (all 1934), Love in Bloom, The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1935), College Holiday, The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936), and College Swing (1938). Their best screen moments came at RKO, getting to sing and dance-charmingly-with Fred Astaire in A Damsel in Distress (1937). At MGM they backed up Eleanor Powell in Honolulu (1939).

Gracie appeared without George in The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939, with Warren William as detective Philo Vance), Mr. and Mrs. North (1941, perfectly cast as the charming madcap of Frances and Richard Lockridge's murder mystery), and Two Girls and a Sailor (1944). They continued to work together on radio and TV. "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" enjoyed an eight-year run (1950-58) on CBS, after which time Gracie retired and George continued solo for another season. She died from cancer six years later. The still vital Burns subsequently starred in the TV series "Wendy and Me" (1964-65) and "George Burns Comedy Week" (1985). Off the big screen for many years, Burns made a triumphant return in The Sunshine Boys (1975), winning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of a crotchety vaudeville star reunited with his slightly addled partner Walter Matthau. He followed this triumph with an even more endearing performance, as the Deity Himself (albeit a cigarsmoking, golf-hatted one) inOh, God! (1977), along with its less enchanting sequels, Oh God! Book II (1980), andOh, God! You Devil (1984). He has also appeared in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Movie Movie (both 1978), Just You and Me, Kid (1979), Going in Style (also 1979, a standout as one of three elderly New Yorkers who rob a bank to relieve their boredom), and 18 Again! (1988). He has written a handful of books reminiscing about his life with Gracie and his adventures in show business. The ever-youthful comedian is booked to play the London Palladium on his 100th birthday.

Copyright © 1994 Leonard Maltin

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TV Appearances

Main cast 
George Burns Comedy Week (1985)As: Host
Wendy and Me (1964)As: Himself
The George Burns Show (1958)As: Himself
The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950)As: Himself
Episode Cast Credits 

The Golden Palace (1992) 
  Say Goodbye, Rose 01x17: (Feb/12/1993) As Himself 

The Kennedy Center Honors (1978) 
  11th Annual Kennedy Center Honors 11x01: (Dec/30/1988) As Himself (Honoree) 

American Bandstand (1957) 
  George Burns / Susan Anton and Fred Knoblock 24x16: (Jan/31/1981) As Himself 

The Academy Awards (1953) 
  The 51st Annual Academy Awards 27x01: (Apr/09/1979) As Presenter, [Featuring]
  The 48th Annual Academy Awards 24x01: (Mar/29/1976) As Winner: Best Supporting Actor (for 'The Sunshine Boys') 

Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (1973) 
  George Burns 01x48: (May/17/1978) As Himself 
  Jack Benny 01x19: (Feb/21/1974) As Himself 

Alice (1976) (1976) 
  Oh! George Burns 02x10: (Jan/01/1978) As Himself 

The Muppet Show (1976) 
  George Burns 02x10: (Nov/14/1977) As Himself 

The Captain and Tennille (1976) 
  Show #18 01x18: (Feb/28/1977) As Himself 

Donny and Marie (1976) 
  GUESTS: GEORGE BURNS, CHUBBY CHECKER, EVIL KNIEVEL 02x02: (Oct/01/1976) As Himself 

The Golden Globes (1944) 
  The 33rd Annual Golden Globe Awards 33x01: (Jan/24/1976) As Winner: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (for 'The Sunshine Boys') 

Ellery Queen (1975) 
  The Adventure of Veronica's Veils 01x09: (Nov/13/1975) As Sam Packer 

Cher (1975) 
  Show 22 02x08: (Nov/02/1975) As Himself 

The Midnight Special (1973) 
  Host: Lou Rawls 01x09: (Mar/23/1973) As Himself 

The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (1971) 
  Show 18 02x12: (Mar/13/1972) As Himself 

This Is Your Life (1971) (1971) 
  Gen. Omar Bradley 01x17: (Dec/05/1971) As Himself 

Here's Lucy (1968) 
  Lucy and Jack Benny's Biography 03x11: (Nov/23/1970) As Himself 

The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) 
  The Carpenters, George Burns, B.B. King 24x05: (Oct/18/1970) As Himself 
  Sly and the Family Stone 22x24: (Mar/23/1969) As Himself 
  George Burns, Gracie Allen 11x02: (Sep/29/1957) As Himself 

The Dean Martin Show (1965) 
  George Burns, The Mills Brothers 05x05: (Oct/16/1969) As Himself 
  George Burns / Phil Harris / Susan Barrett 04x13: (Dec/12/1968) As Himself 
  Eddie Albert, George Burns, Florence Henderson 03x19: (Jan/18/1968) As Himself 
  George Burns, Dinah Shore, Jonathan Winters 02x05: (Oct/13/1966) As Himself 

The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour (1969) 
  George Burns,Sarah Vaughan, Bill Medley 02x02: (Oct/01/1969) As Himself 

This Is Tom Jones (1969) 
  Episode #1.14 01x14: (May/22/1969) As Himself 

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967) (1967) 
  Show #23 02x03: (Sep/24/1967) As Himself 
  Show #3 01x03: (Feb/19/1967) As Himself 

The Hollywood Palace (1964) 
  Host: George Burns / The King Family 04x25: (Mar/18/1967) As Himself, [Guest Hosts]
  Host: Bing Crosby / The Mamas & the Papas 04x01: (Sep/17/1966) As Himself 
  Host: George Burns 02x32: (May/15/1965) As Himself, [Guest Hosts]
  Host: George Burns 02x20: (Feb/13/1965) As Himself, [Guest Hosts]
  Host: Bing Crosby 02x16: (Jan/16/1965) As Himself 
  Host: George Burns 01x13: (Mar/28/1964) As Himself, [Guest Hosts]

The Lucy Show (1962) 
  Lucy and George Burns 05x01: (Sep/12/1966) As Himself 

The Jack Benny Program (1950) 
  How Jack Met George Burns 14x14: (Jan/07/1964) As Himself, [Special Guest Stars]
  Jack is Kidnapped 13x24: (Mar/12/1963) As Himself, [Special Guest Stars]
  Variety Show 11x24: (Apr/02/1961) As Himself, [Special Guest Stars]
  Nightbeat Takeoff 11x01: (Oct/16/1960) As Himself 
  George Burns Show 10x07: (Dec/27/1959) As Himself, [Special Guest Stars]
  Bachelor TV Lives 09x05: (Nov/16/1958) As Himself, [Special Guest Stars]
  George Burns/Spike Jones Show 07x02: (Oct/07/1956) As Himself, [Special Guest Stars]
  Burns And Allen Show 04x11: (Apr/11/1954) As Himself, [Special Guest Stars]
  Goldie, Fields And Glide 04x10: (Mar/21/1954) As Himself, [Special Guest Stars]
  Gracie Bit 02x04: (Mar/09/1952) As Himself, [Special Guest Stars]

Mister Ed (1961) 
  George Burns Meets Mister Ed 02x18: (Feb/18/1962) As Himself 

Royal Variety Performance (1927) 
  Royal Variety Performance 1961 01x02: (Nov/12/1961) As Himself 

The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (1956) 
  Season 4, Episode 30 04x30: (Apr/24/1960) As Himself 
  Season 3, Episode 29 03x29: (Apr/19/1959) As Himself 

This Is Your Life (1952) (1952) 
  Bobby Darin 07x08: (Dec/02/1959) As Himself 
  George Burns 03x04: (Sep/28/1955) As Himself 

General Electric Theater (1953) 
  Platinum on the Rocks 08x11: (Nov/29/1959) As Eddie Martin 

The Bob Cummings Show (1955) 
  Bob Butters Beck (aka Beck Butters Better) 05x10: (Dec/02/1958) As Himself, [Special Guest Stars]

Shower of Stars (1954) 
  Quentin Reynolds Writing the Life of Jack Benny 02x04: (Jan/19/1956) As Himself 

Looney Tunes (2003) 
  Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes 50th Anniversary Special 48x274: (Unknown/Unaired) As Himself 
Crew Credits

Show Crew


Wendy and Me (1964)• Producer
Mona McCluskey (1965)• Executive Producer

Episode Crew


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Trivia

George Burns: (During Dean Martin's roast for Frank Sinatra) We singers aren't worried about getting laughs . . . see, nobody's laughing, and I'm not worried.

George Burns: If you live to the age of a hundred, you have it made, because very few people die past the age of a hundred.

George Burns: The most important thing to succeed in show business is sincerity. And if you can fake that, you've got it made.

George Burns: (When asked how he got the title role in Oh, God! (1977) I was the closest to Him in age.

George Burns: (Discussing his role in Going in Style (1979) I had to learn how to act old.

George Burns: At my age, the only thing hot waiting for me in my dressing room is a bowl of soup.

George Burns: I'd rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate.

George Burns: (Interviewed in his old age about sex scenes) What actresses do today when they appear on the screen is what they did once upon a time for getting to appear on the screen.

George Burns: Happiness is: A good martini, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman... or a bad woman, depending on how much happiness you can stand.

George Burns: (On adultery) If you were married to Marilyn Monroe, you'd cheat with some ugly girl.

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