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George Burns

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.
George Burns: (At 87 years old) I was brought up to respect my elders and now I don't have to respect ANYBODY.
George Burns: (Commenting on winning the Oscar at age 80) It couldn't have happened to an older guy.
George Burns: I can't afford to die; I'd lose too much money.
George Burns: There are many ways to die in bed, but the best way is not alone.
George Burns: I don't believe in dying... It's been done.
George Burns: I use the cigar for timing purposes. If I tell a joke, I smoke as long as they laugh and when they stop laughing I take the cigar out of my mouth and start my next joke.
In the movie 18 Again! (1988) George's character celebrates his 81st birthday though he was already 92 years old!
George was originally supposed to deliver the eulogy at the funeral of his best friend, Jack Benny, but he was so overcome with emotion after trying that he let someone else do it.
George's biography is featured in the American National Biography. Supplement 1, pp. 82-84. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
George was in very fragile health and could not attend his 100th birthday celebration in person.
George discovered Ann-Margret and made her his opening act in Las Vegas.
In the beginning of their partnership, Gracie played the straight character and George had the funny lines. When George realized Gracie got more laughs, he switched their roles.
Up until George's death he smoked as many as ten cigars a day.
George Took the name "Burns" from the Burns Brothers Coal Company, whose trucks he'd stolen lumps from growing up, to help heat the family home. "George" was a sobriquet his brother occasionally used.
George and Gracie continued to play single, even years after they were married; declining ratings prompted George to "update" the act on-air. He said later, "We were the only couple on radio who got married because we had to."
George actually wore a hairpiece for most of his performing career; appears briefly without it in The Sunshine Boys (1975).
George was best friends with fellow comedian Jack Benny, who also served as best man at his and Gracie's wedding. George loved playing jokes on Benny--almost as much as watching him laugh (and pound the floor) afterwards.
George is the oldest recipient of an Oscar. He was 80 when he won the 1976 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for The Sunshine Boys (1975).
George's best known trademark was his ever present cigar.
George played the straight man to his wife, Gracie Allen. After her death and his retirement period, he created a new image as an remarkably active amiable old comedian.
George Burns: If you stay in the business long enough and get to be old enough, you get to be new again.
George Burns: A young mind in a healthy body is a wonderful thing. Especially for an old man with an open night.
George Burns: Bridge is a game that separates the men from the boys. It also separates husbands and wives.
George Burns: I would go out with women my age, but there are no women my age.
George Burns: (On gravity) Everything that goes up must come down. But there comes a time when not everything that's down can come up.
George Burns: In what other business can a guy my age drink martinis, smoke cigars and sing? I think all people who retire ought to go into show business. I've been retired all my life.
George Burns: Nice to be here? At my age it's nice to be anywhere.
George Burns: (On his age) I get a standing ovation just standing.
George Burns: I did go to school - my kind of school. When I was a kid I went out... and you meet people. You talk to them. Anybody says something that makes sense, it stays with you, rubs off on you. That kind of school.
George Burns: (On appearance) Take care not to wear stripes that are out of sync with your wrinkles.
George Burns: Retire? I'm going to stay in show business until I'm the only one left.
George Burns: Fall in love with what you do for a living. I don't care what it is. It works.
George Burns: Smartness runs in my family. When I went to school I was so smart my teacher was in my class for five years.
George and Gracie's show The Burns & Allen Show (on CBS and NBC from 1934 to 1950) was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1994.
George was a regular on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. He was even a guest of honor in 1978.
George was the father of actor Ronnie Burns.
As a child, George attended P.S. 22 and left after the fourth grade due to economic reasons.
George was genuinely only married once in his life ... it was to his beloved sidekick Gracie Allen from January, 1926 until her death in August, 1964.
George was 5' 7" (1.70 m) tall.
George's nickname was "Nattie."