George Burns (January 20, 1896 - March 9, 1996) was a legendary American vaudeville comedian who went on to work in movies, radio, and early television. He was born as Nathan Birnbaum to Louis and Dorothy Birnbaum, the ninth of twelve children, in New York City, New York.
Burns teamed with his second wife Gracie Allen as "Burns & Allen"; they built their routines and their television sitcom around situations where she said (and did) ditsy things and he made wry comments as asides to the audience, often while brandishing a cigar or golf club. After her death in 1964, he continued to perform and in 1975, after an almost forty year abscence from the screen, he co-starred with Walter Matthau in Neil Simon's hit comedy The Sunshine Boys. In an amazing accomplishment, Burns won a best supporting actor Oscar. He and Jessica Tandy are still the two oldest people to win Academy Awards. Burns is probably best remembered for playing the title role in the 1977 film Oh, God! and its sequels (1980 and 1984).
Burns remained deeply devoted to Allen after she passed away. He never re-married, and though he developed a running joke of being a sexy senior citizen (he was often seen in the company of beautiful young women), he was never crude and his devotion to his wife was unquestioned up until his death. On his relationships, he said, "I'd go out with women my age, but there are no women my age."
Lambchops (1929) (a "short" film)
The Big Broadcast (1932) (1st feature film)
College Humor (1933)
International House (1933)
Many Happy Returns (1934) (1st leading rôle)
Six Of A Kind (1934)
We're Not Dressing (1934)
Love in Bloom (1935)
Here Comes Cookie (1936)
A Damsel in Distress (1937) (1st Fred Astaire movie without Ginger Rogers & 1st in which Burns and Allen danced)
College Swing (1938)
The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956) (narrated)
The Sunshine Boys (1975) (Oscar)
Oh, God! (1977)
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)
Going in Style (1979)
Oh, God! Book II (1980)
Oh, God! You Devil! (1984)
18 Again! (1988)
Radioland Murders (1994)
The Robert Burns Panatella Show: 1932 - 1933 CBS
In their debut series, George and Gracie shared the bill with Guy Lombardo and his Orchestra. The pair launched themselves into national stardom with their first major publicity stunt, Gracie's ongoing search for her missing brother.
The White Owl Program: 1933 - 1934 CBS
The Adventures of Gracie: 1934 - 1935 CBS
The Campbell's Tomato Juice Program: 1935 - 1937 CBS
The Grape Nuts Program: 1937 - 1938 NBC
The Chesterfield Program: 1938 - 1939 CBS
The Hinds Honey and Almond Cream Program: 1939 - 1940 CBS
This series featured another wildly successful publicity stunt which had Gracie running for President of the United States.
The Hormel Program: 1940 - 1941 NBC
Advertising a brand new product called "Spam". . . this show featured musical numbers by jazz great Artie Shaw.
The Swan Soap Show: 1941 - 1945 NBC, CBS
This series featured a radical format change, in that George and Gracie played themselves as a married couple for the first time, and the show became a full-fledged domestic situation comedy. This was George's response to a marked drop in ratings under the old "Flirtation Act" format.
Maxwell House Coffee Time: 1945 - 1949 NBC
The Amm-i-Dent Toothpaste Show: 1949 - 1950 CBS
The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show: 1950 - 1958 CBS
Broadcast live every other week for the first two seasons, 26 episodes per year. Starting in the third season, all episodes were filmed and broadcast weekly, 40 episodes per year. There were 292 episodes created in all.
The George Burns Show: (1958 - 1959) NBC
An unsuccessful attempt to continue the format of the The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show without Gracie, the rest of the cast intact.
Wendy and Me: (1958 - 1959) NBC
George plays narrator in this short-lived series, just as he had in The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, but with far less on-screen time, as the focus is on a young couple played by Connie Stevens and Ron Harper. Connie Stevens is, essentially, playing a version of Gracie's character.
George Burns Comedy Week: (1985) CBS
Another short-lived series, this time a weekly comedy anthology program whose only connecting thread was George's presence as host. He does not appear in any of the actual storylines. He was 89 years old when the series was filmed.