Burns, George



George Burns (January 20, 1896 – March 9, 1996), born Nathan Birnbaum, was an American comedian, award-winning actor and best-selling writer.  Photograph Unsigned, n.d. -  8 x 10 B/W - copyright photo 1958 property of Screen Gems, Inc. Overall, fine/very fine condition. 

He was one of the few entertainers whose career successfully spanned vaudeville, film, radio, and television. His arched eyebrow and cigar smoke punctuation became familiar trademarks for over three quarters of a century.

Beginning at the age of 79, Burns' career was resurrected as an amiable, beloved and unusually active old comedian, continuing to work until shortly before his death, in 1996, at the age of 100.


The handprints of George Burns in front of The Great Movie Ride at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.

Burns has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for TV (South side of the 6500 block of Hollywood Boulevard), for Live Performance (South side of the 6600 block of Hollywood Boulevard) and for Film (West side of the 1600 block of Vine Street).

 Burns is the subject of Rupert Holmes' one-actor play Say Goodnight Gracie. It played Broadway during the 2002-03 season with Frank Gorshin (Gorshin died in 2005), and continues to tour North America with Alan Safier as George Burns.

In the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the two humpback whales are named George and Gracie after Burns and Allen. Hooters restaurants had signs which, prior to George's death, read, "We even card George Burns;" following his death, they were changed to say, "We even carded George Burns." The Simpsons referenced Burns in the Season 5 episode titled "Rosebud".

In the show, Burns is the younger brother of Montgomery Burns. The character of Mr. Burns, as a child, leaves his family to live with a rich man (who is actually his paternal grandfather). His father makes the comment, "Oh well. At least we still have his little brother George." The camera flashes to a young George Burns, who sings a line in his style and then says, "Trust me, it'll be funny when I'm an old man." In an episode of Boy Meets World, Corey Mathews claims an old educational puberty film starred George Burns. In the film For the Boys, the characters played by Bette Midler and James Caan talk about how their comedy act will be "bigger than Burns and Allen, bigger than Hope and Crosby".

In an episode of Mad About You, Paul Reiser's character is working on a documentary on the history of television. In one scene he is reviewing classic television shows, and the viewer can hear Gracie saying, "Well, if we were married they'd call me Mrs. Burns."

In Eminem's duel rap song "Guilty Conscience", there is a reference to George Burns: "Think about it before you walk in the door; First, look at the store clerk. she's older than George Burns!" In a Far Side cartoon, a futuristic city is shown with flying cars and a theater billboard stating, "APPEARING TONIGHT: GEORGE BURNS"

In The X-Files Season 2, Episode 19: "Dod Kalm" Mulder says he looks like George Burns as he rapidly ages. In the animated movie South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Kenny encounters George Burns while falling through the fiery vortexes of hell who asks him, "Hey fuckface, have you seen Gracie?".