The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

Suggest Edits
 George Burns

Photo added by Old Friend

George Burns

  • Original Name Nathan Birnbaum
  • Birth 20 Jan 1896 New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
  • Death 9 Mar 1996 Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Plot Freedom Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Heritage, Space 20360
  • Memorial ID 150

Comedian, Actor. He gained international fame with wife Gracie Allen while performing as the "Burns & Allen" comedy team. At the age of 80, he received an Academy Award for his role in "The Sunshine Boys," making him the oldest Oscar recipient in a competitive category until that time (Jessica Tandy was 80 when she won in 1989). Popular well into his old age, he lived for 100 years. He was born Nathan Birnbaum on Pitt Street located in New York's Lower East Side where the Yiddish theater flourished and vaudeville was prevalent. Nathan was 9th of 12 children born to Louis and Dorothy Birnbaum both Polish immigrants. His father eked out a living as a part time Cantor and kosher food inspector. At age seven, many defining events occurred which charted the course of Nathan's life. His father died and he acquired a moniker: "George" was derived from his older brother and "Burns" came from the coal yard where he and his other poverty stricken friends would pilferage coal by the pocketful to take home to replenish the fire in the family stove. Above all, he began his show business career. The talented George along with other boys in the neighborhood became "Buskers," (street singing for money). His education was over with the completion of the fourth grade, and small vaudeville roles followed. At age15, George took a regular job as a dance instructor at Berstein's School of Dancing. Soon he was back to his first love, performing on the stage. Two going nowhere vaudeville actors met in 1922, George in a quandary as his partner had deserted him, and Gracie Allen who had been on the stage since age three had given up and enrolled in secretarial school in New York City. They teamed up to become the "Burns and Allen" duel, a relationship that lasted for thirty five years. The couple became closer with marriage in Cleveland, Ohio by a justice of the peace. Some of his films..."The Big Broadcast", first feature film, "Many Happy Returns," first leading role, "Honolulu" "Going in Style" and "Radioland Murders." A few of his many radio programs..."The White Owl Program" "The Chesterfield Program" "The Hormel Program" which introduced "Spam" and the "Maxwell House Coffee Time." His TV series..."The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" lasted eight years consisting of 292 episodes. Gracie in poor health retired and finally passed away. George attempted to continue alone with several short lived shows..."The George Burns Show" "Wendy and Me" and finally the "George Burns Comedy Week." He became relatively dormant for a decade after his last disaster TV show. However, he revived his career in 1975 with his performance in "Sunshine Boys" and at age 79 began a second career with films (Oh, God and sequels,Going in Style) and one man shows in Las Vegas. At ninety eight, still going strong, he had reserve bookings at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas upon reaching a hundred and was going to play the Palladium in London on New Years Eve 1999. Fate intervened with a fall in 1994 which was his swan song. He would be unable to fulfill his contractual bookings. His health gradually diminished culminating in his death at his Beverly Hills residence forty three days after his centurion birthday. His ninety three year entertainment career came to an end. His funeral was a simple private affair at a Forest Lawn Chapel attended by only 60 family members and close friends before he joined Gracie in their companion crypt located in the Freedom Mausoleum. He was eulogized by his manager Irving Fein. The epitaph on their tomb reads: "Gracie Allen. George Burns. Together Again." The couple had compromised years before in prearranged burial plans. Grace was Catholic, while George was Jewish. Her funeral service was held at All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly hills and they then chose Forest Lawn to avoid conflicts from their two different and demanding religions. Some interesting trivia about George Burns...When he turned 90, the city of Los Angeles renamed the northern end of Hamel Road "George Burns Road". Nine years later, the city renamed the eastern end of Alden Drive "Gracie Allen Drive." Amazingly, the two streets cross creating an intersection near the famous Cedars-Sinai Hospital which received millions of dollars from George to establish a research institute. Ben-Gurion University in Israel also received a huge endowment to fund a medical education program. He has three stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame (Gene Autry has the most at 5).

Bio by: Donald Greyfield

Family Members



Together Again





How famous was George Burns?

Current rating:

896 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 150
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Burns (20 Jan 1896–9 Mar 1996), Find A Grave Memorial no. 150, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .