George Burns Biography (Personal Life, Career)

George Burns is an American comedian who was popular for more than 70 years in stand-up comedy, vaudeville, radio, film, and television. He was especially known as part of a comedy team with his wife, Gracie Allen. His arched eyebrow and cigar smoke punctuation became familiar trademarks for over three quarters of a century. The stand-up comedian is also known as Nattie (as he was known to his family).

Personal Life

Born Nathan Birnbaum in January 20, 1896, the stand-up comedian was the ninth of 12 children born to Louis and Dorothy Birnbaum in New York City. His father Louis passed away when the stand-up comedian was 7 years old. In 1903 after his father's death, due to money problems, the stand-up comedian started to work, shining shoes, running errands, and selling newspapers. When he landed a job as a syrup maker in a local candy shop at the age of seven, the stand-up comedian was discovered, as he recalled many years later.

The stand-up comedian quit school in the fourth grade to go into comedy show full-time. The comedian met his wife in the early 1920s, and they married in 1926. They adopted their daughter, Sandra, in 1934 and son, Ronnie, in 1935. Until his death the stand-up comedian smoked as many as ten cigars a day. He was in very fragile health and could not attend his 100th birthday celebration in person. The stand-up comedian died in March 9, 1996, at the age of 100 in Beverly Hills, California.


The stand-up comedian's biography is impressive. He began his career at age seven as a singer in the PeeWee Quartet and later performed as a dancer, skater, and stand-up comedian. In 1933, the stand-up comedian and his wife performed their own show on American radio for 17 years, playing fictional versions of their real-life, concentrating on their classic stage routines and sketch comedy.

The stand-up comedian and his wife had risen to fame for their television series, “The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show” (1950–1958) witch ran on CBS Television. The comedy show maintained its popularity for eight seasons and ended when Allen, retired from performing. The stand-up comedian tried to continue the success of his show on NBC with The George Burns Show 1958–1959, but the comedy performance was unsuccessful without the comedian’s wife. From 1964 to 1965, the stand-up comedian was performing the Wendy and Me Show on NBC. In 1985, at the age of 89, the comedian hosted the George Burns Comedy Week on CBS.

The comedian and his wife formed their own company, McCadden Corporation set up to film television comedy shows and commercials. Besides their own hit show, the couple's company produced such television series as The Bob Cummings Show, The People's Choice, starring Jackie Cooper; Mona McClusky, starring Juliet Prowse and Mister Ed, starring Alan Young.

The stand-up comedian also has an impressive filmography. The comedian achieved success in movies during the 1930s in such comedy films as The Big Broadcast (1932), International House (1933), College Humor (1933), Six of a Kind (1934), Many Happy Returns (1934)Love in Bloom (1935), The Big Broadcast of 1936, The Big Broadcast of 1937, College Holiday (1936), A Damsel in Distress (1937),College Swing (1938), Honolulu (1939),The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956) (narrator),The Sunshine Boys (1975),Oh, God! (1977),Movie Movie (1978), Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978),Just You and Me, Kid (1979),Going in Style (1979),Oh, God! Book II (1980),Oh, God! You Devil (1984).

One of his last films was 18 Again! In this film, the stan-up comedian played a self-made millionaire industrialist who switched bodies with his eighteen-year-old grandson. His last feature film role was the cameo role of Milt Lackey, a 100 year old stand-up comedian, in the comedy mystery Radioland Murders(1994). At the age of 80, the comedian won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and so, he becomes the oldest Oscar winner in the history of the Academy Awards.

The stand-up comedian was a bestselling author who wrote a total of 10 books: I Love Her, That's Why (1955), Living it up: Or, They Still Love Me in Altoona! (1976), The Third Time Around.(1980), How To Live To Be 100 - Or More - The Ultimate Diet, Sex and Exercise Book(1983), Dr. Burns' Prescription for Happiness: Buy Two Books and Call Me in the Morning (1984), ). Dear George (1985), A Love Story(1988), All My Best Friends(1989), Wisdom of the 90's(1991), 100 Years 100 Stories(1996).

He comedian kept active with club comedy appearances and TV commercials, writing a number of books until several months before his death at age 100. In his later years the comedian was once asked if he believed in heaven and hell and replied, “I don’t know what they’ve got, but I’m bringing my own music.”

Quick Info George Burns Biography (Personal Life, Career)

Be a pal and spread the word!

Fresh Stand-up Comedy Concert Videos

New Comedy Content

We have 16 guests online
Copyright © 2008 - 2011. The best Stand Up Comedy Videos