Left photo – Publicity photo of Gracie Allen native the Burns and Allen CBS Radio program. Wikipedia/Public Domain, Right photograph – George Burns in 1961. EBay itemphoto frontphoto back, public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19747936">By NBC/photographer-Elmer W. Holloway 

Born v one blue eye and also one eco-friendly eye and a twinkle in both, Gracie Allen come in this people on July 26, 1895, in mountain Francisco. She dream was to be on stage, but top top her way tp the dream she attended secretarial school.

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George’s arched eyebrow and cigar exhilaration punctuation ended up being familiar trademarks because that over three-quarters that a century.

While attending college in 1922, Allen visited backstage in ~ the Union theatre in Union Hill, brand-new Jersey. She had actually learned indigenous friends that the comedy team of George Burns and William Lorraine would quickly break up, and Lorraine would need one more partner. Mistaking Burns because that Lorraine, she inquired about forming a team. After 3 days, Burns confessed his true identity, however Allen vowed to provide the action a chance. And also hence, one of the biggest Hollywood love story begun.


Burns and Allen, Maxwell home Coffee Time (1945–49). Wikipedia/Public Domain

Though Allen started as the directly one in their partnership, her herbal comedic ability prompted Burns to rewrite their product to give her many of the punch lines. From climate on, Burns played the straight male to Allen’s ditz, with hilarious results. When Gracie went to work-related with George, she was engaged to an additional man. The didn’t prevent George! He brought a ring in his pocket till she lastly agreed to marry him, while his brief an initial marriage, to the dancer Hannah Siegel, finished in divorce. It took four years for George to adjust Gracie’s mind, but they go on to come to be one that the funniest and also best-loved couples in Hollywood.


Burns and Allen (1953). Wikipedia/Public Domain

By the moment Burns and also Allen married in 1926, castle had currently become known on the vaudeville circuit. The 1920s were a gold era because that vaudeville performers, and also Burns and Allen were only two of a variety of greats. After ~ making their radio debut in 1929, the pair landed a regular show, The George Burns and also Gracie Allen Show, i beg your pardon aired from 1932 to 1950 top top the NBC network. In the so late 1930s, the program’s audience numbered more than 40 million people and NBC payment Burns and Allen $10,000 every week, an enormous sum because that the time. The couple also play themselves on the large screen in a variety of films, including International house (1933), countless Happy returns (1934), A Damsel in Distress (1937) and College swing (1938).


Left picture – A Damsel in Distress 1937 Movie poster. Wikipedia/Public Domain, center photo – Lobby card for the movie The big Broadcast. Wikipedia/Public Domain, Right photograph – college Swing movie poster. Wikipedia/Public Domain

For a time, Burns and Allen had actually a fairly distinguished and popular music director: Artie Shaw, who likewise appeared together a personality in few of the show’s sketches. A somewhat various Gracie also marked this era, together the Gracie character might often be uncovered to be typical to George.

George: your mother reduced my challenge out the the picture.Gracie: Oh, George, you’re being sensitive.George: ns am not! Look at my face! What occurred to it?Gracie: ns don’t know. It looks prefer you fell on it.


Census Taker: What perform you make?Gracie: ns make cookies and aprons and knit sweaters.Census Taker: No, I typical what do you earn?Gracie: George’s salary.


Burns and Allen in 1952. Wikipedia/Public Domain

In the 1930s Burns and Allen embraced two children, Sandra Jean and also Ronald Jon, after finding out they could not develop on their own. They agreed come raise the kids as Catholics, then let them make their own spiritual choice as adults. Ronnie at some point joined the cast of his parents’ television show playing George and also Gracie’s son, a significant drama student that disdained comedy. Sandy, by contrast, made just occasional appearances top top the show (usually together a call operator, waitress, secretary, or clerk,) and also left show organization to end up being a teacher.


Gracie Allen, George Burns and also children board Matson flagship Lurline just prior to they cruised for Hawaii, 1938. Wikipedia/Public Domain

Allen suffered from extreme migraine headaches however rarely let go work due to the fact that of them. For relaxation, she love to shop and also had a one-of-a-kind fondness for furs. She was constantly perfectly groomed and also wore beautiful clothes, always with three-quarter length sleeves come hide scars native a childhood accident led to when she traction a boiling pot off the stove, burning she arm and also shoulder. Allen’s surname was frequently on the perform of the ten best-dressed women. She to be petite, weighing 103 pounds and also wearing a 4 1/2 shoes size.


“It yes, really was her last scene, the critical time she appeared on a stage”, Burns composed of the illustration filmed June 4, 1958. By Allan grant photograph because that Life magazine

Allen had actually her very first heart strike in the early on 1950s and suffered heart troubles over the next several years. She go not enjoy the intense pace of a weekly TV program, and on June 4, 1958, the pair filmed your last show. In eight years, the present received 12 Emmy compensation nominations however never won. Allen got six nominations as ideal actress/ comedienne, and also the show received four nominations for ideal comedy series.

Allen spent her retirement years shopping, play cards, reading, visiting friends and also redecorating her home. She love going out at night, specifically to the theater, however after enduring a significant heart assault in 1961 she no longer had actually the energy to carry out so. Allen lived six years after her retirement, dying on respectable 27, 1964, in Los Angeles. She was buried in woodland Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood.


George Burns and also Gracie Allen, 1955. Wikipedia/Public Domain

In his second book, They still Love Me in Altoona, Burns composed that he found it impossible to sleep after ~ Grace’s death until he determined to sleep in the bed she used during her illness. He saw her grave once a month, professing to speak to her about whatever he to be doing at the moment — including, the said, make the efforts to decide whether he really need to accept the Sunshine Boys duty which Jack Benny had to abandon since of his own failing health. He went to the tomb v Ed Bradley throughout a 60 minutes interview top top November 6, 1988.

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Burns in 1986. Wikipedia/Public Domain

When Burns rotate 90 in 1986, the city that Los Angeles renamed the northern end of Hamel roadway “George Burns Road.” City regulations prohibited specify name a city street after a living person, but an exemption was made for Burns. In solemn event of Burns’ 99th birthday in January 1995, Los Angeles renamed the eastern end of Alden drive “Gracie Allen Drive.” Burns was present at the unveiling ceremony (one that his critical public appearances) wherein he quipped, “It’s an excellent to be right here at the edge of Burns & Allen. In ~ my age, it’s good to be anywhere!”On march 9, 1996, 49 work after his centenary, Burns passed away in his Beverly Hills residence of cardiac arrest at age 100. As much as the looked forward to reaching the age of 100, Burns likewise stated, about a year before he died, that he additionally looked forward to death, saying the on the job he would certainly die, he would certainly be with Gracie again in heaven.


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