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George Burns (1896-1996) was a vaudeville-trained comedian, actor and singer.
His earliest fame came from co-starring with his wife, Gracie Allen, as the team of Burns and Allen. Burns played the straight man to his wife's dizzy antics and unique logic. Their partnership spanned stage work, films (including A Damsel in Distress with Fred Astaire), and the long-running Burns and Allen radio series, which began in 1932 and lasted until 1950. The show was then transferred to television (retitled The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show), and ran until 1958, when Gracie Allen retired.
Following Allen's death in 1964, Burns made a comeback in 1975, replacing his late friend Jack Benny as Walter Matthau's aging vaudeville partner in The Sunshine Boys (1975). The role netted Burns the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. For the rest of his life, Burns enjoyed a popular image as a remarkably active old comedian who could easily hold his own against any younger rival. This was followed by Oh, God! (co-starring John Denver) and its sequels, amongst other roles.
Burns died on March 9, 1996, nearly two months after reaching 100.
- 1977: Guest-starred on Episode 210 of The Muppet Show. He was 81 years old at the time it was filmed. Although he was born four months before Señor Wences, and is thus the first of the Muppet Show guest stars to be born, Señor Wences was actually 84 (and thus older) when he filmed episode 508 three years later.
- A cameo intended for Burns appears in the original script for The Muppet Movie, as a cigar-smoking bait-shop owner named "George," Kermit's old friend in the swamp. For unknown reasons, this scene did not appear in the movie, and was probably never filmed.