Wednesday, February 25, 2015

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George Burns & Gracie Allen, Radio Mirror Magazine, May 1948 young celebrities
Image by The Bees Knees Daily It's wild to see George Burns so young...I only remember him being old! "George Burns (January 20, 1896 â€" March 9, 1996), born Nathan Birnbaum, was an American comedian, actor, and writer. 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. At the age of 79, Burns' career was resurrected as an amiable, beloved and unusually active old comedian in the 1975 film The Sunshine Boys, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He continued to work until shortly before his death, in 1996, at the age of 100." Credit Wikipedia Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie "Gracie" Allen (July 26, 1895[1][2] â€" August 27, 1964), was an American comedienne who became internationally famous as the zany partner and comic foil of husband George Burns. She made her first appearance on stage at age three and was given her first chance On Air by Eddie Cantor. She was educated at the Star of the Sea Convent School and during that time became a talented dancer. She soon began performing Irish folk dances with her three sisters, who were billed as "The Four Colleens." In 1909 Allen joined her sister, Bessie, as a vaudeville performer. At a performance in 1922 Allen met George Burns and the two formed a comedy act. The two were married on January 7, 1926, in Cleveland, Ohio. In the early 1930s, like many stars of their era, Burns and Allen graduated to radio. The show was originally a continuation of their original "flirtation act" (as their vaudeville and short film routines had been). Burns realized that they were simply too old for that material ("Our jokes were too young for us", he later remarked) and changed the show's format in the fall of 1941 into the situation comedy vehicle for which they are best remembered: a working show business married couple negotiating ordinary problems caused by Gracie's "illogical logic," usually with the help of neighbors Harry and Blanche Morton, and their announcer, Bill Goodwin (later replaced by Harry von Zell during the run of their television series). Around 1948 Burns and Allen became part of the CBS talent raid. Their good friend (and frequent guest star) Jack Benny had decided to jump from NBC over to CBS. William S. Paley, the mastermind of CBS, had recently made it openly clear that he believed talent and not the network made the difference, which was not the case at NBC. Benny convinced Burns and Allen (among others) to join him in the move to CBS. The Burns and Allen radio show became part of the CBS lineup and a year later they also brought their show to television. They continued to use the formula which had kept them longtime radio stars, playing themselves only now as television stars, still living next door to Harry and Blanche Morton. They concluded each show with a brief dialogue performance in the style of their classic vaudeville and earlier radio routines. Allen retired in 1958, and Burns tried to soldier on without her. The show was renamed The George Burns Show with the cast intact except for Allen. The locale of the show was changed from the Burns home to George Burns' office, with Blanche Morton working as Burns' secretary so she could help Allen keep an eye on him. Allen's absence was only too obvious and impossible to overcome. The renamed show barely lasted a year." Credit: Wikipedia

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Image by gcoldironjr2003 ca. 2004 --- Singer Ciara Biting Cigar --- Image by © Jerome Albertini/Corbis