George Burns

Comedian, Film actor

1896 – 1996


Who was George Burns?

George Burns, 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.

Famous Quotes:

  • You know you're getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you're down there.
  • If it's a good script I'll do it. And if it's a bad script, and they pay me enough, I'll do it.
  • It's hard for me to get used to these changing times. I can remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty.
  • I'd rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate.
  • It's good to be here. At 98, it's good to be anywhere.
  • How can I die? I'm booked.
  • You've got to be honest; if you can fake that, you've got it made.
  • Life's but a day at most.
  • Look to the future, because that is where you'll spend the rest of your life.
  • Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.

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Jan 20, 1896
New York City
Also known as
  • Nathan Birnbaum
  • Nattie
  • George N. Burns
  • Nattie Birnbaum
  • Burns
  • Naftaly Birnbaum
  • Naftaly (Nathan) Birnbaum
  • Judaism
  • Ashkenazi Jews
  • Jewish people
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • New York City
Mar 9, 1996
Beverly Hills
Resting place

on July 23, 2013


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


"George Burns." STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Nov. 2021. <>.

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