George Burns - Rotten Tomatoes

George Burns

Highest Rated:   100% The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   New York City, New York
American comedian George Burns had a taste for show business from his youth on New York's Lower East Side, and by the time he was seven he and his buddies had formed a singing group called the Pee Wee Quartet. Amateur shows led to small-time vaudeville, where Burns faced rejection time and again, often gaining jobs from people who had fired him earlier through the simple expedient of constantly changing his professional name. Usually working as part of a song-and-snappy-patter team, he was in the process of breaking up with his latest partner Billy Lorraine in 1922 when he met a pretty young singer/dancer named Gracie Allen. The game plan for this new team was to have Gracie play the "straight man" and George the comic, but so ingenuous and lightheaded was Gracie's delivery that the audience laughed at her questions and not at George's answers. Burns realized he'd have to reverse the roles and become the straight man for the act to succeed, and within a few years Burns and Allen was one of the hottest acts in vaudeville, with George writing the material and Gracie garnering the laughs. George and Gracie married in 1926; thereafter the team worked on stage, in radio, in movies (first in a series of one-reel comedies, then making their feature debut in 1932's The Big Broadcast) and ultimately in television, seldom failing to bring down the house with their basic "dizzy lady, long-suffering man" routine. Though the public at large believed that Gracie had all the talent, show business insiders knew that the act would have been nothing without George's brilliant comic input; indeed, George was often referred to by his peers as "The Comedian's Comedian". Gracie decided to retire in 1958, after which George went out on his own in television and in nightclubs, to less than spectacular success. After Gracie's death in 1964, George concentrated on television production (he had vested interests in several series, among them Mr. Ed) and for a nervous few years tried using other comic actresses in the "Gracie" role for his club appearances. But it wasn't the same; George Burns would be first to admit there was only one Gracie Allen. Though he never retired, Burns was more or less out of the consciousness of moviegoers until he was hired at the last minute to replace his late friend Jack Benny in the film version of Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys (1975). His performance as a cantankerous old vaudeville comic won him an Oscar, and launched a whole new career for the octogenarian entertainer as a solo movie star. Perhaps his most conspicuous achievement in the late 1970s was his portrayal of the Almighty Spirit - with distinct Palace Theatre undertones - in Oh, God! (1977). Even after reaching his centennial year, Burns remained as sharp-witted as ever. Less than three months after his 100th birthday Burns passed away. But fans can take comfort because Burns has gone beyond the realm of Show Business Legend; he is practically an immortal.

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Bing Crosby - Bing Crosby's White Christmas All Star Show
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet Gracie Allen
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet The Big Broadcast of 1937
  • Mr. Platt
2001
No Score Yet Let Me In - I Hear Laughter: A Tribute to the Friars Club
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet George Burns - An American Legend
  • Actor
1996
No Score Yet George Burns: 100 Years of Comedy
  • Actor
1995
24% Radioland Murders
  • Milt
1994
No Score Yet Wisecracks
  • Actor
1993
29% 18 Again!
  • Jack Watson/David Watson
1988
No Score Yet George Burns: His Wit and Wisdom
  • Actor
1988
40% Oh, God! You Devil
  • God / Harry O. Tophet
1984
No Score Yet Two of a Kind
  • Ross 'Boppy' Minor
1982
No Score Yet George Burns in Concert
  • Actor
1982
50% Oh, God! Book II
  • God
1980
No Score Yet Just You and Me, Kid
  • Bill
1979
89% Going in Style
  • Joe
1979
No Score Yet Movie Movie
  • Actor
1978
15% Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • Mr. Kite
1978
72% Oh, God!
  • God
1977
81% The Sunshine Boys
  • Al Lewis
1975
No Score Yet Bobby Darin - The Darin Invasion
  • Actor
1970
No Score Yet George Burns Show
  • Actor
1959
No Score Yet The All-Star Christmas Show (Bing Crosby - Bing Crosby's White Christmas USO All Star Show)
  • Actor
1958
100% The Solid Gold Cadillac
  • Narrator
1956
No Score Yet Honolulu
  • Joe Duffy
1939
No Score Yet College Swing
  • George Jonas
1938
80% A Damsel in Distress
  • George
1937
No Score Yet College Holiday
  • George Hymen
1936
No Score Yet The Big Broadcast of 1937
  • Actor
1936
No Score Yet The Big Broadcast of 1936
  • George
1935
No Score Yet Love in Bloom
  • George
1935
No Score Yet Here Comes Cookie
  • Himself
1935
No Score Yet We're Not Dressing
  • George
1934
No Score Yet Six of a Kind
  • George Edwards
1934
No Score Yet College Humor
  • George
1933
No Score Yet Elmer, the Great
  • Ballplayer
1933
No Score Yet International House
  • Doctor Burns
1933
No Score Yet The Big Broadcast
  • George
1932
No Score Yet Conversation With George Burns
  • Actor
No Score Yet Christmas Compilation
  • Actor

Quotes from George Burns' Characters