George Burns (born Nathan Birnbaum) was an American comedian, actor, writer, and singer, and one of the few entertainers whose career successfully spanned vaudeville, radio, film and television. His arched eyebrow and cigar-smoke punctuation became familiar trademarks for over three-quarters of a century. He and his wife Gracie Allen appeared on radio, television and film as the comedy duo Burns and Allen. George is the younger brother of Springfield businessman Charles Montgomery Burns. At the age of 79, Burns experienced a sudden career revival as an amiable, beloved and unusually active comedy elder statesman in the 1975 film The Sunshine Boys, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Burns was only a Tony Award shy of being one of the few EGOT award recipients in the American entertainment industry, winning an Emmy, a Grammy, and an Oscar. Burns became a centenarian in 1996, continuing to work until just weeks before his death of cardiac arrest at his home in Beverly Hills, shortly after his hundredth birthday.
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