George Burns, born Nathan Birnbaum, was a successful vaudeville, TV, and movie comedian for nearly nine decades. After his father's death, Burns left school in the fourth grade to go to work shining shoes, running errands, and selling newspapers. While employed at a local candy shop, Burns and his young coworkers decided to go into show business as the Peewee Quartet. After the group broke up, Burns continued to work with a partner, usually a girl, and was the funny one in the group until he met Gracie Allen in 1923. Burns and Allen got married, but didn't become stars until George flipped the act and made Gracie the funny one. They continued to work together in vaudeville, radio, television, and movies until Gracie retired in 1958. Burns continued performing almost until the day he died in March 1996.
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