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Gracie Allen Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (32) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 26 July 1895San Francisco, California, USA
Date of Death 27 August 1964Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameGrace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen
Nickname Googie
Height 5' (1.52 m)

Mini Bio (1)

She and her husband-to-be became the comedy team of Burns & Allen in 1922 (she was the daft one). They remained spouses and performing partners until her passing.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bill Takacs <kinephile@aol.com>

Spouse (1)

George Burns (7 January 1926 - 27 August 1964) (her death) (2 children)

Trade Mark (2)

Her scatterbrained antics to George Burns' straight man
Innocent, high-pitched voice

Trivia (32)

Attending secretarial school, Gracie was invited by her roommate to Union Hill, New Jersey, to see if she was interested in working with either member of an act that was splitting up. The act was George Burns and Billy Lorraine, and she chose George.
In 1922, she and George Burns made their first performance at the Hill Street Theatre in Newark, New Jersey, where they were paid $5 per day. George saw that the audience not only found Gracie's character funny but they fell in love with her, and he did, too. He immediately changed the act to give her all the funny lines and played her straight man. They became a hit.
George Burns called Gracie "Googie", while she called him "Natty".
Interred along with husband George Burns at Forest Lawn (Glendale), Glendale, California, in the Freedom Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Heritage.
Had one blue eye and one green.
The 1939 film The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939) was especially written for her by the creator of Philo Vance, writer S.S. Van Dine. It was one of the few times she appeared on-screen without her husband, George Burns, though he was on the set to support her.
Most people did not know when she was born, as her birth certificate was lost during the California earthquake in 1906, and she was usually evasive about her age. Her family was even forced to guess her birthdate for her death certificate, settling on 1902. Her true age would not be revealed until 1972, when the 1900 Census became public, and gave her actual birth year as 1895.
Began having mild heart attacks in the late 1950s, which continued until her death in 1964.
The Gracie Allen rose (scientific name Rosa 'WEKuyreg') is named for her.
During her run on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950), she stood only 5 feet tall and weighed a dainty, petite 100 pounds.
The words "Together Again" are engraved on her and George Burns' crypt at the Freedom Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California. This inscription replaced the previous one, "Good Night, Gracie", which appeared on the crypt prior to George's death. She is interred to the left of him as you view the crypt, not above him as has been previously reported, along with the explanation that George "wanted her to have top billing".
She and George Burns have two adopted children, Sandra Burns and Ronald John (Ronnie Burns).
Started out in an Irish dancing group called "The Allen Sisters" with her three older sisters, Bessie, Hazel and Pearl.
Her father left the family - her, her mother, her three sisters and one brother when she was 5 years old, and she never spoke of him again.
When she went to work with George Burns, she was engaged to another man. It took four years for George to change her mind, but they went on to become one of the best remembered couples in Hollywood history.
"The Burns & Allen Show" (on CBS and NBC from 1934 to 1950) was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1994.
Declined only one photo session request in her career, when she was asked to pose outside a mental hospital; husband George Burns compared this to having Mae West pose outside a brothel.
Had a fear of water and drowning; took swimming lessons secretly to be able to teach her children.
Staged a mock Presidential campaign in 1940; the theme of her campaign speech appeared to be "My girdle is killing me."
Suffered occasional migraines, which sometimes lasted for days; the only thing that seemed to help was a tight bandana, and bed rest in absolute quiet.
Accidentally spilled a pot of boiling water on her arm as a child, which left a bad scar she kept concealed for the rest of her life (her one big wish was to wear a strapless evening gown and no gloves, just once).
Their running gags: Gracie's endless relatives, the elaborate search for Gracie's "missing brother" (who actually left town in the wake of the publicity), Gracie's infatuation with matinée idol Charles Boyer, Gracie's enthusiasm for George's singing.
The annual Gracie Allen Awards are presented by American Women in Radio and Television, Inc., to programs by, for and about women.
Graduated from Star of the Sea School for Girls [now co-ed] in San Francisco; graduation ceremony was held in the Columbia Theatre [now American Conservatory Theatre] on 19 June 1914.
In 1949, she missed a radio show when she had a migraine so bad she couldn't get out of bed. She was replaced by Jane Wyman, who had won the Best Actress Oscar earlier that year. It turned out to be the only performance she missed in over 35 years of performing with George Burns.
Her idol and first childhood crush was Charles Chaplin.
In the early 1940s, during the height of their popularity, George Burns had a brief extramarital affair. He felt so guilty, he bought her an extravagant silver centerpiece for the dining room table, but since neither brought up the affair even once, he assumed she knew nothing about it. Years later, when Gracie had a friend over for coffee, George overheard her say, "You know, I wish George would cheat on me again. I'd really like a new centerpiece for the table".
Had a driver's license, issued under her married name, Grace Burns. Was once pulled over by a policeman, who thought the license was fake because it didn't give her last name as Allen.
Although she was in love with another man when they first met, George Burns carried a ring in his pocket until she finally agreed to marry him.
Pictured with husband George Burns on a 44¢ USA commemorative postage stamp, issued 11 August 2009, in the Early TV Memories issue honoring The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950).
Has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6672 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Profiled in the book "Funny Ladies" by Stephen Silverman.

Personal Quotes (5)

[explaining her "Gracie Allen" character] Gracie isn't really crazy. She makes sense in an illogical sort of way. She's off-center. Not quite right really, but nearly right.
[explaining her "Gracie Allen" character] Gracie thought she was terribly smart. Gracie's character was different. Gracie thought everybody was out of step but her. She was always helping people. She was always sorry for you. Like if she would say, "My sister got up in the middle of the night, she screamed, she looked down at her feet and they turned black". You would say to her, "What did she do?" She was sorry for you for asking that question. She thought you were pretty dumb not to know what to do if your feet turned black. "She took off her stocking and went to sleep again."
[explaining her "Gracie Allen" character] Gracie's the kind of girl who shortens the cord on the electric iron to save electricity.
[on George Burns] My husband will never chase another woman. He's too fine, too decent, too old.
[In a campaign speech (1940) when she was running opposite FDR on the 'Surprise Party' ticket] As I look around me and see all all these trusting and believing faces shining up at me with love and respect, tears come into my eyes. And do you know why? My girdle is killing me.

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