Gracie Allen


Actor, Comedian
Gracie Allen

About

Also Known As
Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen
Birth Place
San Francisco, California, USA
Born
July 26, 1906
Died
August 28, 1964
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

Biography

Gracie Allen was known for more than three decades as the lovably scatterbrained better half of George Burns. Abandoned by her singer-dancer father when she was five, Gracie was by then a two-year stage veteran appearing in a dancing act with her two sisters. At eighteen, Gracie met Burns who was looking for a new comedy partner. Gracie and George teamed for a vaudeville routine with Gr...

Family & Companions

George Burns
Husband
Entertainer, comedian, actor. Married from January 7, 1926 until her death; adopted two children Ronald and Sandra.

Notes

Inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame posthumously in 1988

Biography

Gracie Allen was known for more than three decades as the lovably scatterbrained better half of George Burns. Abandoned by her singer-dancer father when she was five, Gracie was by then a two-year stage veteran appearing in a dancing act with her two sisters. At eighteen, Gracie met Burns who was looking for a new comedy partner. Gracie and George teamed for a vaudeville routine with Gracie initially taking the "straight" role until George realized her impeccable comic timing made even straight lines funny. From then on, Gracie delivered the punch lines featuring her peculiarly dizzy sense of logic. The couple married in 1926 and in 1932 became regulars on Guy Lombardo's radio program. After Lombardo left in 1934, the couple hosted their own CBS show "The Adventures of Gracie," which in 1935 became "The Campbell's Tomato Juice Program," before having a succession of different sponsors. One of the couple's most successful gags was a year-long search for Gracie's supposedly missing brother, which took them to various other programs looking for him. In 1940, Gracie announced her run for President on the Surprise Party ticket, garnering 42,000 write-in votes. Gracie and George performed in several Paramount shorts and motion pictures including the detective drama "The Gracie Allen Murder Case" in which Gracie appeared without George. In 1948, the couple took their show to CBS and two years later began the hugely popular television program "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show," which continued until Gracie's retirement in 1958.

Life Events

Photo Collections

A Damsel in Distress - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several photos taken during production of RKO's A Damsel in Distress (1937), directed by George Stevens and starring Fred Astaire, Joan Fontaine, and George Burns & Gracie Allen.

Videos

Movie Clip

Honolulu (1939) - I'm Liable To Get Killed! Movie star Brooks (Robert Young) recovering from the last time he was mobbed during an east-coast PR swing, getting out of the hospital with the help of hustling agent Duffy (George Burns), with a poor result, in MGM’s Honolulu, 1939, also starring Eleanor Powell and Gracie Allen.
Honolulu (1939) - Throw Myself At Him? Robert Young, in a dual role, here is movie star Books Mason, who’s traded places with his look-alike Hawaiian plantation owner George, cruising home for two weeks of peace and quiet, when he’s recognized by cruise ship entertainer Millie (Gracie Allen), who must tell pal Dot (Eleanor Powell), the first scene for both gals, in MGM’s Honolulu, 1939.
Honolulu (1939) - Title Song Cruise ship entertainers Millie (Gracie Allen) and Dot (Eleanor Powell) persuaded to perform, the title song, an original by Harry Warren and Gus Kahn, Gracie with the vocal then Eleanor, choreographed by Bobby Connelly, handling the jump rope with ease, in Honolulu, 1939, from MGM and producer Jack Cummings.
College Humor (1933) - Colleen Of Killarney Mary Kornman is daffy co-ed Amber, inquiring with George Burns and Gracie Allen, who appear here unbidden in their first scene, using their own names, before their radio show, known mostly at the time for Paramount one-reelers, maneuvering into an un-credited song, in Paramount’s sprawling College Humor, 1933.
College Swing (1938) - When You Get To Be A Professor Gracie Allen is Gracie “Alden,” in the 200-year old original structure of the college her family stands to inherit if she, on this last chance, can pass a graduation exam, cheating miraculously from a laundry list, George Burns her interrogator representing the administration, Cecil Cunningham on the board, in College Swing, 1938.
College Swing (1938) - You Will Positively Graduate! After she played her ancestor in a colonial prologue, Gracie Allen is the last member of her wealthy family with the chance 200-years later to take ownership of the college by graduating, and Bob Hope introduces himself as an eager tutor after her fees, early in Paramount’s College Swing, 1938, also starring George Burns.
Damsel In Distress, A (1937) - Stiff Upper Lip Just the first part of the endless amusement-park dance number staged by Hermes Pan, with Fred Astaire, George Burns and Gracie Allen, frolicking to George and Ira Gershwin's original Stiff Upper Lip, from A Damsel In Distress, 1937.
Big Broadcast Of 1937, The (1936) - A Trifle Ambiguous Radio director Carson (Jack Benny) hasn’t satisfied his golf-ball dynasty sponsors the Platts (George Burns and daffy Gracie Allen), so agent Bob (Ray Milland) suggests they sample singer Frank Rossman (Frank Forest), with a Robin and Rainger tune, in Paramount’s The Big Broadcast Of 1937, 1936.
College Holiday (1936) - Call Me By My Greek Name! Blowsy Mary Boland and her buffoon spouse (Etienne Girardot) are trying to explain their daffy Eugenics plan to promoter Jack Benny, when we cut to her daughter, who is Gracie Allen, believing she has found the perfect man, in George Burns, in Paramount's College Holiday, 1936.
Mr. & Mrs. North - Opening, Pam Opening title sequence from the Gracie Allen detective comedy Mr. & Mrs. North, 1942, from the stories by Richard and Frances Lockridge, introducing Gracie as "Pam" and William Post Jr. as "Gerry."
Mr. & Mrs. North - Literary Termite Pam (Gracie Allen) is a little too forthcoming as she and spouse Gerry (William Post Jr.) are debriefed by Detective Mullins (Millard Mitchell) in Mr. & Mrs. North, 1942.
Mr. & Mrs. North - Don't Lose Your Head! Pam (Gracie Allen) confounds husband Gerry (William Post Jr.) with her reasoning before finding a body in the closet in Mr. & Mrs. North, 1942, from the stories by Richard and Frances Lockridge.

Family

Ronald Burns
Son
Actor. Adopted; survived her.
Sandra Burns
Daughter
Adopted; survived her.

Companions

George Burns
Husband
Entertainer, comedian, actor. Married from January 7, 1926 until her death; adopted two children Ronald and Sandra.

Bibliography

Notes

Inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame posthumously in 1988