- NAME: Gracie Allen
- OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Comedian, Singer
- BIRTH DATE: July 26, 1905
- DEATH DATE: August 27, 1964
- EDUCATION: Star of the Sea Convent School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: San Francisco, California
- PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California
- Full Name: Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen
- AKA: Grace Allen
Best Known For
One of America's best-loved comediennes, Gracie Allen developed the Burns and Allen weekly radio program with husband George Burns.
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Born in 1905 in San Francisco, California, Gracie Allen became one of America's best-loved comediennes in the 1930s. In the early 1920s, she and future husband George Burns began working as a comedy duo and started a highly popular weekly radio program, The Burns and Allen Comedy Show, which popularized the domestic situation comedy. In the 1930s, the duo starred in a number of films for Paramount Studios, including The Big Broadcast,
"When I was born I was so surprised I didn't talk for a year and a half."
"This used to be a government of checks and balances. Now it's all checks and no balances."
"I realize that the president of today is merely the postage stamp of tomorrow."
Six of a Kind and College Holiday. In 1950, Burns and Allen moved to television. In 1958, Allen retired from show business. She died on August 27, 1964, in Los Angeles, California.
Famed actress, singer and comedian Gracie Allen was born Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen on July 26, 1905, in San Francisco, California, the daughter of Edward Allen, an entertainer, and Margaret Darragh. When she was only 3 years old, Allen made her stage debut with her father, a local entertainer. She was educated at the Star of the Sea Convent, a Catholic girls' school, but left school at the age of 14 to permanently join her father and three older sisters on the stage.
Soon, the Allen sisters signed with the Larry Reilly Company, which began to feature Gracie's Irish songs and dancing. After several seasons of touring, she quit the troupe in a dispute over billing. Unhappy with her stage career, she enrolled in a secretarial school.
While attending school in 1922, Allen visited backstage at the Union Theater in Union Hill, New Jersey. She had learned from friends that the comedy team of George Burns and William Lorraine would soon break up, and Lorraine would need another partner. Mistaking Burns for Lorraine, she inquired about forming a team. After three days, Burns confessed his true identity, but Allen vowed to give the act a chance.
The new team of Burns and Allen opened at the Hill Street Theater in Newark, New Jersey. Recognizing that Allen was a natural comedian, Burns rewrote their sketches to give her the witty lines and assumed for himself a secondary role. The performances relied heavily on Allen's singing and dancing talents and always concluded with Allen dancing an exuberant Irish jig. After three years of traveling together, Burns and Allen married on January 7, 1926, in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1926, Burns developed a routine entitled Lamb Chops, which played at the Jefferson Theater in New York City. Then the Keith Theater chain signed them to a five-year contract: Burns and Allen had reached top billing in vaudeville. While performing on European stages for Keith, the couple made their radio debut over the British Broadcasting Corporation's network. The new medium seemed tailored to their intimate style of comedy. By the late 1920's, Burns and Allen were one of the most popular acts in the United States.
Toward the end of 1930, they appeared for nine weeks at New York's Palace Theater, headlining a program billed as marking vaudeville's end. Several weeks later, Eddie Cantor asked Allen to be a guest on his radio program.
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George Burns met Gracie Allen in 1922, and they married in 1926. Their highly successful vaudeville act featured George as the straight man to Gracie's zany antics. The couple created its best-known sketch for radio, a situation comedy starring themselves as a working show-business couple. They carried the format to television in 1948, including next-door neighbors Harry and Blanche Morton, Gracie's infamous illogical logic, and the signature "Say goodnight, Gracie" at the show's close. The duo also made films, including an Oscar-nominated turn in A Damsel in Distress with Fred Astaire.
George Burns and Gracie Allen 2 people in this group
Famous Irish-Americans 80 people in this group
Famous Leos 523 people in this group