Courtesy of Corbis-Bettmann

George Burns 1896-1996

Born Nathan Birnbaum, comedian, actor, and writer George Burns was known for his arched eyebrows and cigar smoke. His career took off when he met Grace Allen in the early 1920s and the two became a vaudeville team, with Allen known as a "Dumb Dora" and Burns as the man who had to explain everything to her. Burns and Allen married in 1926, and they entertained audiences for more than 40 years on stage, film, and television. After Allen's death in 1964, Burns struggled to redefine himself, but ultimately found success in films such as The Sunshine Boys (1975) and Oh, God! (1977).