George Burns (born Nathan Birnbaum; Yiddish: נתן בירנבוים; January 20, 1896 – March 9, 1996) was an American comedian, actor, singer, and writer. He was one of the few entertainers whose career successfully spanned vaudeville, radio, film and television. His arched eyebrow and cigar-smoke punctuation became familiar trademarks for over three quarters of a century. He and his wife, Gracie Allen, appeared on radio, television, and film as the comedy duo Burns and Allen.
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I used to say, watching two elderly women crossing the street in flowered hats, holding each other's arms, "Look at those cute old ladies." I didn't mind the stereotypes that pepper movies and television shows. Now old people are no longer cute or mean or silly or wise to me. They are people, in all their broken fullness. Despite the glitches in faculties and functioning, anyone who's lived that long has learned something the rest of us don't know.
Even very recently, the elders could say [to the youths]: "You know, I have been young and you never have been old." But today's young people can reply: "You never have been young in the world I am young in, and you never can be." . . . This break between generations is wholly new: it is planetary and universal.