Cigar-smoking comedian and partner of Gracie Allen whose career thrived in its transitions between vaudeville, film, radio, and television.
His father died in the 1903 influenza epidemic. When Burns was seven, his singing talent was discovered while working as a syrup maker in a local candy store.
He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1975 film adaptation of The Sunshine Boys.
He married Gracie Allen in 1926, and the couple adopted two children named Sandra and Ronnie.