Sunday, June 15, 2014

STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO: FUNERAL OF GRACIE ALLEN

 
Here is the sad procession following the death of the great Gracie Allen on August 27, 1964 at the age of 62. Following casket of Gracie Allen in funeral procession at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park are husband, George Burns, holding handkerchief to face. Holding his arms are grandchildren, Laura, left, and Melissa Wilhoite. Behind them is Burns' son, Ronald. Among celebrities acting as pallbears are, from left in foreground, Jack Benny, Edward G. Robinson, Bobby Darin...

45 comments:

  1. Their son went by the name of Ronnie - he was also on the Burns & Allen Show - that's Forrest Lawn Glendale - many stars are also close by at Forrest Lawn Hollywood Hills. She was gone too soon. I adored their radio shows and later their TV Show.

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    1. In 1960 i was only 11yr
      But after all this year's i do very much remeber the Burns and. Some years ago i can recall when ask about Gracie he often spoke of her witth geat love
      .He loved and missed her dearly. im sure he's with the love of his life .

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  2. My husband commented once while we were watching George in something that when he saw clips of the funeral on TV when he was a kid, he thought he had never seen anyone look so sad as George Burns.

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  3. Very sad in that Gracie never received the accolades that she deserved. You could she the Burns & Allen program seemed like it was always over shadowed by I Love Lucy, certainly a top show no question by Gracie Allen should have also won an Emmy in the years she performed. Had she lived longer I'm sure she would have be recognized as a top comedian of her day, certainly in the same league as Lucy. Just that her comedic genius was different from Lucy's.

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    1. Lol, sure she did.

      From the 30's if you mentioned Gracie was well known just by her first name.

      In those days she was better known and loved than Lucy.

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    2. Gracie was real queen of comedy. Lucy under her then Gilda Radner. Gracie was the first. Damsel in Distress....MGM 1937 with Fred Astaire classic example.

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    3. Lucy has never made me laugh the way Gracie has.

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    4. I love Lucy, however Gracie had a born in natural talent. Honestly, her voice and actions also resemble my wife and I feel the same way about my wife as George did Gracie. I'm glad George never found out, I've always had a crush on Gracie.

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  4. better than lucy ever hoped to be gracie was simply grand

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  5. The biggest plus to cancelling my cable is that I now get Antenna TV and MeTV which offers great old program classics, one of which is The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.

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    1. I love the fact that Antenna TV has The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. I learned about Gracie back in the 1980's when in high school. This show was on another cable channel at the time and just loved it! George and Gracie forever.

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    2. I agree that I love Antenna TV. I have loved George and Gracie for years and still love them. I can only hope that they are together forever. They truly are a love story made in Heaven.

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    3. I love their show I watch every morning OK n Antenna Tv. George was boss back then.

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    4. Absolutely. I watch it every morning before going to work. It really puts a smile on my face!

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  6. They said that George had to practically be CARRIED into the church! George was confiding to Bobby Darin one day that he couldn't sleep since Gracie had passed. Bobby suggested that he sleep on Gracie's side of the bed. And LOW AND BEHOLD, it WORKED!!!! He LOVED Gracie so!!!!

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  7. Pam Dec. 16, 2016
    I have loved Burns and Allen for years. I was just a child watching the show with my parents, and still watch it. I laugh just as much now as I did then. I have read George's books about their life together and I am pleased that it is a true love story. I truly hope that they are together again and happy as ever. Good night, George and Gracie.

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  8. A day cannot go that I don't watch Gracie on Burns and Allen on YouTube. She lifts my spirits when they are down...and I am grateful to her for it.

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  9. While I had known of George and Gracie and grew up watching George solo (he would often mention her), like others here I also discovered George and Gracie on Antenna TV. I love their show. I think George was truly a genius and it scares me how much I love Gracie. There is something about her that touches me deep inside. We are all fortunate to have been graced by their lives. I too hope George and Gracie live on together somewhere together. If there's a heaven and Gracie's not there then I wouldn't want to be there.

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    1. Thank you for what you said. Your words about Gracie describe how I feel too. I too love Gracie so much it scares me, and I there is indeed something about her that touches me deep inside too. I am weepy-eyed even as write this.

      I suspect our strong feelings would scare poor Gracie Allen. They would scare me if I were her. Here she is just doing her job as a comic actress — and she did indeed view it as a job that brought great wealth and fame but a job she could and did happily walk away from when she finally decided no more — and here we are with these strong and deep seated feelings for her. However, apparently we're not very alone. However, I wish Gracie were my own secret treasure which no one else could appreciate or value so I could have her all to myself.

      I think her unique charm has something to do with her gentle humor, her sweetness, the seemingly innate kindness and dignity she communicates and the oft mentioned theatrical "honesty," meaning that she believes iś the character that we are compelled to suspend our disbelief and accept the personae we see on screen. In fact, George declared that she wasn't merely a good comedian; she was a great actor. There is also a great vulnerability about Gracie, like a defenseless animal, that makes one fiercely protective of her.

      That's all I can write at the moment. I've expressed myself as well as I can fir now, hoping to draw out some insight as to why I find Gracie so compelling. It is really nice to see someone else who has these deep feelings too. Thanks for posting. (It is late. I hope I'm not leaving any more typos, please pardon any you see.)

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  10. She was born in 1895 which would make her just 69 not 62.

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    1. If you look up newspapers,they say she was 58....makes no sense.

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    2. 69 is correct: July 26, 1895 – August 27, 1964. She was a heavy smoker, coming from a time before the dangers of smoking were realized. She had severe cardiac disease as a result yet this was before invasive cardiology existed; with heart failure patients all they could do was put them in a misting tent. In all probability today she would not have died as soon. Also it is being realized that the most important factor for heart disease is the LFHC diet of the last 40 years. So we can avoid premature death by changing to LCHF and of course not smoking.

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    3. Her grave is marked 1902 - Per Forrest Lawn Cemetery.

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    4. I have read extensively on Burns & Allen and seen many many photos of Gracie. Not one photo have I ever seen Gracie with a cigarette so I don't know where you obtained your information that she smoked heavily if at all? Gracie had to breath many years of George's second hand smoke from his cigars but I doubt if even this caused her heart problems. Her mother died prematurely from heart problems and it probably ran in the family. Had she lived today chances are they could have prolonged her life since they have become so advanced with heart problems.In the early 60's they still didn't have solutions for many aliments as of yet.

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  11. Gracie was the funniest comedienne of her time (if not any time). I used to watch them on late night tv growing up. I am so happy they are on Antenna TV! God bless her and Georges' souls. I know they are together in Heaven ❤.

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  12. Linda on 05-07- 2017 watching the show on Atv nowMay 7, 2017 at 12:54 AM

    i was just thinking the same exact
    computition because i am 69 and i thought how sad she still had a lot of
    life to live and a lot more comedy to
    give to people.

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    1. Look around online...newspapers say she was 58 and her vault says she was born 1902,but online says 1895...

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  13. George just didn't understand. They didn't tell him how sick Gracie really was. He sincerely thought that the nitro would cure what he thought were heart attacks. In those days there really wasn't anything anybody could do except give you nitro to control the angina. He was really blown away and shocked when he got to the hospital and they told her she didn't make it. She was apologizing to the EMS for being sweaty when she got into the ambulance. She was just worn out from all the stress of show business. She took it pretty hard and George loved it. He was astounded when she wanted to retire and ignored her for a couple of years until she finally told him enough was enough. She'd been doing it since she was a little girl. After the last show they went to a wrap party and at the end Gracie took a drink of champagne and said, "Well, that's it." She thanked the cast and crew and walked away and never looked back. She was always a lady in everything she did. Even screwball physical comedy she was always a lady.

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  14. You can order the film Honolulu on Amazon. Gracie and George are wonderful!

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  15. Gracie and George are wonderful in the old film 'Honolulu'. You can find it on Amazon!

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  16. As a little girl in the 80s I would watch this little old man whose cigar almost seem too big for his face. He would tell great jokes and always ended his set with "good night Gracie." I always wondered who Gracie was. I recently moved to a new city and discovered Antenna TV. I finally got to match a face with a name. It was great to see George Burns as a younger man and there was Gracie... Absolutely adorable and so funny.

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  17. I love them so. Gracie was a sweety and George was a boss Gracie could whatever she wanted he didn't care...He spoiled her I like at end if their show and says Goodnight when they backup he grabs for hand I love it.

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  18. Gracie was my fav.growing up
    I have never seen anyone so lost as George was when she died. Earlier, someone said George was so shocked when he got to the hospital & was told, "She didn't make it."
    Other accounts said, George was at her bedside when she died. However, there is one things for sure, she is still sadly missed & always remembered w/great affection

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    1. I have seen several interviews with George and he said the doctor came out of the room and said she didn’t make it. George went into the room to see her, bent down and kissed and asked “how could she do this, he still had a whole bottle full of pills (nitro). Ronnie said his father was inconsolable and never expected her death, even though she had been in poor health for the past few years. He visited her every month at Forest Lawn until his own death.

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  19. While I agree with your unqualified compliment of Gracie, George said that she was actually a very great actress, that she was lived her material in front of the camera so she creates the impression that the woman we see in TV is Gracie, when in fact, the real Gracie Allen was someone else altogether. After Feacie died her co-star Bea Benaderet (who played Blanche Morton) called her the greatest actress of their generation. Every once in a great while you get to see Gracie deliver a dramatic line or two, and you can get a tiny crack through which to observe her acting depth and breadth.

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  20. Nobody EVER had a greater comedic voice AND timing than Gracie. She was just amazing. George knew she was not only special,...but a gold mine.

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  21. Interesting pallbearers, I take it Edward G. Robinson and Bobby Darin were there since they were friends of George Burns. I can just imagine how many mourned Gracie's death.

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  22. Im will be 44 years old aug. 3rd 2018. A fews years back i stumbled upon the burns and allen show and i truley believe she was the funniest lady i have ever watched on telivision and were talking a life span away from each other. I remember george as a young boy in o'god. I would have just loved to had a conversation with her. How could it not brighten anyones day. Thank you Mrs. Gracie Allen.

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  23. I've had the pleasure of reading all the prior comments and agree wholeheartedly. I'm almost 80 yes old and ant TV and metv have given me the opportunity to relive these wonderful old Burns and Allen productions. But I'd like to make a few brief comments not yet mentioned in the previous comments.
    First is the beautiful fashion icon Gracie was on the show for its era. Everyone actually. But Gracie in particular. But most special was their ability to write and act timeless comedy that we still appreciate and laugh at today without the necessity of vulgar themes or the use of profanity. No one was ever demeaned to embarrass or belittle. It's such a joy to realize all these years later that we can still laugh and enjoy a program without the inclusion of outrageous themes and vulgarity. Perhaps, the heads of programing for the studios in our current times could learn by joining us in watching George and Gracie. It was classic good humor delivered by 2 pros with the gifts and skills of acting and timing.

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  24. She had such wit! I was always amazed at her comedic abilities. Lucy was a far 2nd yo her in the talent category...but nobody matched Lucy on the production side....she introduced so many other comedy shows to tv you would be amazed!

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  25. She was wonderful.

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  26. If any body knows anything about comedy and I am talking Funny,Funny Funny. Watch The George Burns and The Gracie Allen Show..They were Great together! The cast were excellent actors as well. I'm awake every morning to watch George and Gracie. It's the start of my morning laughin....Love George and Gracie Burns💕💕💕💕💕

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  27. Adorably cute, endlessly witty, that's Gracie and George! LOVE them separately, love them together, and the supporting cast is great, too: Harry Von Zell, Larry Keating, and the beautiful Bea Benadaret, who I only knew from Petticoat Junction! Ronnie was hot!

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  28. I discovered Gracie Allen On late night TV. I was amazed at the way she delivered lines and her comedic timing. This banter between her and George was also very well written.
    Gracie was truly funny, and very believable. On the show she always had this funny way of explaining something. She was one of a kind, very good at what she did, and made me laugh every time. Thank you Miss Allen for sharing your gift, it was greatly appreciated.

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