Born Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen, July 26, 1906, in San Francisco, Gracie Allen had been on the vaudeville stage since the age of three. At the time she met George, however, Gracie was enrolled in secretarial school in New York City, feeling that show business life was too uncertain to ever offer a real living. But the spark had not totally faded, and one evening in 1923 after accompanying a friend to watch the about-to-split up act of Burns and Lorraine in Union Hill, New Jersey, the girls went backstage where a dapper young George convinced Gracie to become his new partner. In actuality, Gracie had found she hated to type and therefore decided to take the plunge back into show business, although George always felt it was really his "irresistible charm" that convinced her!

Although they weren’t an overnight sensation, Burns and Allen received a lot of bookings, many as a "disappointment act," to replace another act that for some reason had cancelled at the last minute. Still, they worked their way up as George continued to perfect his writing skills behind the scenes, and onstage played the straight man to Gracie’s dizzy character with her "illogical logic." One classic example of Gracie's on-stage persona occurred when she was asked by an interviewer about her childhood, "Were you the oldest one in the family?" . . . . "No, no," Gracie quickly replied, "My mother and father were much older ! "

It may seem surprising, but in the beginning of their partnership, George and Gracie’s roles were actually reversed, with Gracie playing the straight character and George having the funny lines. However, it was soon apparent that Gracie was actually getting more laughs with her stylish delivery of the straight lines than George was with his comic responses. He decided to switch their roles, and Burns and Allen began their upward climb.

In 1925, their first big break came when they were booked to play the Orpheum circuit for a total of 16 weeks. They were married on January 7, 1926, in Cleveland, Ohio, by a justice of the peace. Shortly after their marriage, Burns and Allen broke in their new act, the now famous "Lamb Chops." It was an immediate hit, and they were soon signed to a five-year contract on the Keith-Orpheum circuit and played to huge crowds all across the country.

In the middle of their hectic schedule, George and Gracie still found time to make movies, and between 1933-1939 they appeared in a total of thirteen features, including College Humor, We’re Not Dressing, Here Comes Cookie, Big Broadcast of 1936, and Honolulu. Additionally, Gracie appeared in three films on her own between 1939 and 1944.

On the personal side, by the mid-1930s, the energetic young couple were ready to start a family, and in 1934 they adopted a baby boy, Ronnie. About this time, the Burnses also moved into a permanent home in Beverly Hills, where the children grew up and where George and Gracie resided for the rest of their lives.

"The Burns and Allen Show" remained one of the top radio shows during its nearly 20-year run with 45 million listeners tuning in each week. By 1950 George felt they were ready for the new medium of television. The show transferred well, and for the next eight years on CBS, Burns and Allen entertained audiences with plotlines revolving around home life, neighbors, and even vaudeville routines.

Gracie retired from show business in 1958, while George went on to pursue an independent career. In August of 1964, Gracie Allen died of a heart attack in Los Angeles.