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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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ROFL: 1955

ROFL: 1955

Los Angeles, 1955. "Comedians George Burns and Gracie Allen." Color trans­parency for the Look magazine assignment "Fall TV Preview." View full size.

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Half sleeves

From what I've read in the past, Gracie always wore outfits with half sleeves, to hide a large scar on her right forearm, due to a burn from boiling water suffered in childhood.


One of the neat things about their TV shows was George would often talk directly to the camera and tell us about what was about to happen. Neat gimmick.

The Last Laugh

Gracie may be getting the last laugh. She was always elusive about her age. Even now in the information age some sites give her birth year as 1895 while others state 1902 or even 1905. One site revealed an explanation which apparently Gracie may have taken advantage of. Her birth records were destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. When the 1900 census became public in 1972, her birth year was said to be 1895, but the discrepancy still exists even on her grave marker.

"Say goodnight, Gracie."

"Goodnight Gracie."


Yes, sure does look like she has different colored eyes.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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