David Burns (actor)

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David Burns
Born (1902-06-22)June 22, 1902
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died March 12, 1971(1971-03-12) (aged 68)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1918-1971
Spouse(s) Mildred Todd

David Burns (June 22, 1902 – March 12, 1971) was an American Broadway theatre and motion picture actor and singer.[1][2]

Life and career

Burns was born on Mott Street in the Manhattan Chinatown of New York City He was the son of Harry and Dora Burns of Brooklyn. He made his Broadway debut in 1921 in Polly Preferred and went to London with the show in 1924.[3] His first musical was Face the Music in 1932, Cole Porter's Nymph Errant (1936) was his London debut, and he appeared in many comedies and musicals over an almost 50-year career. He won two Tony Awards for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, for his performances as "Mayor Shinn" in The Music Man and as "Senex" in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.[4] Burns introduced the hit song "It Takes a Woman" from Hello, Dolly as the original "Horace Vandergelder".[5]

David Burns also won an Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor – Drama Series for his role of Mr Solomon in the 1971 TV episode (Hallmark Hall of Fame) "The Price" by Arthur Miller.

He died on stage, of a heart attack, in Philadelphia during the out-of-town tryout of Kander and Ebb's musical 70, Girls, 70.

Selected Work


Further reading

  • Oderman, Stuart, Talking to the Piano Player 2. BearManor Media, 2009. ISBN 1-59393-320-7.
  • Grabman, Sandra, Spotlights & Shadows: The Albert Salmi Story. BearManor Media, 2004. ISBN 1-59393-001-1.


  1. Sandra Brennan. "David Burns - Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos - AllMovie". AllMovie.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "David Burns". BFI.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. The Broadway League. "David Burns - IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Search Past Tony Award Winners and Nominees - TonyAwards.com - The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards® - Official Website by IBM". TonyAwards.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. The Broadway League. "Hello, Dolly! - IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links