Allan Burns

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Allan Burns
Born (1935-05-18) May 18, 1935 (age 85)
Alma materUniversity of Oregon
Years active1961–2006
Joan Bailey
(m. after 1964)

Allan Burns (born May 18, 1935) is an American screenwriter and television producer. Burns is best known for creating and writing for the television sitcom The Munsters as well as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, both of which he created and wrote for alongside James L. Brooks.

Early life[edit]

Burns was born June 14, 1935, in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. He was born and raised Christian Scientist. He attended the University of Oregon between 1953 and 1957.[1]


Burns produced the television shows Cutters (1993), The Duck Factory (1984), and co-wrote the unaired version of the 1965 pilot episode of The Smothers Brothers Show. Before breaking into television and film, Burns started in animation, working for Jay Ward and collaborating and animating The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Dudley Do-Right, and George of the Jungle. Burns also created the Cap'n Crunch character for Quaker Oats.

After his stint writing for Jay Ward, Burns formed a partnership with Chris Hayward. They created the series The Munsters (1964) and My Mother the Car (1965), and were later hired by producer Leonard Stern as story editors for the CBS series He & She, for which they won an Emmy award for comedy writing. The last project between Hayward and Burns would be as story editors for the sitcom Get Smart.

In 1969, Burns began a partnership with James L. Brooks after being impressed with the television pilot for Brooks's show Room 222. Burns joined the Room 222 writing staff and later produced the series.

After Room 222, television executive Grant Tinker hired Brooks and Burns to develop a television series for CBS starring Mary Tyler Moore. In 1970, The Mary Tyler Moore Show premiered and became a critically acclaimed series, spawning spin-off series such as Lou Grant and Rhoda. Brooks and Burns also created the 1974 situation comedy Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers. Burns also wrote and produced three television series: FM, Eisenhower and Lutz, and Cutters.

Burns has also done screenwriting for movies, most notably, A Little Romance for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He also wrote the screenplays Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, Just the Way You Are and wrote and directed Just Between Friends.


  1. ^ Alley, Robert S. "Burns, Allan". Museum of Broadcast Communications. Archived from the original on January 28, 2017. Retrieved February 27, 2017.

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