David Burns (actor)

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For other people with the same name, see David Burns (disambiguation).
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[edit]

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 Filmography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1958 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical The Music Man Won
1963 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Won
1966 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series The Trials of O'Brien Nominated
1971 ITV Sunday Night Theatre Won
Tony Award Best Performance by a a Leading Actor in a Musical Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentlemen Nominated

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.


External links[edit]