Born on January 20, 1896 as Nathan Birnbaum, he was perhaps the best-known cigar smoker ever. The beloved actor and comic smoked passionately until his death in 1996 at the age of 100.

He is the only celebrity to have both his hands and his cigar imprinted in the sidewalk in front of Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

He was once asked by a TV interviewer in the late 1980's what his Doctor thought about an elderly man of his age smoking. Burns retorted "But my Doctor is dead!

The respect Burns commanded was perhaps best illustrated by a sign posted in a Las Vegas hotel that he frequented. The sign read, "No smoking for all persons under the age of 95."

After his wife, Gracie Allen passed away he never remarried. But until his death he always performed in the company of at least two major babes.

I only had the privledge of seeing him perform once, in the early 1990's. Although he was already in a wheelchair the old guy could really put it out; he sung an old Vaudeville tune "I wish I was 18 again".

There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

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