George Joseph Burns (born March 13, 1918 in New York City – died July 17, 2007, in West Hills, Los Angeles, California[1]) was an American character actor. He is known mostly for playing Pat Chambers on the 1959 Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer television show[2] and for numerous of appearances on American television series. He was survived by his wife Fern; three sons Brendan, Timothy and Sean; daughter Siobhan and a granddaughter.

Early life

The son of a New York City Police Department inspector, Burns attended Cornell University and Columbia University. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Burns enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.[1] Commissioned through Officer Candidate School, Lt. Burns was assigned to the 4th Marine Division and fought in the Battle of Kwajalein, Battle of Saipan, and the Battle of Iwo Jima where Burns earned two Purple Hearts.[citation needed] During the latter he was a captain and company commander of "A" Company First Battalion 25th Marines and was awarded the Silver Star Medal.[2] Captain Burns located an enemy strongpoint and personally guided a tank in to destroy the emplacement.[3] Burns' two brothers were also captains, one in the army and one in the Marine Corps.

Acting career

In 1947 Burns changed his first name to avoid confusion with comedian George Burns.[4] He made his Broadway debut in the original production of Mister Roberts alongside Henry Fonda.

Burns began appearing on American television in 1953 including appearing in the original 1954 television broadcast of Twelve Angry Men.[2] During his acting career he befriended Ernest Borgnine where he supervised Ernest repainting scenery.[5] Borgnine recalled that during the 1950s Burns was rejected from the lead of a show, eventually finding out it was due to his befriending suspected communists. Burns brought his medals and captains bars to the producers and shouted "Does this look like I'm a goddammned communist?" He did not get the part.[6]

Burns made his motion picture debut in the 1956 war film Between Heaven and Hell. He also wrote several of the Kilroy episodes of The Wonderful World of Color for Walt Disney.

Partial filmography


  1. ^ a b III, Harris M. Lentz (20 May 2008). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2007: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. ISBN 9780786434817 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b c Lentz, Harris M. III (2008). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2007: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. p. 53. ISBN 9780786434817. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  3. ^ "George Burns – Recipient – Military Times Hall Of Valor".
  4. ^ "Google Groups".
  5. ^ p.54 Borgnine, Ernest Ernie Citadel Press, 01/08/2009
  6. ^ p.64 Borgnine