A Full Family Life for Mrs. Burns

May 25, 2009

From Life Magazine, September 22, 1958

Gracie and grandchildren
Gracie spends a contented day at her Beverly Hills home.  Lori, 4, and Lissa, 2, are Sandra’s daughters.  Here Gracie twists a curl into place on Lissa before joining a card game.

At the Races
Retired comic puts her hopes on a horse and wears a loser’s look as she and daughter Sandra wait for the next race at Hollywood Park.

With Ronnie Burns
Gracie talks with her son Ronnie in the studio where George is shooting a new series.  Ronnie sings and acts in it.

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  2. Well I was trying to find out what has become of Sandra Burns, the adopted daughter of George and Gracie. Now after seein many pix of George and Gracie, I STILL have no idea as to what has become of Sandra. I understand that Ronnie died of cancer in 2007. What was her life like as a child of theirs. Many celebrities have, and adopt children for the wrong reasons, only to promote their own careers. I am curious to find out about her life. Was she and Ronnie cut of of Burns & Allen’s will ?

  3. I want to know EXACTLY what WILL WILLARD ASKED!


  5. Sandra Burns-Day died on August 12 in Newton Massachusetts.

  6. Sandra Burns’ married name was Sandra Luckman. She left show business to be a stay at home Mother and raise her family. This was even when Gracie was still alive. I loved Burns & Allen and have many items of theirs. I even have a Cigar Holder, George gave me when I was in the audience and he learned that it was my birthday and that I loved to smoke Cigars. We even traded. I gace him a Bering for 2 of his El Productos. It was the best birthday I ever had. God bless George and Gracie. They’re up their making God and Jack Benny laugh for eternity. Love to George & Gracie. I guess I will see you after my 100th Birthday so I have 40 more years to go. You were the best Comedy Team ever.

  7. Sandra was my great grandmother, Her daughter is still alive.

  8. Wow! I am so sorry to hear that she has passed. I have really become very interested in the family of George and Gracie as of late. They appear to have been a solid family.

  9. what did sandra burns luckman die from?

  10. Like someone else above I too am interested in learning more about the life of Sandra. You’re supposed to be able to learn anything on line and I am so frustrated i couldn’t even learn her age and cause of death. The only photo was of her at the racetrack with her mother Gracie.

    I was most interested in knowing what her relationship was like with her father during the years after her mother passed away

    George was one of the most interesting and likable human beings I have ever seen and it is important to me to know that he was loved and how he related to both his children.

    • Judging by quotes from her in Martin Gottfried’s GEORGE BURNS and THE 100 YEAR DASH, Sandra remained close to her father right to the end, as was son Ronnie. Published shortly before Burns’ death in 1996, “100 YEAR DASH” was the most revealing warts-and-all expose ever offered on the life of Burns, and was written with the cooperation of both children. Later photos of Sandra are hard to find. The most “recent” Sandra pic I’ve seen was a snapshot in the book, DEAR GEORGE, an obvious play by Burns and his writers on the popular Dear Abby column. Published circa 1980, it was not one of Burns’ most successful books.

      • Dear john thanks for the info on the Burns family …. wish my wit was as fast or some would say slow as the comic duo of Burns and Allen life was as different then as a college in new mexico that existed for a moment in time.


    • ** UPDATE ** I’ve reached out to a geneologist who appears as curious about Sandra’s passing as we are. If I hear any updates I’ll pass them on here.

      • ** UPDATE #2 ** The geneologist just now sent me a link (below) to an obituary for “Sandra Luckman.” Seems credible; year of birth is correct. Also, the obit lists her hometown as San Diego. Ms. Luckman was known to have worked as a counselor with San Diego Schools.

        But, note the Date of DEATH: January 19th, 2018– a radical departure from the year widely reported online, 2010. No wonder the trail kept running cold. It appears that Ms. Luckman passed only three months ago.


      • file:///C:/Users/lmarco/Downloads/Sandra%20Luckman.jpg
        Last known photo of her with her small dog and her Grandson’s larger dog.

  11. Is Sandra still alive? Does she ever attend public events?

    • Michael– See my update on Sandra Burns Luckman (above). Apparently she passed only three months ago.

  12. I met Sandra in Coloma, Ca. when she was married to Steve Luckman–they owned a campground. I lived in a tent there and worked for them teaching pottery for the summer. I returned to San Diego, and after her divorce she moved to Mission Beach–that is where I met her four daughters. Sandra was friendly, easy to be with, but never seemed very happy. She was closer to her father than her mother, but it was hard on both of her and Ronny growing up in a boarding school. She drank quite a bit, and called me one day as she was making candles and had poured some on her arm and hand which left severe burns. She worked for awhile at the San Diego City School system as a secretary…not really for the money, but for something to do after the children left home. Sandra’s father visited her on occasion, and I am sure that he and Gracie provided for both children after their passing. She was a good friend and I have many fond memories of days at the beach laughing, laying in the sun and sitting on the boardwalk people watching. She was quite a character and very personable. I loved telling people ” she is George Burns daughter and she drives around in a yellow voltswagon bug!!! ” She never acted like she was anything special, that is what I liked about her….very down to earth. You are missed Sandra!!!

    • Yes, she is missed. But, I’ve been curious– heard nothing about her passing in the media, let alone cause of death, which seems fitting given her private lifestyle. Ronnie’s death from cancer was reported in some media, especially in California. But Sandra’s was not, as far as I know. I imagine she was close to 80.

      • I know, there was nothing in the media about her death. I lost touch with her a little after I got married and she started working as a secretary. She was about 20 years older than I, so yes, I do believe you are correct on her age.

        • So has she passed or is she still alive? Its a bit unclear? Any info on her children where they settled or Ronnie’s children. I’m a big Burns and Allen fan as well. It is upsetting that Gracie was so talented and didn’t get the credit and awards(As did Lucelle Ball did)that she truly and rightfully deserved!

          • I to find it very upsetting that a wounderful comedian like Gracy never has received the credit she soo deserves… I am a huge classic movie watcher and yet have I to see on of the few movies Gracy made I doo get so angry…. I am indeed a huge Gracy fan.. I sorry I never got to see her in person… Unfortuantly I wasn’t born until after her death, I do stay up til 3am to watch her night

          • Unfortunately, though quite the popular household name in her time, Gracie’s legacy never endured the way Lucy’s did. One possible explanation was the footprint left behind by Lucy’s high-energy performances, which seemed to have captivated not just adult viewers, but America’s baby-boomers as well. As hysterical as Gracie’s persuasive Dumb-Dora character was to depression era adults, she was anything but “energetic”, and the ditzy stuff may not have appealed as much to younger viewers, a demographic not as familiar with the earlier B&A radio shows.

          • Steve– Lynn– See my update (above), including an obit link.

        • Lynn– See my update (above), including an obit link.

  13. Ronnie attended Black-Foxe Military school for a while in Calfornia.
    I know, because l my brother was the Cadet Major there. I knew George quite well. Spend many lunches with him. He was always
    a triple-A gentlemen. Did you know he was the only one allowed to smoke at a club he belong to? There was a sign that said “No smoking except for George BUrns!” My brother dated Sandy a few times, but I never met her. Only met Gracie once. Ronnie was always in money troubles. I was in George’s office several times when Ronnie was on the telephone asking for more. George would turn to his Secretary Jack and say “Send Ronnie a few thousand
    dollars”. Ronnie never found his place in life….sadly.

  14. Wow Jerry, very interesting about Ronnie. I heard things that were similar. What was you impression of Gracie when you met her? I often heard of George being a really nice person as well. thanks for the info Steve S.

    • Gracie was a lovely lady. She really didnt want to stay in the spotlight. George had to talk her into appearing on the show. She didnt feel it was her real self.

      • Its truly a shame that she never won an emmy for her acting on the show. As it was seen during the one season(1959)of the George Burns Show her absence was really missed and proved fatal to the show. Also was a shame she died before all the “nostelgia” of the 50’s took place I guess it was in the early to mid 70’s. I’m sure she would have received the attention and admiration she deserved when The Burns and Allen Show started to be re-played.

  15. Thanks everyone for the info on Ronnie and Sandra. You have answered all my questions.

  16. Sandy is alive and still lives in Mission Beach. Sandy has a condo on the boardwalk, and she sits out in front and talks to everyone. We call her Saush, however you spell it LOL. I just saw her in June 2011, I live out of state, went home to MB for family reunion, I stopped by to visit with Sandy while I was home. Sandy’s daughter Grace is very very close to my family, we have 12 kids in my family we consider Grace the 13th child. Grace is like George, she has a heart of gold, always helping someone.

    • Hi Linda. I’m a big Burns and Allen fan. I have read just about every book there is on both George and Gracie the last one being “The women who made TV funny. Is there any sites that you know of that might have photos of George and Gracie that might not be so well know. I’m especially interested in pictures of Gracie if there were any that were taken say after 1960. I saw the one on Ebay of her Mrs. Jack Benny and another favorite of mine, Bobby Darin that was taken after one of his shows I guess the ones he did with George.That was taken in 1960. My email is lionelkid1@hotmail.com Thanks. Stephen Sannicandro Brooklyn, New York

      •  Photo E-mail View slideshow | Download images I attended Black-Foxe Military school in Hollywood with Ronnie. My brother dated Sandy. He was also in school with us. George and I became very close. We often met at his office, and went out to lunch. I didn’t see Gracie as often, but I did know her. (And Jack and Mary Benny as well. Did you know that Gracie never wore a long sleeved top because of scars on her arm. And she only stayed on the show because George wanted her to. I remember when we had lunch at his club, there was a sign on the wall saying: ‘No smoking. Except for George Burns.”

        To: jmp701@msn.com Sent: Thursday, March 14, 2013 7:37 PM Subject: [New comment] A Full Family Life for Mrs. Burns

        Stephen Sannicandro commented: “Hi Linda. I’m a big Burns and Allen fan. I have read just about every book there is on both George and Gracie the last one being “The women who made TV funny. Is there any sites that you know of that might have photos of George and Gracie that might not b”

        • Hi Jerry. I sent you an email. If you have images of George and Gracie and would like to share them with me and can do so via my email addy I’d appreciate that. I’m not sure if I missed something with what you put in your opening about a slideshow?????I wasn’t able to open anything. Much Thanks Steve

          • I have several pics of George, but none of Gracie. you can email me if you wish. jmp701@msn.com JERRY

            To: jmp701@msn.com Sent: Thursday, March 14, 2013 10:08 PM Subject: [New comment] A Full Family Life for Mrs. Burns

            Stephen Sannicandro commented: “Hi Jerry. I sent you an email. If you have images of George and Gracie and would like to share them with me and can do so via my email addy I’d appreciate that. I’m not sure if I missed something with what you put in your opening about a slideshow?????I w”

  17. Sorry Jerry but what I should have mentioned also was that presently I am at the job and using the PC there. I have limited access to anything and cannot open my personal emails here. I have to wait to get home at 7AM to view my mail. Thanks again! Steve

  18. I tape the “Burns and Allen” show every night on antenna TV. They are a hoot.

    • I to tape the shows while watching them… I love Gracy and am so jealouse of all you who actually got to meat her, and know her.. I just bet she was wounderful….

      • All of my Burns & Allen reprises were taped in the early ’80s on video cassette, when the value of George’s own stock suddenly skyrocketed after starring in two successful movies. Still haven’t converted to DVD.

  19. Hi, it is so strange, i was about 10 years old when my mom watched the burns show i remember thinking they were so old but so funny.
    I just recently found the reruns and the first time i watched i was so suprised that they look young..They are still so funny.

  20. I watch the Burns and Allen almost every night, always loved that show. Would like to see pictures of ronnie and sandra in their later years with their Children and Grandchldren and Spouses. Thank You

  21. –Enjoyed seeing photos and reading this thread. Thank you for posting!

  22. Thanks to George’s Big Screen success in the ’70s, i.e. The Sunshine Boys and Oh God, the Burns & Allen TV series exploded in popularity in the late ’70s. Episodes were broadcast over many local channels, while CBN’s family programming featured B&A twice daily, including an afternoon showing. A re-awakened TV audience simply fell in love again with George & Gracie.

    The excitement subsided though following Burns’ passing in ’96. In a rare TV appeance in 2000 (?), son Ronnie told TV talk icon Larry King that a Burns & Allen website project was underway. Ronnie died in ’07, and nobody seems to know for sure the fate of daughter Sandra. I personally believe Sandra could not have “passed” unnoticed by at least local media in California. An exhaustive search on-line, including randomly selected probate jurisdictions, have turned up no mention of her death. Fascinating, huh?

    • Forgot to mention (above) that Ronnie’s appearance on Larry King is available in 4-parts on YouTube. Just Google George Burns 100 Years of Laughter. King’s guests include Ronnie, Caroll Channing, writer Larry Gelbart, Allan King and others. Sorry, Sandy was absent.

  23. Wow,interesting..I jus t wondered about George and stumbled on all this…so cool…but I thought I ready on wiki that she also died:(

    • …Several on-line sources show Sandra as passing in 2010, but incredibly, none offer details and circumstances. She would have been close to 80.

      Sandra was always a shy girl who struggled with the few bit parts she played on the Burns & Allen TV Show. One can reasonably assume that she later she would have dodged public scrutiny, as even her more precocious younger brother Ronnie would do. Little is known about the post-B&A lives of either sibling. Both were involved in at least two marriages, yet their children’s whereabouts today remain a mystery.

  24. I absolutely LOVE all th pics and entertainment that your family has given. Thank you for sharing. Keep th Burns n Allen show ON and rollin! I enjoy that sooo much. God bless you all.

    • I thank you as well, Aaron. And, as I earlier suggested, THE 100-YEAR DASH, a wonderful warts-and-all biography on Burns is a must read for all Burns & Allen followers.

      A surprisingly frank accounting of the real-life George Burns without the Vaudeville shine of his own “auto”biographies, the book was published the Fall of ’95, and penned in post-mortem verbage,, though Burns was still very much alive at the time. Written by acclaimed show-biz biographer Martin Gottfried, readers are treated to painfully honest revelations about Burns’ appetite for the ladies, as well as documentation of then little known abuse he heaped on brother Willie.

      Rest assured that 100-YEAR DASH is no gossip tale, and is well balanced. Every less than flattering portrayal of Burns was verified in quoted statements by witnesses close to the Vaudeville legend, including son Ronnie, daughter Sandra, Milton Berle, and writer/producers Paul Henning, Fred DeCordova and Irving Brecher. Burns’ philandering ways are sensitively treated, leaving the reader never doubting his well publicized love for, and lifelong attachment to Gracie.

      I haven’t researched the book’s availability since 2009, when 100 YEAR DASH could still be purchased on-line. If no longer in print however, the book is still available on the shelves of many municipal libraries

  25. Has anyone ever tried to contact Joan Benny or Marlo Thomas to inquire about Sandra? They would know if she’s still living. Also with regard to Ronnie not finding his place in life, I remember his obituary saying that he had a wife of30 yrs, 3 sons, real estate investments, and a Arabian horse ranch. Sounds like a pretty nice life to me!

    • An excellent idea. And other potential sources in solving the “Whatever became of Sandy” riddle might be the Sinatra sisters, Nancy and Tina. As children themselves, both were known to attend Burns & Allen hosted socials in the company of their crooner father, Frank. Tina has acknowledged nursing a childhood crush on Ronnie.

  26. May the burns and allen show be on for years to come… May tcm break down and show the few movies Gracy made..May she one day receive the acclaim she so deserves!!!!!!

    • TMC showed TWO GIRLS AND A SAILOOR just last week. Two Girls is one of only two features featuring Gracie sans George.

  27. Discovered the Network Media device which allows me to access Youtube. I am then able to type in Burns and Allen and have access to most, if not all, of their episodes!

    In my view, Gracie was a most talented actress and George was a comedic genius. I still watch their episodes over and over again…

  28. file:///C:/Users/lmarco/Downloads/IMG_7686(2).JPG

    Sorry to say that Sandra has recently passed. This flyer circulated in Mission Beach after she passed——the local surfers did a paddle-out in her honor. Google– Sandra(Sash) Burns Luckman —
    for more info. and photo’s.

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