Gracie Allen was born in San Francisco, California, to George Allen and Molly Darragh, who were of Irish Catholic extraction. She made her first appearance on stage at age three and was given her first chance On Air by Eddie Cantor.
She was educated at the Star of the Sea Convent School and during that
time became a talented dancer. She soon began performing Irish folk dances with her three sisters, who were billed as "The Four Colleens." In 1909 Allen joined her sister, Bessie, as a vaudeville performer. At a performance in 1922 Allen met George Burns and the two formed a comedy act. The two were married on January 7, 1926, in Cleveland, Ohio. Gracie allen was born with two different color eyes on blue and one green.
Birth date mystery
Depending on the source, Gracie Allen is alleged to have been born on
July 26 in 1895, 1896, 1902, or 1906. All public records held by the
City and County of San Francisco were destroyed in the earthquake and great fire of April 1906.
Her husband, George Burns, also professed not to know exactly how old
she was, though it was presumably he who provided the date July 26,
1902, which appears on her death record. Her crypt marker also shows her
year of birth as 1902. Among Allen's signature jokes was a dialogue in which Allen would claim that she was born in 1906, her foil
would press her for proof or corroborating information, she would say
that her birth certificate had been destroyed in the earthquake, her
foil would point out that she was born in July but the earthquake was
three months earlier in April, and Allen would simply smile and reply
"Well, it was an awfully big earthquake." The most reliable
information comes from the U.S. Census data collected on June 1, 1900.
According to the information in the Census records for the State of
California, City and County of San Francisco, enumeration district 38,
family 217, page 11-A, one Grace Allen — daughter of George and Maggie
Allen, and youngest sister of Bessie, Hazel and Pearl Allen — was born
in California in July 1895.
In the census taken on April 15, 1910, however, for San Francisco's
39th Assembly District, Enumeration District 216, Page 5A, Grace Allen
is listed as being 13 (instead of 14).
Since Gracie was alive in June 1900, it is not possible for her to have
been born after that date. That leaves 1895 (1900 census) or 1896 (1910
census) as possibilities. It should be further noted, however, that
census enumerators received their information by word of mouth, often
from third parties, and discrepancies between ages from one decade's
census to another were not uncommon in this time period.