As many in Team Toobworld know, I'm more focused on the characters of Toobworld rather than the actors who played them. But for me, David Burns was always a man of mystery - nearly fifty years in the business, but mostly on stage. He was in a lot of movies since his film debut in "De-Luxe Annie" on this date 100 years ago.
He won two Tony Awards, one for "The Music Man" and the other for "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum". That last one really impressed me - with so many other characters of acclaim in that show (Hysterium, Marcus Lycus, Milos Gloriousus), Burns must have been incredible in a smaller role like that.
I only know him from 'The Trials Of O'Brien' as The Great McGonagle, a rather bookish low-life of a private investigator (who looked more like an accountant with the eyesight of Henry Bemish.) Had he lived, I think Mr. Burns would have been a perfect fit for 'Barney Miller' as one of the repertory players to visit the Ol' One-Two.
From Wikipedia:[David Burns] 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". Burns introduced the hit song "It Takes a Woman" from "Hello, Dolly" as the original "Horace Vandergelder".
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".