Popular Comedians Who Have Lived a Long Life
People have wondered why some comedians lived so long.
Bob Hope and George Burns were popular comedians, and they both lived to be exactly 100 years old.
Bob Hope, whose real name was Leslie Townes Hope, lived from May 29, 1903 to July 27, 2003. He died of pneumonia at the age of 100 at his home in Toluca Lake, California. His widow, Dolores Hope, lived to be 102 years old. She died on September 19, 2011.
George Burns, whose real name was Nathan Birnbaum, lived from January 20, 1896 to March 9, 1996. He died 49 days after he turned 100 in his Beverly Hills home. About a year before he died, Burns said he looked forward to death, especially since his beloved wife Gracie Allen died at the age of 69 on August 27, 1964.
Burns started smoking cigars at age 14. He often performed and was photographed with a cigar in his hand, as is seen in the photo above. The comedian was buried with three of his favorite cigars. Burns was in very good health for most of his life. He took care of himself by swimming, taking walks, doing sit-ups and push-ups. He drove his Cadillacs until he reached the age of 93.
Burns suffered a head injury after falling in his bathtub in July 1994. He underwent surgery to remove fluid in his skull, but he never fully recovered before he died nearly two years later.
Other Comedians Who Lived a Long Time
Bob Hope and George Burns were not the only comedians who lived a long life.
- Mel Tolkin died of heart failure at age 94.
- Milton Berle lived to be 93 before he died of colon cancer.
- Mort Sahl died at age 92.
- Sid Caesar reached the age of 91 before he died.
- Jerry Lewis died at age 91 of cardiac disease and peripheral artery disease.
Comedian Carl Reiner is still alive at 97. Mel Brooks is also still alive at 93. So, what is it about comedians that explains their longevity?
Why do comedians live so long?
You have probably heard it said that "Laughter is the best medicine." It is also a biblical principle. Solomon, the wisest man who lived during his day said, "A merry heart does good like a medicine" (Proverbs 17:22).
Some comedians do get gratification from performing in front of live audiences, but there is no good evidence that laughter will cure cancer or keep diabetes under control. A list of reasons cannot be given to prove why some comedians live so long. It is safe to say that no matter what career a person has, self-care contributes a great deal to his overall health which might result in him living longer.
A lot of people don't know what to believe because not all comedians have lived a long life. Some comedians who came after Bob Hope and George Burns didn't live as long.
- John Belushi was 33 years old when he died from drugs and alcohol.
- Andy Kaufman died of lung cancer at the age of 35.
- Lenny Bruce died at the age of 40 from acute morphine poisoning caused by an overdose.
- Richard Pryor died from a heart attack nine days after he turned 65 following many years of heavy smoking and drinking.
- Redd Foxx died after suffering a heart attack on the set between rehearsals at age 68.
- George Carlin died of cardiac arrest at age 71.
The comedians listed in this article who lived a long life and those who died much younger were constantly in the public eye so we paid attention to their age. If a list is compiled of people in other careers, we might see that some of them have also lived a long life. Therefore, we can conclude that no profession has a monopoly on longevity.