Ronnie Burns was the adopted son of George Burns and Gracie Allen. There had never been any secret about his adoption. He came from The Cradle. Gracie said they chose him because he was the most sickly baby there and needed the most care. Ronnie was always referred to by the press as “the adopted son of.” He was just one of many of those “adopted son/daughter ofs” in the First Golden Age of Hollywood Adoption, but he was the only one, as far as I knew, who was on TV. He was the first visible adopted person I ever “knew.” See, back then, even during that Golden Age, where it seemed half of Hollywood was adopting, adoption in the real world wasn’t discussed in public. I’m not sure that was a bad idea . If the Internet had been around then, and my parents adoptaobsessed like adopters are today, I’d have been mortified. It was bad enough being adopted without having your business spread all over front street. I don’t remember feeling any externalized identification with Ronnie as an adoptee; he just was. I was 9 or 10 years old when he joined the cast of the Burns & Continue Reading →