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EMMY-WINNER WROTE FOR BENNY VALLEY'S BALZER KNOWN FOR COMEDY.

Byline: HOLLY J. ANDRES Staff Writer

A funeral service will be held Monday for two-time Emmy-award winning comedy writer George Balzer. Balzer died of natural causes Thursday at his Van Nuys home. He was 91.

Balzer, who lived in the San Fernando Valley for 80 years, was under contract with comedian Jack Benny for 25 years, beginning in 1943 with Benny's radio show and including ``The Jack Benny Show'' that launched on television in 1950.

Balzer won his Emmys for his work in 1958-59 and 1959-60. Some of the better-known comedy routines and lines he wrote for Benny included ``Si Si Cy,'' the bakery shop ``cimeron'' rolls, and the railroad station master calling, ``Train leaving on track five for Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga.''

``He was most proud of writing for Jack Benny. He had a very dry sense of humor,'' said his son, Tim Balzer. ``He brought me up as a gentleman. He always said to me, `Don't ever do anything you don't want other people to find out about -- because they will.'''

Balzer's early radio comedy-writing career included stints for Bob ``Bazooka'' Burns on the Bing Crosby Kraft Music Hall and for George Burns and Gracie Allen.

He also co-wrote the Broadway musical comedy show ``Are You With It?'' that ran for 17 months beginning in 1945.

Balzer's passions included his family and Notre Dame football. He was an avid golfer and a member of Lakeside Country Club in Toluca Lake for years.

``He always gave me good advice, even though at the time I didn't know it was good advice,'' said his daughter, Bonnie Neel. ``I could always pick up the phone and ask him what he thought about some problem. He was a devoted grandparent. He was very religious and devoted to the Catholic Church.''

Balzer also used his wit at home with family members and had a broad vision of life, said his daughter Judy Bell.

``I always thought he was very knowledgeable about life. It was the simple things he treasured,'' she said. ``I think we learned from him that we would not find happiness in material things. He was a good role model.''

George Balzer was born on Sept. 1, 1915, in Erie, Pa. He moved with his family in 1920 to Los Angeles. The family later moved to Weeks Colony in Winnetka.

Balzer attended Winnetka Avenue Elementary School and in 1933 graduated from Canoga Park High School. He joined the family business, Home Way Laundry in Van Nuys, and in 1942 married Ada Marie Anderson.

Balzer is survived by daughters, Bonnie Neel and Judy Bell; a son, Tim Balzer; seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and his sister, Helen Gates. His wife died in 1997.

Funeral service is set for 10 a.m. Monday at St. Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church, 6635 Tobias Ave., Van Nuys. Balzer will be buried at San Fernando Mission Cemetery.

Donations in Balzer's memory may be sent to the Motion Picture and Television Fund, 22212 Ventura Blvd., Suite 300, Woodland Hills, Calif., 91364.

holly.andres(at)dailynews.com

(818) 713-3708
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Oct 1, 2006
Words:509
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