Morty Jacobs, musical director and pianist for comedian George Burns for more than 30 years, died May 6 in Los Angeles of complications after surgery. Jacobs had injured his neck in a fall at home. He was 93.
While Jacobs worked with performers including Louis Armstrong, Dorothy Dandridge, Ethel Merman, Frank Sinatra and Margaret Whiting, he is perhaps best known for his association with Burns, who died in 1996 at 100.
Burns hired Jacobs because of their shared experience on the vaudeville circuit, said Jacobs’ son, Stephen.
Morton Phillip Jacobs was born in New York. He was about 6 when he started performing as a pianist. As a teen he spent about two years in the Merchant Marine and later served in the Army during WWII.
Jacobs also was a composer, arranger and a longtime activist in the Professional Musicians Local 47 in Los Angeles.
There are no immediate survivors besides Jacobs’ son.