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In Death, As In Life, He Was A Picture Of Grace

When George Burns died on March 9 at age 100, he went gentlemanly into that good night.

“Mr. Burns always said, ‘When I go, I want to take my music with me,”’ the late comic’s butler, Daniel Dhoore, told Variety.

So when it was time for his burial, Dhoore said, “We got his (sheet) music and placed it under his hands. We dressed him in his best dark blue suit, light blue shirt and red tie. We placed three cigars in his pocket, put on his toupee, put on the watch Gracie gave him, his ring and, in his pocket, his keys and his wallet with 10 hundred-dollar bills, a five and three ones, so wherever he went to play bridge, he’d have enough money.”

Speaking of cash, the Beverly Hills home Burns built for his wife and acting partner, Gracie Allen, has been sold for a reported $2 million.

Loose talk

Sean Penn (“Dead Man Walking”), in his acceptance speech after being named best actor in Hollywood’s Independent Spirit filmmaking awards: “I guess this means you tolerate me, you really tolerate me.”

They’ll be hoisting a few at Jack and Dan’s

John Stockton turns 34 today.

This time, at least, the tears are all too real Tammy Faye Messner didn’t attend her husband’s sentencing for bankruptcy fraud because she has colon cancer that required emergency surgery. Said a family attorney: “They hoped it had not spread. I think they found that it has. And she will be undergoing very aggressive chemotherapy and radiation therapy over the next six to eight weeks.”

The guy wouldn’t know the meaning of invited

Alec Baldwin has been acquitted of battery in a scuffle last fall with a video photographer who intruded on the “happiest day of my life,” when he and Kim Basinger brought their newborn daughter home from the hospital. “To me this is something this guy invited,” Baldwin said.

It is a rather unusual way to justify his love

Madonna stalker Robert Dewey Hoskins, who scaled the wall outside the pop star’s Hollywood Hills estate several times last April and May and threatened to slit her throat, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Prosecutors said his threats have continued in jail, through graffiti and boasts to a deputy.

Soon no one in the solar system will be safe

Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and other co-founders of the Planet Hollywood chain have sued the Planet Hollyford restaurant in New Zealand, named after a nearby valley, for trademark infringement. “We are gutted,” moaned co-owner Paul Austin, saying he can’t afford a court fight.

The only thing Kato killed was his 15 minutes

And former O.J. Simpson sidekick Kato Kaelin filed a libel suit against The National Examiner and The Globe for reporting he helped hide evidence and the like. An attorney said Kaelin “has reached his limit on people saying things as outrageous as ‘Cops Think Kato Did It.”’

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 color photos

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Compiled by staff writer Rick Bonino