Comedian George Burns gave Bobby his first important night-club break by hiring him for Burns's own Las Vegas opening in June,1959. "Darin," said Mr. Burns, "has the talent and the personal magnetism to become the dominant entertainer of his generation."
Burns originally hired Bobby sight unseen. "I heard a record of this fellow," he explained, "and I was impressed by the vitality and drive of his singing and the positive way of his phrasing." In describing their first meeting in his office, Burns revealed a great deal about the need he filled in Darin's personal life. "I treated him like a twenty-two-year-old boy," he said. "That's all it was, you know. He's a darling little boy. Gracie and I love him."
The night after Bobby and Sandra Dee were married in Elizabeth NJ, he and his bride dined at the Burnses' home in Hollywood, much as if he were bringing her home to meet the family. Darin was a pallbarer at Gracie's funeral in 1964. Bobby always treated George Burns with awe and deference.
"Mr. Burns," Bobby said , "is a father symbol to me. And you can omit the word 'symbol'."