Although Burns’ seminal role as a sleazy would-be ladies’ man on the sitcom Dear John pigeonholed him on the small screen, this stage-trained actor continued to land diverse theater parts in both Los Angeles and New York. After the sitcom ended, he popped up in a slew of series and TV-movies, usually as the foil or the villain, with one notable exception: he played a newly married divorcé determined to make his second go-round work in Something So Right, which ran for two seasons. After that he landed lots of guest spots and was cast in several short-lived series (Good Morning, Miami; Help Me Help You; Surviving Suburbia), most of which failed to make it further than their first season.
- Worked as a cabdriver in Boston and as a lifeguard on Cape Cod, MA, during a two-year hiatus between high school and college.
- Before moving to Los Angeles in the mid-1980s, performed with the New York Shakespeare Festival, with Joseph Papp's Public Theatre and in a Steppenwolf Theatre off-Broadway production of Sam Shepard's True West.
- Used CPR to save a heart-attack victim's life in an Encino, CA, restaurant in 1997.
- Has run in marathons and competed in triathlons.
- Actress Abby Dalton (Falcon Crest) is his mother-in-law.
- Leslie Cohen — Wife
- Luke Burns — Son
- Kathleen Kinmont — Ex-wife
- Gillian Burns — Daughter
- Melissa Burns — Ex-wife
- Jake Burns — Son
- University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, United States (BA in Literature); attended New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, New York, New York, United States