Alex Osbourne, more commonly known as simply "Star-Burns" is a middle-aged student at Greendale Community College known for his sideburns he shaved to look like stars. Though he enjoys the attention he receives because of them, he dislikes the nickname that comes along with it. He insists on being called his real name "Alex" but contradictorily refuses to shave his distinctive side burns. Over the years, he has constantly tried to forge another identity beyond his facial topiary. This included wearing a top hat in his second year at school and later adding his pet iguana in his third year to his ensemble. A somewhat shady character, he is shown to be a thief, a drug user and also a drug dealer. He was once married to a woman named Magda and has a son, presumably from that union, who appears to be a respectable businessman. His first appearance was in the Season One episode "Spanish 101". He is portrayed by actor/comedy writer and consulting producer of the show Dino Stamatopoulos.
Star-Burns is first seen helping out Annie and Shirley by DJing for their protest rally for Guatemalan civil rights. At a Halloween party, he mistakenly believes Pierce's daily medications are illegal drugs and trades one of his own drugs for one of them. It's revealed he is a member of the campus' "cool" study group and he considers Troy and Abed (along with Pierce's) application for membership into the elite circle. On Valentine's Day he shaves the sideburns to look like hearts making him "Heart-Burns". Star-Burns makes a creepy comment about Annie much to the disgust of Jeff and Britta. His son stops by Greendale for the "Family Day" event the school was throwing. He attends Boating class with Britta, Troy, Shirley and Pierce. His job was to man the "iron jenny" which meant driving the flat bed trailer the sail boat was attached to. Star-Burns popularity is revealed to be tied into his job as the cafeteria fry cook and his access to the most popular food item on the menu: Chicken Fingers. He teams up with Pierce in the episode "Modern Warfare" for the school's the annual game of Paintball Assassin. When Pierce sees that Troy, Abed and Jeff have formed an alliance he eliminates Star-Burns to join them. At the end of the school year, he is at the "Tranny Dance" and witnesses the love triangle showdown for Jeff's affections between Michelle Slater and Britta. When everyone at the dance gives their opinion on who Jeff should choose Star-Burns helpfully opines that they should bring Conan back.
At the beginning of the 2010 Fall semester, Star-Burns adds a top hat to his look in order to draw attention away from his sideburns. He makes a rude comment in Anthropology class during Professor June Bauer's opening lecture. She responds by shooting him with a blow dart laced with poison that temporarily paralyzes him. Star-Burns attends the school's Halloween party in the library where Pierce infects him with a strange virus after biting his arm. The following semester, Ben Chang calls in a favor Star-Burns owes him for a pizza and invites him to a party at Jeff's apartment. Star-Burns ends up inviting a bunch of students from Greendale including Magnitude. At the end of the school year, he participates in the annual game of Paintball assassination. He again joins forces with Pierce in his makeshift safe haven from the battle "Fort Hawthorne". Later he fights for Greendale alongside his fellow students in a paintball war against the City College Storm Troopers who invaded the school.
At the start of the 2011 Fall semester Greendale, Star-Burns adds his pet iguana to his ensemble, again to presumably draw attention away from the sideburns. After suggesting to Professor Marshall Kane that they team up to sell drugs, Star-Burns gets kicked out of Kane's biology class. He later becomes a prime suspect in the study group's investigation into the sabotaging of their biology yam project. At the end of the episode the school is informed that his car was rear-ended, causing the meth lab he had built in his trunk to explode and kill him. Abed later receives Star-Burns' video will and honors his request to make a tribute video of him. The study group reminisces about Star-Burns and it's revealed Britta made out with him one time at a party thrown by Fat Neil. Later, a memorial service held in his honor in the cafeteria deteriorates into a riot which causes the study group who instigated it to be expelled from school. It is later shown that Star-Burns had faked his death using tips from a handbook on the subject. He is wearing a blonde wig now but his star shaped sideburns are still visible.
STAR-BURNS MEMORIAL TREE PLANTING Sunday 11AM HIS NAME WAS ALEX
–Flyer for the Star-Burns tree planting ceremony
Due to his anxieties about graduating and leaving Greendale behind, Jeff daydreams a scenario involving "The Darkest Timeline" with his counterpart "Evil Jeff" invading his reality. In his imagination, a poster announcing a tree planting ceremony in Star-Burns honor is crookedly posted on a bulletin board in the school's hallway. Abed, in keeping with his obsessive compulsive tendencies, straightens the flyer before running into Evil Jeff. He shoots Abed with a paintball weapon which teleports him to Evil Jeff's alternate reality. Abed finds himself in the Darkest Timelines version of Dean Pelton's office where he encounters the fake dean. After running into the hallway he sees the same bulletin board but this time it's not a flyer for a Star-Burns memorial and instead an advertisement for a Star-Burns meth sale in the parking lot. Abed takes a moment to straighten that flyer out too before seeking out his evil counterpart.
I didn't call the dean! I don't call no one who don't call me!
–Star-Burns inadvertently admits he is not the ACB
In the study group's fifth year at Greendale, the menace known as the "Ass Crack Bandit" returns to terrorize the campus by depositing quarters in unsuspecting students exposed backsides. Jeff, Annie and Dean Pelton follow a possible lead on the perpetrator to the school's stables. They are shocked to discover Star-Burns there still very much alive. He had been hiding out at the place after faking his death to avoid meth lab charges being brought against him. Star-Burns had spent his time there trying to design and create the worlds first cat powered vehicle. Pelton has him arrested by campus security and gets Alex to confesses to being the Ass Crack Bandit in return for his meth lab charges being dropped. Star-Burns admits to Jeff his deception and would later completely recant his confession. A crowd-sourcing video featuring Star-Burns is shown who is taking donations for his cat car idea. Star-Burns later competes in a campus wide game of "Hot Lava" for the $50,000 prize Abed promised the winner. He is eliminated from the competition when Troy and Abed accidentally run him over with "The Orb". Star-Burns later participates when a new status ranking app called "MeowMeowBeenz" is beta-tested on the Greendale campus. He is unable to get ranked above a two and becomes a servant to the higher ranked users. He and an army of other "Twos" later help Britta overthrow the high ranking number five users who had gained control of the campus. He wore a special costume for the occasion and kept wearing even after the revolution was over since he still had time on its rental.
Star-Burns appears to have a strained relationship with the study group. He and Jeff Winger in particular appear to have some kind of rivalry, both describing the other as a "douchebag", likely due to his ogling of Annie Edison. In Anthropology class, Star-Burns reminisces about the time in which the study group went on a rafting trip, and how nice it was to have a class not about them. The study group ousts him from his job as a chicken fry-cook during "Contemporary American Poultry." In spite of all this, he and Pierce appear to be friends, trading drugs in "Intro to Statistics" and teaming up together during "Modern Warfare".
Ben Chang loves to mock him, drawing constant attention to the time it must take him to carve stars into his sideburns. After Chang becomes a student, an unspecified incident causes him to owe Chang a small frozen pizza.
Star-Burns has one son, who despite his father's laid back appearance, appears to be a successful businessman. He was married to a woman named Magda, to whom he gave herpes. In his video will, he confirms this saying, "To my ex-wife, Magda, I leave herpes, but she knows that."
In the episode "Intro to Political Science" (2x17), Abed and Troy presented him on his information card as 46 years old (making him born in 1965), a supporter of legalization, of Cambodian ethnicity, and with the DJ nickname, Sparkles.
In "Course Listing Unavailable", however, Abed made him a memorial (as was his wish) that stated he was born in 1972, making him 41-40 years old, instead of 46.
He is prone to stealing backpacks that are left unguarded.
He was an avid user of pills and marijuana.
He had somewhat of a friendly relationship with Pierce, to the point where he traded narcotics for Pierce's legitimate medication.
He always wears the same vest, which was used by Abed to emphasize his newly adopted hero persona in the Season 2 paintball finale.
He used "some kind of crystal instead of deodorant" according to Abed in part 2 of the Season 2 paintball finale.