From Texas to TV: How Carol Burnett Became the Star We Love Today

The Carol Burnett Show/YouTube

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Carol Creighton Burnett was born in April of 1933. The San Antonio, Texas native would go on to become a legendary leading actress and comedian with her own variety show throughout the ’60s and ’70s. Life for Burnett began during the Great Depression. Her entire childhood, she wanted to act. She studied acting at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the 1950s. By the gift of a mysterious benefactor, who she promised never to name, praised her work and loaned her enough money to move to New York City to pursue her dreams of entertainment.

Early Career Success

In New York,  she had a guest appearance on the CBS morning show with Garry Moore. A few years later, Moore added Burnett to the case of The Garry Moore Show. The same year she won a Tony Award for her work in Once Upon A Mattress, a Broadway comedy. Throughout her career, she defined her own style of comedy. She leaned towards a form of slapstick humor. Crowds loved her. she won an Emmy Award in 1961 for her Garry Moore Show work. This paved the way for another variety show, her very own, The Carol Burnett Show.

The Carol Burnett Show

After landing her own eponymous variety show, The Carol Burnett Show premiered in 1967 on CBS. It was well-received, even though most variety shows had plummeted in variety around that time. Within the show, there were comedic sketches, guest stars, a Q&A where viewers got to ask the hostess questions, as well as musical performances. One special performance was done every night. A song “It’s Time to Say Goodbye,” was sung at the end of every show, and Burnett tugged on her left ear, a symbol to her grandmother. With her cast members comedian Tim Conway, a singer named Vicki Lawrence, comedic actor Harvey Korman, as well as Lyle Waggoner, who produced many well-loved sketches. Some of which were incorporated into another TV series, Mama’s Family.

Throughout her career, Carol Burnett has won Six Emmy Awards. She also starred in various films and television shows such Mad About You and Desperate Housewives, and occasionally on Broadway. She has also worked with her good friend Julie Andrews on a number of television specials including Julie and Carol at Lincoln Center and Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall.

Personal Life

Carol Burnett married multiple times and divorced multiple times. From college sweetie Dan Saroyan, Television Producer Joe Hamilton, and finally drummer for the H0ollywood Bowl Orchestra Brian Miller. She has three daughters, Carrie, Jody, and Erin from her second marriage. Today, she remains happily married to her third husband and has paid her anonymous loan forward, as promised, by contributing to the UCLA scholarship program.

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