Carol Burnett

From Academic Kids

Carol Creighton Burnett (born April 26, 1933) was one of the most successful female comedians on American television, thanks largely to her variety show that ran on CBS from 1967 through 1978.

Burnett was born in San Antonio, Texas to two alcoholic parents, who left her with her grandmother, who moved to Hollywood, California. She graduated from Hollywood High School and the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked her way up through bit parts on TV, coming to prominence in the mid-1950s singing a novelty love song, "I Made a Fool of Myself Over John Foster Dulles". About this time, she also appeared in a one-season NBC sitcom, Stanley, with Buddy Hackett. She achieved success on Broadway in the 1959 musical Once Upon a Mattress. In the same year she appeared on the Garry Moore television variety show as a regular until 1962, most memorably with her portrayal of a cleaning woman. With her success on this variety show she finally came to headliner status and appeared in the 1962 special Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall, also starring fellow singer/actress Julie Andrews.

Before getting her variety show, Burnett also appeared as a panelist on the game show Password -- an association she maintained until the early 1980s.

The hour-long The Carol Burnett Show was a huge success, garnering 22 Emmy Awards and continuing to have success in syndicated reruns. Its ensemble cast included Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, Lyle Waggoner, and Vicki Lawrence, who was cast partly because she looked like a younger Burnett.

Burnett drew attention in 1981, when she sued the National Enquirer for libel after the tabloid newspaper described her alleged public drunkenness. The case is a landmark in the study of libel cases involving celebrities, although the unprecedented $1.6 million verdict was reduced on appeal, and the case was eventually settled out of court.

Her film work includes The Four Seasons, Annie, and Noises Off.

Burnett returned to TV in the mid-1990s as a supporting character on the sitcom Mad About You when she played Theresa Stemple, the mother of main character Jamie Buchman, played by Helen Hunt.

Personal tragedy struck Carol Burnett in [[2002]. Her daughter, actress Carrie Hamilton, died of lung cancer at the age of 38. Hamilton had a problem with drugs as a teenager but overcame it with her mother's help. She and her mother often spoke out against drug abuse. Carrie Hamilton was a talented actress in her own right and she and her mother appeared together in the television film Hostage.

Burnett was a recipient of Kennedy Center Honors for 2003.

Burnett has been a long time fan of the soap opera All My Children. She got to live a dream when Agnes Nixon created the role of Verla Grubbs for her. Burnett suddenly found herself playing the long-lost daughter of Langly Wallingford (Louis Edmonds), and raising hell for her stepmother Pheobe Tyler-Wallingford (Ruth Warrick). She hosted a 25th Aniversary special about the show in 1995, and made a brief cameo as Verla on the January 5, 2005 episode celebrating the 35th aniversary of the program. Due to scheduling conflicts the scene was shot on the Los Angeles set of General Hospital, instead of the New York set where All My Children is taped.


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools