Tales of successful careers in the entertainment world would naturally include that of screen icons like Carol Burnett. Apart from her stellar starring role in The Carol Burnett Show – a long-running TV show, she is truly a leader on TV. Hers’ is the epitome of grass to grace tale – from a period fraught with so much childhood trauma to all-gloss and glitter.
Undeterred by her troubles, she actually leveraged on it to create a life filled with smiles, laughter, comedy, as well as entertainment. After 50 years of a successful career in showbiz, we can conveniently say that Carol Burnett ruled her world, evidenced in the various awards and nominations she has bagged over the years.
Carol Burnett – Bio
On the 26th of April 1933, Carol Burnett was born in San Antonio, Texas, United States. She is the daughter of Ina Louise (mother) – a publicity writer and Joseph Thomas Burnett (father) – a movie theatre manager. With parents who were both plagued with alcoholism, Carol’s childhood was nothing short of traumatic, though she found some kind of solace living with her grandmother after her parent’s legal separation. The young Carol developed her love for acting through her grandma.
Graduating from Hollywood High School in 1951, she joined the University of California LA for a journalism course. However, she had a change of mind after her freshman year as she made a switch to Theatre Arts and English.
The desire to participate in a playwright program demanded that she join an acting workshop which she reluctantly enlisted in. On the long run, Carol was so smitten by the performing arts that she made the decision to pursue acting as a career. She was so busy performing on several college productions, as well as theatre groups, and she discovered her natural musical abilities and comic timing with each performance. She continued with her roles though she didn’t have the support of her mum.
Then came a twist of fate in the form of a $1000 interest-free loan from a patron who was so impressed by the skills she exhibited at a professor’s private party in her senior year. A glorious future beckoned as Carol Burnett put the loan to good use with moving to New York and joining the showbiz circle being her top priority.
Cast, Movies And TV Shows
Carol Burnet started her acting career from the scratch with a couple of stints she got at a local club. The journey to stardom was really a tough one with her breakout role coming in 1955 on the set The Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney Show – a popular TV series which cast her as a girlfriend to ventriloquist’s dummy. She had the viewing public rolling with laughter with her role in I Made A Fool of Myself which was a novelty song.
The awards and nominations started rolling in by 1959 when she became part of the cast of Once Upon a Mattress (1964) – a Broadway musical comedy. On the show, Carol Burnett gave life to the character of Princess Winnifred which made her a Tony Award nominee. She was with The Garry Moore Show as a recurring character until 1962. Alongside Julie Andrews on the set of Julie and Carol at Carnegia Hall, the veteran actress played a leading role, earning her second Emmy for her efforts.
It would appear that her acting prowess was not only limited to the small screen as her big screen debut was made in the film Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed. The series Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C cast her in a recurring role. She started with The Carol Burnett Show that recorded unprecedented success with a viewership that was not only massive but loyal and lasted throughout the duration of the show. To say that the show took her to a new level of fame would be an understatement because Carol swept several Golden Globe Awards, in addition to 23 Emmy Awards during her eleven years on the TV show which she left on the 17th of March 1978.
She tried her hands at drama in TV films including the likes of Life of the Party: The Story of Beatrice, Annie, The Four Seasons as well as, Noises Off. The 1990s saw her making her TV comeback with some variety shows such as Carol & Company, Mad About You, Touched by an Angel and Desperate Housewives. Guest appearances were also part of her work with the likes of Horton Hears a Who!, Glee, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and The Secret of Arrietty to her credit. Carol’s recent TV appearances were accomplished on the set of Hawaii Five-O (2013-2016) as Aunt Deb McGarrett and Hot in Cleveland (2013-2015) as Penny.
Carol Burnet’s annual income has never come under the scrutiny of the media but her wealth has been estimated at $25 million by a source that is very reliable.