Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Mieography

This particular lady is one of my favorite particular ladies. I can't believe I waited so long to do her.
Carol Creighton Burnett was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1933. Unfortunately, both of her parents were alcoholics. She was left with her grandmother. Her parents divorced, after having another child, Chrissy, who was also left with their grandmother. When Carol and Chrissy's mother moved to Hollywood, they all followed and lived in a boarding house near to where her mother was living.
When she was in forth grade, she created for herself an imaginary twin sister named Karen. She actually convinced the other people at the boarding house that Karen existed by dashing out of the house via the fire escape, and changing clothes. However, she became exhausted doing this, and "Karen" disappeared.
In 1951 she graduated from Hollywood Highschool, and had won a scholarship to the University of California, Los Angeles. She had planned on studying Journalism. She decided during her first year to switch theater arts and English, to become a playwright. She performed at many of the university productions, gaining fame for her comedic talent.
During her Junior year, she and her boyfriend left college, moving to NYC to pursue acting careers. They'd gotten the money to do so from a man they met at a cocktail party, who encouraged their dreams. He gave them each 1,000 dollars. Her father died of alcoholism related illness' this same year. Her mother did not approve of Carol's choice, wanting her to be a writer, instead.
Her first year in NYC she worked as a Hat Check girl, and failed to gain any work acting. She did finally get a few television roles, and eventually began a popular career performing at cabarets, and night clubgs. She ended up on the Tonight Show, Ed Sullivan, and was a regular on a game show called "Pantomime Quiz". Just as she was gaining success, her mother died.
Her first major success was on Broadway, where she was in the musical "Once Upon a Mattress". She also was a regular on "The Garry Moore Show", for which she won an Emmy. Her signature cleaning woman came from this show. She also co starred with Julie Andrews at Carnegie Hall, and won an Emmy for that. She continued to guest star on other television shows, like the Twilight Zone, and Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.
She met Lucille Ball, and they became friends, with Carol eventually performing on The Lucy Show a number of times. Lucy offered her a sitcom of her own, but Carol declined. She wanted to put together a variety show. They remained very close friends, Lucy sent her flowers every year for her birthday, until she died. She actually died on Carol's 56th birthday, and had received flowers from Lucy that day.
The Carol Burnett show debuted in 1967. It got 23 Emmy Awards, and was nominated multiple times every season it was on air. Its permanent cast included TIm Conway, Harvey Korman, Lyle Waggoner, and, eventually, the teenaged Vicki Lawrence. At the end of every show, she tugged her ear, a message to her grandmother, telling her all was well, and that she loved her.
A few well known sketches that came about were "Went With the Wind", As the Stomach Turns", and, of course, the "Mama's Family" ones, which became a series of it's own. I was always partial to the ones where she played the wierd silent film star... and cracked up Harvey Korman.
The show stopped in 1978, and by then, Carol's beloved grandmother had died. Carol moved on, and did a few films, and departed somewhat from comedy. She also returned to the stage, and went and played on many of the gameshows, especially Password. In 1969, she was the first celebrity to appear on Sesame Street. She even had a character created for her on All My Children. She's done two animated films, most recently "Horton Hears a Who! To this day, she continues to guest star on many television shows.
She's been married three times, she and her second husband had three daughters together. She is currently married to a man 23 years her junior (go Carol!). Sadly, one of her daughters, Carrie, died of lung and brain cancer at the young age of 38.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info.

She's had quite a life.

23 years younger? Wow...

sybil law said...

I love Carol!!! Good one...

Daryl said...

Excellent .. you know she did Once Upon A Mattress on TV .. she is a truly funny lady

Dianne said...

she is a legend. I'll never forget when she came down the stairs wearing the curtain rod!

she is a wonderful mix of elegant and funny.

great post!

Mary said...

Isn't it amazing how some of the funniest people have the most tragedy in their lives? Great Mieography!

"Moaning Mum" said...

Carol rocks - brilliantly fun lady

NanaKaos said...

Just thinking her names gives me a serious case of the giggles.She gets to me with a look, one of my favorites is the sketch she did with Tim Conway. What a secretary,I believe she was Mrs. Wiggins, but the way Tim (also a big favorite) said her name can't be spelled.
Harvey is greatly missed too. I loved her show.

Did you ever see the movie "Pete and Tilly"? Carol and Walter Matheau.
Thanks for the laugh.

The Superfluous Blogger said...


LOVE this woman. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

thank you for doing carol, mie! thank you!


She did a tv miniseries - Fresno. i dont remember it being great, i remember watching it because carol was in it.

and there is NO miss hannagan like carol's. oh MY BOB it was wonderful.

Eaton Bennett aka Berenice Albrecht said...

A very funny woman, talent and personality to spare. I did not know that she and Lucy were such good friends...and another wow of a Mieography! :)