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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

So glad she shared her time

“When you have a dream, you've got to grab it and never let go.” – Carol Burnett 

Born this week in 1933 Carol Burnett grew up a child of the Hollywood Hills and attended Hollywood High before gravitating to acting herself.   But acting and comedy were not her original plan.  Instead she planned to become a journalist and enrolled at UCLA to do so.  After a couple semesters, though, she switched her major to theater arts and English with a goal of becoming a playwright.

“I never intended to do the acting thing, but I had no choice,” she recalled.  She had to take acting in order to do the playwright program.  In her first production the audience roared with laughter at her deliveries and she was hooked.

“They laughed and it felt great,” she said.  “All of a sudden, after so much coldness and emptiness in my life (she was from a broken home and was mostly raised by her grandmother), I knew the sensation of all that warmth wrapping around me.  I had always been a quiet, shy, sad sort of girl and then everything changed for me. You spend the rest of your life hoping you'll hear a laugh that great again.”

And, of course, she did so thousands and thousands of times for which she has been recognized with dozens and dozens of awards for her work on stage, on television and in the movies.  Honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and at the Kennedy Center Honors, she was also named for the Mark Twain Prize for Humor, and inducted into several Halls of Fame, including the TV Hall of Fame.
 Carol Burnett
Her first love, writing, played out in her work on her comedy series, The Carol Burnett Show, for which she was awarded 5 Emmys, including (twice) Most Outstanding Series.    And she finally wrote a play, Hollywood Arms, based on her best-selling memoir One More Time.  Co-written with her oldest daughter Carrie Hamilton, it garnered several Tony Awards.   Recently she wrote a second memoir, the best-selling This Time Together.

She said she still loves writing because, “Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.”

For a day brightener (or two) take a look at these two short clips from classic Carol Burnett Shows, both of which won awards for their creativity.


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