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Carol Burnett is a television icon. Her impact on sketch comedy and variety shows is legendary.
Put it this way, without her, there is no 'Saturday Night Live'. No 'Kids in the Hall'. No 'In Living Colour'. She paved the way for many of today's Hollywood stars, and she's had quite the life.
Born in San Antonio, Texas, Carol's parents were alcoholics. So, when Carol was three, she went to live with her grandmother in a poor part of Hollywood. Remember Carol's little ear tug on her TV show? That was for her grandmother. She and her Nanny were inseparable. They went to the movies together, and afterwards, Carol would act out the scenes on the roof of their apartment.
Through those years, Carol dreamed of being a writer, and eventually, ended up taking acting at UCLA. She graduated in 1954, and headed to New York City. At first, she struggled, but eventually, got a gig on the Jack Paar and Ed Sullivan shows. She made 'em laugh - and the next thing you know, Carol had a lead role on Broadway - in the musical comedy 'Once Upon A Mattress.'
Over the next few years, she did theatre, films and variety shows, and in 1967, CBS gave Carol her own program - 'The Carol Burnett Show.' Together with Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, and Vicki Lawrence, Carol made television history.
The show ran for 11 seasons, Won more than 20 Emmy awards, and made Carol a pioneer for women in comedy and entertainment. No surprise thatr she's been inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, received a lifetime achievement award from the Kennedy Center, and been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Carol has also won an Emmy for her guest role on 'Mad About You', Had a spin on 'Desperate Housewives', and is now on tour in Canada with her latest show, 'Laughter and Reflection with Carol Burnett.'