Carol Burnett - Rotten Tomatoes

Carol Burnett



American entertainer Carol Burnett and her sister were both raised by their loving grandmother. It has long been a matter of public record that Burnett credits her grandmother for encouraging her to utilize her comic and musical talents to the fullest. Working her way through UCLA, she majored in English and Theater arts, gradually developing the poise and self-confidence to tackle an entertainment career. After nightclub work, Burnett was spotlighted on the variety programs of Steve Allen, Ed Sullivan, and Jack Paar, bringing down the house on Paar's program with the specialty ballad "I Made a Fool of Myself over John Foster Dulles."



In 1956, Burnett co-starred with Buddy Hackett in the live TV sitcom Stanley, which unfortunately was scheduled opposite the indestructible Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. A near-star several times over, Burnett finally grabbed the brass ring with her bravura performance in the 1959 off-Broadway musical Once Upon a Mattress, which led to a three-season stint as a regular on The Garry Moore Show. An Emmy award resulted from her contribution to Moore, and another Emmy followed for a 1962 joint appearance with Julie Andrews at Carnegie Hall. Some of her comedy of the era was the self-deprecating sort allotted to women who weren't raving beauties, but she transcended the cruelty of the jokes with an inner beauty that one would have to be blind to miss. As a slapstick comedienne Burnett was unrivalled, even by the sainted Lucille Ball, and on occasion she was allowed to drop the comic mask and deliver a heart-rending ballad. In 1962, CBS signed Burnett to a long term contract under the supervision of her then-husband, producer Joe Hamilton. After an uncomfortable few months in 1964 in which the producers of the Broadway production Fade Out Fade In sued Burnett for abandoning the play to appear in a weekly variety series The Entertainers, her post-Garry Moore career moved along unevenly. She was advised to sign for another series but avoided the option of situation comedy (she once insisted that she didn't want to be trapped playing someone named Agnes every week).



In 1967, virtually out of desperation for a workable idea, The Carol Burnett Show premiered on CBS. Burnett patterned the program after Garry Moore's opening monologue, brief sketches with continuing characters, parodies, musical bits, and a closing all-star musical comedy production number. With such first-rate supporting talent as Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner and Tim Conway, The Carol Burnett Show was a ratings-grabber until its final telecast in 1978. Carol Burnett's life and career since then has been distinguished by as many valleys as peaks. Her film career never truly got off the ground, despite excellent performances in such pictures as Pete 'N' Tillie (1972) and A Wedding (1978). Nevertheless, Carol Burnett has more than earned her place in the pantheon of television giants.



Burnett would remain active in the coming decades, starring in everything from the classic musical Annie to the sitcom Mama's Family, not to mention making inumerable appearances on shows like Touched By an Angel, Mad About You, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, and Glee.

Photos

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together - A Musical Review
  • Actor
2013
8% Post Grad
  • Grandma Maureen
2009
No Score Yet Make 'Em Laugh
  • Actor
2009
79% Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!
  • Kangaroo
2008
No Score Yet Rona Barrett's Hollywood: Nothing but the Truth
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business Of America
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Friendly Fire
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet The Last Guy on Earth
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet Once Upon a Mattress
  • Queen Aggravain
  • Executive Producer
2005
No Score Yet Carol Burnett: Just to Have a Laugh
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Putting It Together: A Musical Review
  • Actor
2002
15% The Trumpet of the Swan
  • Mrs. Hammerbotham
2001
No Score Yet A Bing Crosby Christmas
  • Actor
2000
71% Get Bruce
  • Actor
1999
No Score Yet The Marriage Fool
  • Florence
1998
No Score Yet Bing Crosby Christmas
  • Actor
1998
88% Moon Over Broadway
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet Intimate Portrait - Carol Burnett
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet Men, Movies, and Carol
  • Actor
1994
29% Made in America
  • Executive Producer
1993
No Score Yet Wisecracks
  • Actor
1993
57% Noises Off
  • Dotty
1992
No Score Yet Tale of Peter Rabbit
  • Actor
1991
No Score Yet Julie and Carol Celebrating 25 Years of Friendship
  • Actor
1989
No Score Yet Follies in Concert
  • Carlotta Campion
1985
No Score Yet Between Friends
  • Mary Catherine Castelli
1983
52% Annie
  • Miss Hannigan
1982
No Score Yet Chu Chu and the Philly Flash
  • Emily
1981
75% The Four Seasons
  • Kate Burroughs
1981
No Score Yet Health
  • Gloria Burbank
1980
No Score Yet Friendly Fire
  • Peg Mullen
1979
No Score Yet The Tenth Month
  • Dori Grey
1979
78% A Wedding
  • Tulip Brenner
1978
No Score Yet The Grass Is Always Greener over the Septic Tank
  • Dorothy Benson
1978
No Score Yet Follies in Concert
  • Actor
1978
80% Pete 'n' Tillie
  • Tillie
1972
No Score Yet Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?
  • Stella Irving
1963
No Score Yet Hollywood Bloopers Uncensored
  • Actor

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Colbert Report
2005-2014
  • Guest
No Score Yet Inside Comedy
2012-2015
  • Guest
No Score Yet The Talk
2010
  • Guest
No Score Yet Jimmy Kimmel Live
2003
  • Guest
No Score Yet The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
2014
  • Guest
No Score Yet Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
1999
  • Birdie Sulloway
No Score Yet Hawaii Five-0
2010
  • Deb McGarrett Aunt Deb
No Score Yet The View
1997
  • Guest
No Score Yet All My Children
1970-2013
  • Verla Grubbs
No Score Yet The Late Late Show With James Corden
2015
  • Guest
No Score Yet Desperate Housewives
2004-2012
  • Eleanor Mason
No Score Yet Sesame Street
1969
  • Voice
  • Actor
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
  • Appearing
No Score Yet Late Night With Seth Meyers
2014
  • Guest
27% Chelsea
2016
  • Guest
70% Glee
2009-2015
  • Doris Sylvester
No Score Yet Charlie Rose
2013
  • Guest
91% The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
2015
  • Guest
The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
  • Agnes Grep
No Score Yet The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
2014
  • Guest
The Carol Burnett Show
1978
  • Actor
No Score Yet Hot in Cleveland
2010-2015
  • Penny
No Score Yet Conan
2010
  • Guest
No Score Yet Sunday Morning
2011
  • Appearing

Quotes from Carol Burnett's Characters