Burnett, Carol (bərnĕtˈ) [key], 1936–, American television performer, b. San Antonio, Tex. Beginning her show-business life as a singer, she soon turned to comedy. After starring in the off-Broadway play Once upon a Mattress (1959), Burnett achieved success on television as a regular on The Garry Moore Show (1959–62). Then, at a time when variety shows were disappearing, her own Carol Burnett Show (1967–79) with its regular group of players performing comedy sketches and musical numbers, proved highly successful and won five Emmy Awards. She also starred in a number of successful television specials. Her made-for-television movies include Friendly Fire (1979). Burnett has also appeared in such feature films as Pete 'n' Tillie (1972), The Four Seasons (1981), Annie (1982), and Noises Off (1992). She has returned to the stage many times, recently in the Broadway productions of Moon over Buffalo (1995) and Putting It Together (1999), a Stephen Sondheim revue.
See her One More Time: A Memoir (1986); biography by J. R. Taraborrelli (1988).
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