Carol Creighton Burnett was born on April 26, 1933, in San Antonio, Texas, to Joseph and Ina Louise Burnett. After her parents divorced in the late 1930s, Burnett moved with her grandmother, to a small apartment in Hollywood, California. She attended Hollywood High School, graduating in 1951. After studying theater arts and English at the University of California, Los Angeles, as an aspiring playwright, Burnett left school early and made her way to New York City in hopes of breaking into acting. Burnett made her first television appearance in the early 1950s with a short stint on The Winchell-Mahoney Show, a children's TV program. Soon after, she began co-starring with Buddy Hackett on the sitcom Stanley (1956-57). In 1959, Burnett became a regular on The Garry Moore Show. Over the years, she was also featured on occasional CBS specials. Already a popular performer, she got her own comedy-variety show, The Carol Burnett Show, in 1967. The show ran for 11 seasons, leaving the air in 1978. In addition to her hit television show, Burnett has appeared in a number of feature films, including Pete 'n' Tillie (1972), The Front Page (1974), Annie (1982), Noises Off (1992) and Post Grad (2009). She made her Broadway debut in the musical Once Upon a Mattress in 1959 and went on to appear in a few other Broadway shows, including Moon Over Buffalo (1995-1996) and Putting It Together (1999-2000). Her 1986 autobiography, One More Time: A Memoir, provided the source material for the play Hollywood Arms, which was performed on Broadway from October 2002 to January 2003. Burnett co-wrote the piece with her oldest daughter, Carrie Hamilton. Over her decades-long career, Burnett has won numerous honors, including American Comedy Awards, Emmy and Golden Globe awards, the 1980 Women in Film Crystal Award, the 2006 Presidential Medal of Freedom and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
"Life is too serious to take seriously."