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American Masters

Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character (Season 21, Episode 9)
TV-PG
TV Episode | Documentary, Biography

Comedienne Carol Burnett's early show business aspirations were to perform in live theater on Broadway, craving the instant gratification from a live audience. Her sensibilities were shaped by going to "happy" movies in the 1940s and 1950s...See moreComedienne Carol Burnett's early show business aspirations were to perform in live theater on Broadway, craving the instant gratification from a live audience. Her sensibilities were shaped by going to "happy" movies in the 1940s and 1950s, the story lines for which made it seem like anything was possible. These movie going experiences were in part a mechanism to escape her difficult home life, which was nonetheless loving. Based on her early work, professionals around her saw her comedic talents and steered her in the direction of stand-up and sketch comedy. Her life in sketch comedy on television, both on The Garry Moore Show and her own show, The Carol Burnett Show was one of fun and play acting, which translated to what the audience saw. Her own show was pioneering as she was the first woman to host her own sketch comedy show. Unlike most sketch players, she relished in the interaction with her audience as seen through the Q&A's on her show. One thing she was uncomfortable with was her singing, a character which she needed to hide behind to feel comfortable to sing. Some say that there is a fine line between comedy and tragedy, with her fine dramatic acting skills displayed in such television movies as Friendly Fire and Seasons of the Heart. Tragedy unfortunately struck her personal life in having to deal with a drug addicted daughter, 'Carrie Hamilton (I)' and after Carrie's drug recovery her untimely death at age 38 from cancer. Written by Huggo See less
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Cinematographer
Status
Edit Released
Updated Nov 5, 2007

Release date
Nov 5, 2007 (United States)

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Cast

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35 cast members
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Carol Burnett
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Betty White
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Kenny Solms
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Tim Conway
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Richard DeNeut
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Mitzie Welch
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Ken Welch
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Phyllis Diller
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Garry Moore
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Don Crichton
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Bob Mackie
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Carl Reiner
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Lyle Waggoner
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Tracey Ullman
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Garry Shandling
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Harvey Korman
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Richard Kind
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Dean Fuller
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Eydie Gormé
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Ella Fitzgerald
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Beverly Sills
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Gail Parent
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Jon Cryer
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Julie Andrews
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Chrissie Burnett
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Vicki Lawrence
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Jenna Elfman
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Harold Prince
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Walter Matthau
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Lee Grant
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Carrie Hamilton
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Ratings Breakdown

8.3 / 10 | 85 votes