March 22nd, 2013
Carol Burnett
A Woman of Character

Carol Burnett as Calamity Jane

America, in the 1960s and ‘70s, was in turmoil – the civil rights struggle, the war in Vietnam and the sexual revolution defined a nation in conflict. But, at 10:00 every Saturday night, in dorms and dens, in living rooms and bedrooms across the country, Americans watched The Carol Burnett Show. For 11 years, this whacky performer yelled like Tarzan and won our hearts, often breaking our hearts, with her edgy – always sympathetic characters. She could fall down a flight of stairs or take a pie in the face like nobody else. She could also wear a slinky sequined gown and hold her own in a duet with Bing Crosby or Julie Andrews. She was open, honest, a real person – our friend. Yet, as with so many brilliant comedians, hers was a difficult childhood and a glimpse of something deeper, darker began to emerge in the dramatic career that followed her TV variety show.

“Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character” airs Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET on PBS in honor of her new memoir, CARRIE AND ME: A Mother-Daughter Love Story

  • Evelyn McMullen

    In 1954 as a young bride I worked in the UCLA cashier’s office. Carol Burnett would come in rarely to join our daily “hearts” card game. I can recall the day she was so excited to tell us that an anonymous benefactor had seen her on-campus show with her friend (I don’t remember his name) and had given her funds to go to New York to advance her career. She never, even over the many years of her success, has identified her benefactor,. She was goofy when she would play cards with us and her demeanor on tv was exactly the same as when she was in college. She will always be my favorite performer.

  • Diane Rawlings Tye

    Carol Burnett is one of the funniest ladies in show biz. I would watch her tv how all the time. I still watch my tapes I have of her. She is a talented lady.

  • Char Petersen

    Not only is Carol Burnett one of America’s most talented and amazing comics of all time, she is a lady of amazing class and integrity. We had the opportunity to see her live as part of an extraordinary women lecture series and she just blew me away with her charm, graciousness and unpretentious attitude. She just had such class, an amazing heart and funny, my God, she was sooo funny. Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball are such amazing trailblazers…it will be hard for someone to meet and match their talent and class as ladies of comedy!

  • John Cherkofsky

    My wife and I watched this 90 minute show on PBS and loved every minute of it. We used to watch her show back in the 60’s and loved every one of them. Carole Burnett is one of a kind and we want to preserve her shows. We still love her and the wild abandon that she played her characters. She will always be our favorite actress. We would love to have a DVD of this 90 minute show,How may we get one?

  • Cheryl A Mc Andrews

    Carol Burnett was my Sat nite growing up, she made my week – LMAO- no one could duplicate her although Vicki Lawrence was a close #2 txs Carol

  • Wanda James

    Carol Burnett isn’t just talented- she’s pure gold. My God, what we had in her- there’s no one else like her today. Even as a little kid watching her show I laughed myself sick- especially over her Nora Desmond character and the Eunice sketches. And watching this biography, I laughed all over again. Our family would look forward so much to her show every week and we were always allowed to say up because Mom would say her show as “an education in itself” and that was true. Thanks so much PBS for shining the spotlight on this wonderful lady and her spectacular cast of characters- real and fictionalized. We love them all! And many happy returns Carol Burnett- you helped me get through the heartbreak of my baby sister’s diagnosis of severe autism and subsequent hospitalization over those years. Love ya!

  • Addie

    Loved this show! I would also like to know how to buy a copy.

  • Barbara Henry

    Does anyone know how to find out when the special will be aired again?

  • audra berry

    Can I purchase Carol Burnett American Masters on DVD? The special was soooooo good. Thanks

  • w tretola

    If you are not selling the episode in your store, can you at lease put it on line. She is one of the best. Thank you.


Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2015 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.