For 12 years, actress and television performer Carol Burnett brought laughter and music to the world with The Carol Burnett Show (1967-1979). The beloved comic, known for her accessibility and charm, opened each show by answering questions from her studio audience.
"Comedy is tragedy plus time," she once said.
Born on this day in San Antonio, Texas, Burnett had a tough, impoverished childhood and was raised by her grandmother. Early in her career, the entertainer gained national attention with the novelty song I Made a Fool of Myself Over John Foster Dulles (1956).
Through hard work and determination, she made it to Broadway in 1959's Once Upon A Mattress. "I drifted off, dreaming footlights every color of the rainbow," she said about her first New York performance.
Television was her medium to shine. First appearing regularly on the Gary Moore Show (1959-1962), then taking off with her own show which celebrated comedy sketches and family entertainment.
In 1981, she successfully won a libel suit against the tabloid, The National Enquirer for claiming she was drunk in public and donated her cash settlement of $100,000 to the University of Hawaii Journalism Department to establish scholarships to promote ethics and responsibility.
"Only I can change my life," Burnett said. "No one can do it for me."
Life's challenges are there to educate.