Carol Burnett has had a long and successful career since she hit the stage in 1956. More than 60 years later, the comedy icon will be honored with an inaugural special achievement in television award at the 2019 Golden Globes on Jan. 6. In celebration of the honor, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at her life in pictures. Keep reading to relive some of Carol's biggest moments…
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Carol Burnett, who posed for this portrait circa 1955, was born in San Antonio, Texas, on April 26, 1933. She relocated to Los Angeles during her childhood and went to college at UCLA, where she studied English and theater and sharpened her skills as a writer before moving to New York City to pursue a career as an actress.
A year after she made her television debut on "The Paul Winchell Show," Carol Burnett scored her first big break when she debuted as Celia, the title character's girlfriend, on the short-lived NBC comedy "Stanley," which aired from 1956 to 1957. (Buddy Hackett starred as the titular employee of a posh New York City hotel on the sitcom.)
Carol Burnett made her debut on "The Garry Moore Show" in 1958. She was a key member of the cast of the CBS variety show until November 1962.
Carol Burnett made her Broadway debut in "Once Upon a Mattress" in 1959. The following year, she earned her first Tony Award nomination for her performance in the musical comedy.
Garry Moore pecked Carol Burnett on the cheek during the 1962 Emmy Awards in New York City. They were both winners that night: She won the Emmy for outstanding performance in a variety or musical program or series for her work on "The Garry Moore Show," which also won the Emmy for outstanding program achievements in the fields of variety and music.
In 1962, Carol Burnett and longtime pal Julie Andrews, who've worked together countless times over the years, starred on "Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall." Joe Hamilton directed and produced the CBS musical-comedy showcase. He and Carol tied the knot a year after it debuted.
Carol Burnett was all smiles as she left a Las Vegas courthouse with her lawyer, Harry Claiborne, after settling her divorce from her first husband, college sweetheart Don Saroyan, on Sept. 25, 1962. They tied the knot in 1955 and separated in 1959.
Carol Burnett posed with her award during the 15th Annual Primetime Emmys in New York City on May 26, 1963. The comedienne won the Emmy for outstanding performance in a variety or musical program or series for her work on "Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall" and "An Evening with Carol Burnett."
Carol Burnett appeared alongside Lucille Ball on an episode of "The Lucy Show" in 1966. The "I Love Lucy" star served as a friend and mentor to the younger comedienne until her death in 1989.
"The Carol Burnett Show" debuted on CBS in 1967. The titular comedienne racked up countless Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her work on the variety and sketch-comedy series during the course of its 11 seasons on the air. (The program concluded in 1978.)
Carol Burnett and then-husband Joe Hamilton, who executive produced "The Carol Burnett Show," posed with their awards during the 1972 Emmys in Hollywood. It was the first of three Emmys the iconic actress would take home for her work on her eponymous variety show.
Carol Burnett starred opposite Alan Alda in the 1974 made-for-TV movie "6 Rms Riv Vu," which he co-directed. They both earned Emmy nominations for their work on the CBS adaptation of the play of the same name, which also scored an Emmy nomination for best comedy or drama special.
In 1976, Carol Burnett and Beverly Sills starred on "Sills and Burnett at the Met," a musical special that aired on CBS. The program earned four Emmy nominations the following year. (The actress and the opera singer were friends until Beverly's death in 2007.)
On Oct. 22, 1979, Carol Burnett and daughter Carrie Hamilton, the eldest of her three daughters with Joe Hamilton, sat down for an interview with Dinah Shore for her "Dinah and Friends" talk show in Hollywood. The interview centered around Carrie's struggles with drugs and alcohol.
Carol Burnett and second husband Joe Hamilton participated in a press conference in Los Angeles on March 26, 1981, after she successfully sued the National Enquirer for libel for a 1976 report in which the tabloid implied that the actress had been drunk while allegedly engaging in a "loud argument" with U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at a restaurant. (Three years later, Carol and Joe called it quits after more than two decades of marriage.)
In 1982, Carol Burnett starred as Miss Hannigan in "Annie." The following year, she earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the movie musical.
Carol Burnett and her eldest daughter, Carrie Hamilton, posed in a promotional photo for the CBS made-for-TV movie in which they co-starred, "Hostage," in Los Angeles on Nov. 5, 1987. The mother-daughter duo also shared the screen on a 1987 episode of "Fame," on a 1990 episode of "Carol & Company" and on a 1997 episode of "Touched by an Angel."
Carol Burnett was joined by her three daughters — Carrie Hamilton, Erin Hamilton and Jody Hamilton — as she blew out the candles on her 55th birthday cake on the set of ABC's "Superstars and Their Moms" in Los Angeles on April 26, 1988.
Carol Burnett made her debut as Theresa Stemple, the mother of Helen Hunt's Jamie Stemple Buchman, on NBC's "Mad About You" in 1996. The following year, she won an Emmy for her work on the sitcom. (Carol earned a second Emmy nomination for her performance on "Mad About You" in 1998.)
Carol Burnett and her two oldest daughters, Carrie Hamilton and Jody Hamilton, attended the opening of the Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills on March 17, 1999. Three years later, Carrie died of lung and brain cancer at the age of 38.
Carol Burnett and "The Carol Burnett Show" co-star Vicki Lawrence, whom she claims to have discovered, reunited at an event announcing Columbia House's release of a "The Carol Burnett Show" video library in Beverly Hills on Oct. 24, 2000. Carol's been Vicki's friend and mentor since they first met during the '60s.
Carol Burnett and her third husband, drummer Brian Miller, attended the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., in December 2001, the same year they tied the knot.
Carol Burnett portrayed the grandmother of Alexis Bledel's character in the 2009 romantic comedy "Post Grad." She hasn't appeared on the big screen since then.
Carol Burnett signed copies of "Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story" — the third of her four memoirs — in Los Angeles on April 16, 2013. The book centers around the life of the comedienne's late daughter, singer-actress Carrie Hamilton.
The Screen Actors Guild honored Carol Burnett with its lifetime achievement award during the 22nd Annual SAG Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 30, 2016. The iconic comedian celebrated her status as top dog by donning house slippers on the red carpet before the ceremony.
Carol Burnett did her signature ear tug — a loving message to her grandmother that she did during her original show's run — before the taping of "The Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special" in Los Angeles on Oct. 4, 2017.
More than 15.2 million viewers tuned in to watch "The Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special" when it aired on Dec. 3, 2017. The comedy program featured some of the most popular clips from the original show along with celebrity interviews and reflections. The TV special was so successful that an additional 5.26 million viewers tuned in to watch the rerun that aired Dec. 27.
Carol Burnett began 2018 onstage, presenting alongside Jennifer Aniston at the 2018 Golden Globes. Carol received a standing ovation before handing out the trophy for best performance by an actress in a TV musical or comedy series.
Never one to slow down, Carol Burnett hosted her very own show on Netflix just a few months later. "A Little Help with Carol Burnett" premiered on May 4, 2018, to positive reviews from critics and fans. As the host, Carol led a panel of children who offered unscripted advice to celebrities and average people about everyday issues. She's seen here on April 30, 2018, arriving at the "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" studios in Hollywood, where she promoted her special.
Carol Burnett became a Peabody winner two times over when she won a career achievement trophy at the 77th Annual Peabody Awards on May 19, 2018. Speaking about her win, Carol said the achievement had her, "as my friend Julie Andrews would say, 'gobsmacked.'" (Carol won her first Peabody in the early '60s.)