Carol Burnett Shares Her Biggest Lifetime Achievement (Exclusive)


Carol Burnett is one award away from an EGOT, a mother of three and a newly announced Gracie Award winner but she says that her proudest achievement is something she never expected to accomplish.

Talking with ET’s Denny Directo from a Paley Center event on Monday honoring prolific costume designer Bob Mackie, the actress and comedian hilariously responded to what she is most proud of looking back on her life, sharing that it’s not her Emmys or her Mark Twain Prize that make her the proudest. 

“Living this long,” she said, laughing.

Carol Burnett at the Paley Center event honoring Bob MackieGetty Images

Burnett just recently celebrated her 91st birthday at the end of April and celebrated by being a part of Apple TV+’s hit show Palm Royale, which just wrapped its first season.

The occasion was also marked by the announcement that her co-star from the show, Kristen Wiig, will be the one to present her with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gracie’s, which she says means the world to her. 

“She is a doll and I was so happy to be able to work with her and now I have a new girlfriend,” Burnett shared. 

The cast of Apple TV+’s ‘Palm Royale’Getty

Burnett last spoke with ET while she and Wiig were promoting the show prior to its March premiere. At the time, Wiig praised her co-star and shared that she was pinching herself after finding out that she would get to work with one of her comedy heroes on the 1960s-set show. 

“I literally said today, ‘I still can’t believe that we work together,'” said Wiig — who shared that starring alongside Burnett was a dream that she still isn’t sure is even real. 

“I wanna verify that it’s her. I’m like, ‘It’s Carol, right? Yeah, I mean, it’s Carol.’ And for me, just with sketch comedy and everything she did for every person, every woman, she’s such an inspiration,” the Bridesmaids star raved. “It was the crew, everyone. I mean, she’s just a dream.” 

Blushing, the comedy legend said she too was starstruck at the opportunity to work with Wiig, as well as the show’s other cast members including Allison Janney and Laura Dern

“Oh stop,” replied Burnett. “When I heard who was going to be in this project, I didn’t even have to read it — I have to work with Kristen. I have to work with Allison and, well, I know and — I have to say, I’m thrilled. Maybe it’s a spoiler, but I have so many wonderful scenes with this one and I have been a fan of yours.”

Carol Burnett and Kristen WiigGetty Images

As for kind words for Mackie — the costume designer behind The Carol Burnett Show — the Annie actress shared that she is adamant that the quirky but lovable characters known around the world today may not have blossomed without his designs for each person. 

“Oh my god, so much the percentage is huge,” she said when asked how much credit she gives to Mackie for shaping her characters. “It was so many times I didn’t know how I was gonna do a character until I saw what he was gonna put me in and I’d look in the mirror, there it was and I said, ‘Oh that’s who she is.'”


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