Friday, April 26, 2013

Happy Birthday, Carol Burnett!

Carol Burnett is most famous for her classic television variety series, which ran from 1967-1978. However, she also appeared in several motion pictures, which means that because today is Film Friday we are going to celebrate her birthday. Today she is 80 years old.

The movie Burnett is probably most well-known for is Annie, from 1982. She plays the evil Miss Hanigan, the woman who tries to cheat young Little Orphan Annie out of her happiness. She has one of the best lines in the movie: "Why anybody would want to be an orphan is beyond me." I always thought of her portrayal as being similar to her "Eunice" character from her television show: an unhappy person who basically means well but who lashes out when cornered.

Another film that is worth seeing is Noises Off from 1992. This is a famous British comedy play about an off-off-Broadway show and the hilarity that ensues both in front of and in back of the stage curtain. The show is much funnier but the movie has many funny moments. Burnett plays the lead actress playing the house-keeper; as she begins to suspect that her husband and co-star in the play is cheating on her, things get vindictive pretty quickly.

Burnett also appeared with Alan Alda in the serious comedy, The Four Seasons (1981). I hate to say this, but I was tired of Alda by this point and did not enjoy anything with him in it (not even MASH by this point, sorry!). So I never saw this. While doing research for this article I read a description of the story and it sounds like typical Alan Alda DRAMA with a capital "d." No, thanks.

Another famous film she appeared in was her first serious role, the mother of a son killed accidentally in Friendly Fire (1979). I remember watching this either then or later and being struck by just how talented Carol Burnett was.

Carol Burnett is an awesomely talented actress/comedienne and it is my pleasure to add my wishes to her special day.

Happy Birthday, Carol Burnett!


 co-starring Michael Caine, John Ritter, Christopher Reeve,
and Denholm Elliot in his last role

 co-starring Ned Beatty and Sam Waterston

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