Carol Burnett has been enjoying life after she changed the landscape of television by becoming the first female to lead a comedy variety show. After the debut of The Carol Burnett Show in 1967, Carol’s eponymous program collected 25 Emmys over its 11-year run, and launched the careers of her hand-picked castmates Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway, and Harvey Korman. She enjoyed an illustrious career as well, having won five Golden Globe Awards, six Emmy Awards, a Special Tony Award and a Grammy. On January 15, 2024, she’s set to be a presenter at the Emmy Awards.
Carol’s incredible life always deserves to be be celebrated and that’s exactly what happened on April 26, 2023 when the Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love special aired to mark her 90th birthday. A smorgasbord of celebrities joined in to pay tribute to the icon. “I was thrilled to have my chum Julie Andrews [there],” Carol said, per NBC. “She flew out and she was with me the whole evening by my side. We’ve got a 62-year friendship! That was lovely. And so many wonderful performers: Bernadette Peters and Kristin Chenoweth and Billy Porter, Jane Lynch, Katy Perry. Kristen Wiig and Allison Janney and Laura Dern were hysterical when they got up to pay tribute. I don’t want to spoil it. I’m not gonna give it away. But they were funny.”
Along with reshaping the television landscape, Carol has been busy as a wife and mother during her lifetime. She’s been married three times in her life and welcomed three daughters, Carrie, Jody, and Erin. Sadly, Carol lost Carrie to cancer in 2002. Keep reading to find out more about the men Carol has called husband, below.
Carol had young love in her heart when she met her first husband Don Saroyan while they were studying at UCLA. The star’s family had moved to Los Angeles from Texas when she was a teen and she attended Hollywood High, before chasing her drama dreams at the nearby university, where she bumped into Don. After they graduated, they married on December 15, 1955. The union was short lived, however, as they divorced in 1962, around the same time Carol won her first Emmy for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Musical Program or Series for her work in The Garry Moore Show.
Only a year after she split with Don, Carol went on to marry Joe Hamilton, a television producer. Joe was an integral part of Carol’s professional life as well. He produced much of her work, like her 1962 Carnegie Hall concert as well as Mama’s Family, Carol and Company, and the television version of Once Upon a Mattress, whose Broadway production earned Carol a Tony nomination in1959.
She welcomed her three girls with Joe. On December 5, 1963, their first bundle of joy arrived. Carrie followed in her mom’s footsteps and had a successful television career after a publicly struggling with a substance abuse disorder. She sadly had brain cancer and died in 2002. In 1967 they welcomed daughter Jody, who also has tried her hand at acting. A year later, daughter Erin arrived. She, too, has lent her talents to the entertainment industry.
Carol and Joe ended up going their separate ways in 1987. He died from cancer in 1991.
Carol and Brian were married for only two months when her daughter Carrie died in January 2002. While he is 23 years Carol’s junior, the drummer for the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra hasn’t let their age gap make much of a difference, as they have been going strong since saying “I do.” And it hasn’t been an issue for Carol either! “He’s funny and not easily intimidated. As we get older, the gap between our ages narrows. If you were 40 and married a 20-year-old, I don’t think you could communicate like [we do],” she told People.