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Betty White Gives An Insider Perspective On Her Friend Carol Burnett – The Comedy And The Tragedy

Betty White and Carol Burnett are two living legends who have been in Hollywood for decades, and the two became close friends over the years. Close friends share the good and the bad and White has been there for Burnett in the hard times.

These two brilliant comediennes have appeared on television together countless times through the years. They’ve graced family favorite shows like “Mama’s Family” and “Hot in Cleveland”.

This clip from 2015 in the tweet below captures the on-stage magic and fun of getting these two greats together.

Betty White Discusses Carol Burnett

While Burnett is known to millions of fans for her comedy, White recently talked about her comedic genius and grace in the face of tragedy. 

“Carol Burnett was sort of a Saturday night must,” White, 99, said on the American Masters Podcast. [4] “You couldn’t not watch The Carol Burnett Show.”

White revealed that Burnett, 87, called her personally asking her to appear on her show, and she was ecstatic to have the chance to do it.

It’s an experience that she’s never forgotten. 

“Carol’s comedic style is — there’s such a sense of fun in there,” she continued. “You get the feeling that she’s enjoying it maybe just as much, if not more, than you are. And that’s saying something.”

White went on to say that Burnett has endured her “fair share of tragedy” during her life, and this was reflected in her more serious work later in live. 

“You were seeing a different Carol,” White said. “Then, through her later life with the problems she had. The pain — you felt the pain because you loved her. Writing this show with her daughter and then losing her daughter so close.”

Related: Carol Burnett Reveals Why She Fired Harvey Korman From ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ In Season 7 [5]

Carol Burnett Lost Her Daughter To Cancer

Burnett’s beloved daughter Carrie Hamilton died of cancer at the age of 38 back in 2002.

Hamilton had battled drug addiction as a teenager, and her relationship with her mother suffered. But the mother-daughter duo patched things up and were very close by the time Hamilton died. 

“We were joined at the hip for a while there,” Burnett once said of Hamilton, according to Fox News [6]. “… In the hospital, she said, ‘Every day I wake up and decide today I’m going to love my life.’ And that was her mantra.”

In a 2018 interview, Burnett said that she still thinks about Hamilton “every day.”

“You don’t get over it, but you cope,” Burnett said at the time. “What else can you do? When Carrie died, I didn’t want to get out of bed for a while, but I had a play to finish that we started that Hal Prince was going to direct. I owed it to Carrie, and I owed it to Hal.”

Burnett, White, and Hamilton all appeared together on a star-studded episode of popular game show “Family Feud [7]” in 1995.

In the episode, Carol Burnett’s daughter is excited to get the game started as host Richard Dawson introduces the team. You can watch it in the tweet below.

Related: Watch Carol Burnett And Imogene Coca Get Into A Cat Fight As Harvey Korman Watches [11]

Friends Until The End

As for the “Golden Girls” darling, she has no plans to stop supporting Burnett anytime soon.

“Once in awhile, Carol and I had lunch together,” White explained. “Once again, it’s what you don’t say that means more than what you do say. … When you see each other, you just hold a little tighter and try to be business as usual.”

What the rest of us wouldn’t give to call either of these comedic icons our friend.

Carol Burnett and Betty White are certainly quite lucky to have each other in their lives. We could all use friends like them! 

You can watch the incomparable Betty White talk about how Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball broke comedic barriers in her own words in the tweeted American Masters interview below.