It’s been 21 years since Carrie Hamilton, the daughter of the comedic legend Carol Burnett, died at the age of 38 following a battle with lung cancer. As she prepares to turn 90 later this month, Burnett is admitting that she still thinks about her late daughter all the time.
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Burnett’s Late Daughter Is Always With Her
“There’s not a day or almost a moment goes by that she’s not with me,” Burnett told People Magazine. “We worked together, we laughed together, we cried together. She was a force.”
Hamilton followed in her mother’s footsteps by becoming an actress who took roles in both television and on the stage. Sadly, she also struggled with drug addiction, something that she was able to overcome when she was still a teenager. In 2001, Hamilton was diagnosed with lung cancer that quickly spread to her brain, and she died in January of 2002.
“When she got sick, I remember she was in the hospital and I would go to see her every day,” Burnett recalled. “One day, a nurse at the hospital said, ‘Carrie cheers us up.’ I asked Carrie why she was always cheerful, and her reply was, ‘Everyday I wake up and decide.’ That’s the key word, decide.”
“I say that to myself every morning,” she added.
The death of her daughter taught Burnett how fragile life can be.
“It’s taking [it] one day at a time,” she said. “You don’t know. Life can change on a dime. So just be grateful for today what you have.”
Actress, singer, playwright Carrie Hamilton died on this date in 2002, at the age of 38. She's at Westwood. pic.twitter.com/aSPofNCnlV
— Masked Mark Masek ???????️?⚾️? (@CemeteryGuide) January 21, 2023
This is far from the first time that Burnett has publicly paid tribute to her late daughter.
“We were joined at the hip for a while there,” Burnett said in 2020, according to Daily Mail.
In a 2018 interview with People Magazine, Burnett said, “I think of her every day. She never leaves me. I just feel her.”
“You don’t get over it, but you cope,” she added at the time. “What else can you do?”
Happy birthday to wonderful person and legendary talent CAROL BURNETT! (seen here guesting on the #Fame TV series episode "Reggie and Rose" with her daughter Carrie Hamilton) pic.twitter.com/1FNv5iHAD3
— Froonium Ricky Manning (@froonium) April 26, 2019
Burnett’s 90th Birthday
This comes at a time of reflection for Burnett, as she is set to turn 90 years-old on April 26.
“I can’t wrap my head around it,” Burnett told People last week. “I still feel like I’m about 11, but I’m amazed. It sure went fast.”
“But I’m glad because I’ve got all my parts — got my hips, I got my knees and I’ve got my brain, so I’m happy about that,” she continued.
NBC will be celebrating Burnett’s birthday with the special “Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love,” which is set to air at 8pm on April 26. The star-studded special will feature celebrities like Amy Poehler, Cher, Ellen DeGeneres, Julie Andrews and Steve Carell.
Carol Burnett: 90 Years Of Laughter + Love" Birthday Special pic.twitter.com/QSFdbCGKna
— Simply Julie Andrews Fansite (@FansiteJulie) March 3, 2023
When asked what she wants her legacy to be, Burnett replied, “I made people laugh, made them feel good when they might have been down.”
“In my fan mail, many say it was the only time the family would get together, to watch and laugh,” she concluded. “And that sometimes they were lonesome and were cheered up by our show. That’s a good feeling.”
"I still feel like I'm about 11…It sure went fast. But I'm glad because I've got all my parts — got my hips, I got my knees and I've got my brain, so I'm happy about that."
?Carol Burnett 90th Birthday celebration on NBC, April 26th, 8PM pic.twitter.com/sUHTf4XQWh
— ??????? ??️ (@DADiClementi) April 5, 2023
Hamilton would undoubtedly be very proud of her mother if she could see all that Burnett has accomplished in the years since her passing. There’s nothing worse than losing a child, but Burnett appears to have dealt with this tragedy as well as anyone can.
Please join us in saying a prayer for Burnett as she continues to mourn her daughter after all these years.