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April 21st, 2011
12:15 PM ET

Carol Burnett on show business start: "I'd never seen that many zeros in my life"

Tonight Piers Morgan sits down with Carol Burnett for the full hour to talk books, fame, the daughter she lost and more. In the interview Burnett shares her story of how she got started in show business.

She was performing at a black tie dinner with her classmates from UCLA when she met her benefactor. "There was this tap on the shoulder," she said. "... And it was this gentleman and his wife there. And they were very complimentary." The man in her story offered to support Burnett's move to New York City to join Broadway.

"I'd never seen that many zeros in my life," she exclaimed about the $1,000 check the man provided. There were stipulations involved- she couldn't reveal his name, had to pay him back in five years, and needed to help others once she was successful. Did she hold up her end of the deal? "I sent him the check certified five years to the day."

Catch the full interview tonight at 9pm ET/PT on CNN.

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  1. linda

    Piers Morgan has what it takes to be a interviewer.. I listen to Larry King on the radio for years, then watched his shows. Thank you, A pleased viewer.

    April 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. carolyn j

    i just want to say hello , and tell carol that when i was a child we had a field trip to cbs to see her show, and she has remained my favorite every since.. im 53 now and i was in elementary school then.. thank you so much for inviting children less prevailege in those days.. mayh good continue to bless you. you are steal the greatest.

    April 21, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Name*Barbara

    I love Carol Burnett!!! She looks wonderful. So many happy memories from childhood watching her great show. Bless you Carol!

    April 21, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Dennis

    I'm watching the show now with Piers and Carol. I grew up with Lucille Ball and then later Carol Burnett. ...without a doubt two of the best entertainers in the business. Carol, I miss you terribly on the small screen. You had a tremendous impact on my life. I wish we could turn back the clock!!! Thank you for being there for me.

    April 21, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Sharon

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Piers, for bringing Carol Burnett to us one more time! She is my all time favorite and I LOVE seeing her anytime, anywhere! What a delightful woman you are, Carol, and I can't thank you enough for all the laughter you have brought into my life, my mother's life, and my son's life! I miss seeing you every week, but I have all the DVDs of the show that I have been able to get my hands on, and I watch them on a regular basis. God Bless You!!!

    April 21, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. dianna

    i lost my son age 28 in 02, it was not easy but i am now doing okay. i never thought that i would ever be able to live with it. stay at home mom of 4 & he was my youngest & like almost a girlfriend to me(6' tattoo artist). can't explain, but we talked on the phone almost every day & shared everything.
    talked to many people, parents that have lost their children & most have not gotten over the loss.
    so sorry for your loss of your daughter & i hope that you have found some way to find peace.
    i did, thank goodness.
    peace be with you & all around you

    April 21, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. abel

    Piers,
    Your shows are fantastic – enjoyed the interview with Carol Burnett so very much – a real down to earth lady. Would love to hear from her, how to write a book – can identify with her life, and the way the things I wanted to do, have all fallen into place.

    April 21, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Randy

    I was lucky to spend time with Carol Burnett during the run of her show – sat many times in the seats at CBS Television City watching rehearsals and then attending the tapings on Friday night. She was always so nice to everyone and found her to be nicer than I even thought she would be – sometimes she'd come sit with me during the breaks instead of going to her dressing room to rest ! I have loved her since the Garry Moore Show days when I was a little kid on a farm in Montana and have been so blessed that our paths crossed later. I only hope that will happen again some day. Hugs and Love to you Carol. Thanks Piers for having her on your show!

    April 21, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Chuck in Mississippi

    You were good as a talent judge, but Piers, I think you have found your nitch as an interviewer. Every interview you've done leaves me feeling like I really know the PERSON, not just their VIP reputation. I look forward to you every night.

    April 22, 2011 at 12:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Chuck in Mississippi again.....

    Carol Burnett has brought me more enjoyment than any other performer ever. I have a DVD collection of her TV series and when I need to improve my mood.. to laugh, I watch them! Thank you Carol... seems so trite but there are no words...

    April 22, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Kris

    I really enjoyed the interview with Carol Burnett – she's a delight – and I could tell that Piers enjoyed her also. I hope you can continue to interview people of this caliber. It would be so wonderful to see reruns of her shows!

    April 22, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Sarah

    My teenage son is in denial that he has an addiction. Both the show with Sharon and Kelly Osbourne and last night's show with Carol Burnett were a huge inspiration for me in understanding what I need to do to help my son. Sharon said the addict has to want to do it – they can't be forced. Carol said you can't live with a broken heart. My heart has been broken, but now I have to heal. I am on a mission today to stage an intervention – aksing all of the parents of my son's friends that I can identify to stay sober this weekend and hold up a different reflection of him. I need him to go to treatment voluntarily. Thank you Sharon and Carol for sharing your compassion and humanity and to Piers for making it possible.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Margie

    I loved seeing Carol Burnett and enjoyed the interview she and Piers had together. He seems such a cheerful, enthusiastic person; I like the way he interjects information about himself, too, from time to time, in a conversational style.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
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    July 7, 2012 at 2:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Rusland Kerimj

    Hi, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this article. It was funny. Keep on posting!

    July 10, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse | Reply

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