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Kennedy Center Honors

Carol Burnett: Keeping it real in Fort Lauderdale

Carol Burnett: Keeping it real in Fort Lauderdale

In September, it will be 50 years since Carol Burnett — then best known as a Tony-nominated actress for the 1959 musical comedy “Once Upon a Mattress” and versatile cast member of the hit variety TV program “The Garry Moore Show” — first walked in front of television cameras in her most celebrated role: herself.

From 1967 to 1978, “The Carol Burnett Show” was an essential stop for 30 million viewers each week, a one-hour musical variety show, complete with a 28-piece orchestra, singers, dancers and Bob Mackie-designed costumes, with comic sketches led by a bewigged Burnett portraying an unflattering army of zany, original characters. With a beloved repertory company that included...