Comedienne and actress Carol Burnett has had a career on stage and screen for over 50 years.
This spring, she will be honoured with the Stephen Sonheim Award. The May 16 presentation is a rescheduled event that was postponed twice from 2020 due to the global pandemic.
She will be the eleventh entertainer to receive the Signature’s Theatre’s award. Established in 2009, the Stephen Sonheim Award is presented for a lifetime of contributions to American Musical Theatre including works by Sondheim. Burnett will be joining previous honouress Angelia Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Harold “Hal” Prince, Jonathan Tunick, James Lapine, John Weidman, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, John Kander, and Audra McDonald.
Signature Managing Director Maggie Boland spoke on Burnett’s receiving the award saying, “with her love of musical theatre both on the stage and on her own show, it is more than fitting that Carol Burnett receive the Stephen Sondheim Award. We are grateful to have this opportunity to raise much-needed resources for Signature by bringing our community together to honor her legendary talent.”
Signature Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner also spoke on Burnett receiving the award saying, “she is the final honoree to be chosen personally by Mr. Sondheim before his passing and he greatly admired how she has brought the arts to millions of people through her comedy and artistry. We look forward to celebrating her extraordinary career this spring.”
Preceeds from the awards gala go to benefit Signature Theatre’s artistic, education, and community programs.
A 22 time Emmy Award winner, Burnett earned a special Tony Award in 1969. She has appeared in numerous Broadway productions including “Once Upon a Mattress”, Moon Over Buffalo”, “Fade Out-Fade In”, “Putting it Together”, “Hollywood Arms”, and “Love Letters”.
Often referred to as the Queen of Television Comedy, the Texas native was raised by her grandmother who took her to Hollywood when she was still a child. After getting her comedic start while still in high school, Burnett made her television debut at 22 in “The Paul Winchell Show”. She had her own variety show that ran for over a decade and earned her her 22 Emmy Awards. She is also a Kennedy Center Honour, has a Presidential Medal of Freedom, is a Mark Twain Prize for American Humor recipient, and a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.
While not seen as often, Burnett is still at it.
feature photo credit: Burnett, Carol (Whitehouse).jpg