Carol Burnett made millions laugh, but behind the smile was a life of neglect, family substance abuse and loss. ONLY in the new issue of Closer Weekly, Carol opens up, revealing how laughter saved her life.
“Comedy can save a lot of people’s lives. It saved mine,” Carol tells Closer, on newsstands now.
Carol on The Carol Burnett Show in 1967. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The child of two alcoholics, Carol was primarily raised by her maternal grandmother, but even in the darkest times, the future star loved to laugh. “Growing up, I laughed at the movies,” she tells Closer. “It sure made it easier.” Adding, “I remember feeling it was my fault that my father drank so much. I felt he didn’t love me,” says Carol.
Carol eventually became the first woman to host her own variety series, The Carol Burnett Show.
“For me, it didn’t happen overnight,” Carol says. “I had to work for my success. I appreciate it all.”
But amid all the success, tragedy struck her family. After her daughter, Carrie Hamilton, then 13, developed a serious drug problem, Carol’s then-husband, Joe Hamilton, a recovering alcoholic, fell off the wagon and the couple soon divorced after 21 years of marriage.
Carol and her daughter Carrie in 1983. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
“We were helpless and totally incapable of dealing with it,” Carol shares with Closer, “I started to stutter. I was nervous and exhausted.”
Sadly, although Carrie straightened herself out, she was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away in January 2002.
“I think of her and talk to her every day,” she tells Closer.
For the full interview with Carol, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!