Carol Burnett Reflects on Her Legendary and Iconic Career Ahead of Her 90th Birthday on April 26

Carol Burnett is a legend in the entertainment industry and has enjoyed an iconic career over the past seven decades – a career that is highlighted by her popular variety/sketch comedy show The Carol Burnett Show, which ran from 1967 to 1978. Her credits range from film to TV, theatre, and writing. 

The superstar actress and comedian was born on April 26, 1933, which means she has quite a milestone birthday coming up. In just a few weeks, Burnett will celebrate her 90th birthday – an age many of us are lucky to achieve, but she makes it look easy. In fact, her career isn’t over and she’s still acting to this day.

To celebrate her long and impressive career in front of the camera (and on stage), NBC will be airing a special in her honor on April 26 – the day she turns 90. It’s titled Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love and will air at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC and will also be available to stream on Peacock on April 27. 

Best known for The Carol Burnett Show, Burnett revealed how her signature move, the tug of her ear, started! And the story behind it is so cute!

The tug of her ear was actually a sign she shared for her grandmother who wanted her to give her a shoutout on her show. But Burnett admitted that she knew the producers likely wouldn’t go for it, so she told her “nanny” to look out for the ear tug as her way of giving her the shoutout she wanted so badly! How sweet is that?

RELATED: Carol Burnett Is Opening Up About Losing Her Daughter to Cancer and the Signs She Left Her

On Wednesday, PEOPLE featured Carol Burnett in an interview in this week’s issue of the magazine. She talked about her childhood, her career, and what it means to be turning 90 years old. She calls herself somewhat of a ‘late bloomer’ as a comedian, having not discovered her talent until her college days. 

“I was pretty much of a quiet student all through grammar school, junior high, and Hollywood High,” she told PEOPLE, referring to her younger days. “A lot of the kids at the class were doing heavy, dramatic stuff and I thought, I can’t do that. So I picked something light and they laughed. That’s when the bug bit.”

Even when she started to audition, many people felt she was ‘too loud for television’ – but she didn’t agree with them. And we’re glad she didn’t because she went on to entertain audiences for nearly 70 years – and counting. Most recently, she appeared on the hit TV show Better Call Saul in 2022. 

Carol Burnett Reflects on Her Legendary and Iconic Career Ahead of Her 90th Birthday on April 26
via Shutterstock (Joe Seer)

“I can’t wrap my head around it,” she said of her upcoming milestone birthday. “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.” 

As for her legacy, she wants to be remembered as someone who ‘made people laugh, made them feel good when they might have been down.’ She recalls her fan mail where people would write about how her shows were some of the only times people would get together with their families and laugh in unison. 

Carol Burnett Adds to Her Long List of Accomplishments

Carol Burnett turning 90 years old is quite a major accomplishment – especially considering how good she feels at that age. Of course, it’s just another accolade to add on to her already impressive resume she has built over the past 70 years and likely won’t be her last as she continues her life’s work. 

Burnett has received 23 Emmy nominations (six wins), 18 Golden Globe nominations (7 wins), 3 Tony Award nominations (1 win), and 3 Grammy nominations (1 win). She also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Kennedy Center Honor, and two Peabody Awards. 

Her resume is unique to just her and shows just how much she has meant to the entertainment industry. That’s why NBC has decided to dedicate an entire special in her honor on April 26 – one that will include a long list of featured artists, actors, actresses, and other notable names in the film/TV/theatre industry. 

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Among those featured names are Amy Poehler, Cher, Ellen DeGeneres, Julie Andrews, Steve Carell, Bernadette Peters, Billy Porter, Jane Lynch, Katy Perry, Kristin Chenoweth, and many more. Don’t forget to tune in on April 26 and, most importantly, don’t forget to wish Carol Burnett a happy birthday!

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