This Time Together
Laughter and ReflectioneBook - 2010
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One of the denizens of show biz, Carol Burnett has been entertaining theatre, television and movie audiences since she got her start on New York stages as Princess Woebegone back in the 1950’s. She became a household name while appearing on the Garry Moore Show in the1960’s, with international fame following soon after – the first woman to host a television variety program, The Carol Burnett Show lasted eleven seasons, a lifetime in a notably fickle industry. Her new book, This Time Together, reads like a “Who’s Who” of Hollywood Royalty: Julie Andrews, Jimmy Stewart, Zero Mostel, Lucille Ball, Walter Matthau, Elizabeth Taylor, Bernadette Peters; Carol Burnett has known or worked with them all. And while her celebrity anecdotes are fascinating, her stories that involve more intimate friends and acquaintances are just as funny and are frequently poignant. The time she tried to make small talk with an Iranian Princess. The instant connection she felt with a little girl who was suffering from leukemia. Her flabbergasted first meeting with one of her biggest fans, Cary Grant (THE CARY GRANT – Ms. Burnett’s emphasis). Her surreal telephone conversation with Marlon Brando about her chin. The loss of her eldest daughter, actress Carrie Hamilton, age 38, to breast cancer. She does not wallow in the personal moments but tells them graciously, sometimes passionately and always matter-of-factly. Being a great comedienne, Ms. Burnett knows that brevity is the soul of wit, so there are no conventional chapters, just a series of chronologically arranged short anecdotes that start at the beginning of her career – going to the movies with Nanny – to present day – with plenty of space for laughing aloud. There are lessons to be learned from how her life has been lived, too: in the moment, with acceptance and forgiveness, and always with a breathtakingly wide sense of humour. For a real treat, check out the audio version of this book – read by Ms. Burnett herself – on DownloadLibrary.ca, and hear her account of Rumplemeyer’s Ice Cream Parlour (or the weirdest question she was ever asked) in her own voice. Laugh, cry and enjoy!
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