Much-loved TV star Carol Burnett graced our screens and kept us smiling for seven decades but in 2002 her life was changed forever.
Her youngest daughter Carrie died of cancer at just 38 years old. “I think of her every day,” Burnett told People of her youngest daughter whom she shared with Joe Hamilton, a producer of “The Carol Burnett Show.” “She never leaves me … I just feel her.”
Her daughter Carrie Hamilton, who was a writer and actress, died after the cancer in her lungs, spread to her brain. During her teenage years the “Fame” actress struggled with — and eventually overcame — a drug addiction.
“She got sober when she was 17,” Burnett said. “I put her in a third rehab place, and oh my God, she hated me. I came to the conclusion that I had to love her enough to let her hate me.”
Burnett continued: “She got sober and we started bonding. We wound up working together, writing a play together. We worked together in three shows.”
Following Hamilton’s death, Burnett decided to finish the play that the pair had been working on together.
“When Carrie died, I didn’t want to get out of bed for a while, but I had a play (Hollywood Arms) to finish that we started that Hal Prince was going to direct,” Burnett said. “I owed it to Carrie, and I owed it to Hal.”
“I got on a plane and said a little prayer to Carrie, and said, ‘I’ve got to do this alone. Don’t leave me alone. Give me a sign that you’re with me,’” Burnett shared.
After that prayer, Burnett said there were numerous signs that her daughter was with her including a bouquet of birds of paradise flowers in her hotel room.
“That was Carrie’s favorite flower,” Burnett said. “She had one tattooed on her right shoulder. Then at dinner, the maître d’ gave us a bottle of Champagne, and the label said ‘Louise.’ That was Carrie’s middle name. Then it rained on opening night. Carrie and I were nuts for the rain.”
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