The Personal Life of Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett grew up living in rented rooms; because of the difficult economic situation she faced when living with her grandmother. The first house Burnett lived in was the Beverly Hills house formerly owned by Harry James and Betty Grable, and she considered this house as "luxury".
On December 15, 1955 Carol Burnett married Don Saroyan; the couple divorced in 1962. On May 4, 1963 she married TV producer Joe Hamilton, a divorced father of eight children, and Carol Burnett had 3 daughters to this marriage: actress and writer Carrie Hamilton, Jody Hamilton and singer Erin Hamilton. This marriage too ended in divorce in 1984, and Joe Hamilton later died of cancer. She had her third marriage to Brian Miller, the prime drummer and contractor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra on November 24, 2001, who was twenty-three years younger to her.
Carol Burnett also faced the devastating death of her daughter Carrie Hamilton who died of lung and brain cancer in January 2002 at the age of 38. Carrie Hamilton had been a drug addict since a teenager, but was able to get over it with the help of her husband. Mother and daughter, Carol and Carrie wrote a play called Hollywood Arms.
The popular Carol Burnett had her share of law suits too, when she sued "National Enquirer" for libel when the newspaper described her alleged public drunkenness, supposedly with Henry Kissinger. Carol was particularly disturbed and sensitive with the accusation because of her own parent's alcoholism. This case was a landmark, and the unprecedented $1.6million verdict for Burnett was reduced to $800,000 on appeal, and was settled out of court.
She donated a part of this award to the University of Hawaii and University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and she mentioned that she hoped the suit would teach future journalists the dangers of defaming individuals in publications. This cash was used to fund the Law and Ethics courses at the school.
In March 2007 Carol Burnett sued 20th Century Fox for breach of copyright, trademark violation, statutory violation of right of privacy and many more charges for the altered version of her signature closing song and the portrayal of her charwoman character of Family Guy. However the creator and producer of Family Guy then issued a statement that much of Burnett's own success was by parodying others. The lawsuit was dismissed in May 2007.