Earlier this year, the entire world paused to remember Carol Burnett, who turned 90 on April 26. For those who missed it, Carol Burnett: A Celebration was a two-hour television extravaganza. On her birthday, 90 Years of Laughter + Love aired on NBC and Peacock. Unquestionably worth viewing!
In the lead-up to her presentation, Burnett kept herself busy by conducting interview after interview. Everyone wanted to speak with her, and the majority of media outlets had the chance to do so, including PEOPLE, who featured her in the April issue of their magazine. It was a great interview with lots of sound bites, as you could expect from her.
Her late daughter Carrie Hamilton, one of her three children with her second husband Joe Hamilton, was one of the many subjects she discussed. Despite her mother’s struggles with addiction and 2002 death from lung and brain cancer, Carrie carried on her mother’s acting and singing careers.
When Carrie Hamilton went tragically, she was only 38 years old; had she lived, she would have turned 60 in December. Despite her short existence, she had a lasting influence on people around her, especially her mother, who now travels with a reminder of her.
Almost never does she miss a day, or even a second, with me. Together, we completed work, laughed, and occasionally even cried. Carol Burnett told PEOPLE in April, just a few weeks before turning 90, that “she was a force.” She even remembers the final piece of advice her late daughter offered her.
“I remember visiting her every day in the hospital when she first fell unwell. A hospital staff member once said, “Carrie cheers us up.” I asked Carrie why she seemed to be so happy all the time, and she replied, “Every day I wake up and decide.” The key word is decide, Carol advised her daughter.
She constantly tells herself this when she arises in the morning. She is advised to enjoy each day as it comes and to remember how fleeting life may be. You are clueless. A day might be very eventful. Be thankful for what you have today, she added, “that’s something we should all practice a bit more of.
Carrie Hamilton and her mother, Carol Burnett, worked together on the play Hollywood Arms before Carol Burnett passed away on January 20, 2002. Burnett’s 1986 autobiography One More Time, which detailed her origins and rise to celebrity in Hollywood, served as the basis for the dramedy.