The eponymous star of “The Carol Burnett Show” is the 52nd recipient of the prestigious award, which honors those who embody the “finest ideals of the acting profession.” Burnett’s landmark television series, which Variety cited as one of the 25 shows that changed television, was a critical and commercial success. The variety show won 25 Emmy awards and aired for 11 years, averaging 30 million viewers.
Burnett’s notable film credits include “Annie,” “A Wedding” and “Four Seasons.” She has also appeared on Broadway, most recently in 2014’s “Love Letters,” about a relationship between two childhood friends who eventually become lovers.
An inductee to the Television Hall of Fame, Burnett already has a Peabody Award, five Golden Globe Awards, Crystal and Lucy Awards from Women in Film and many other trophies to her name.
Her impressive work off-camera includes establishing scholarships around the country — such as the Carol Burnett Musical Theatre Competition at UCLA, her alma mater — and serving as the Lifetime Director of the Hereditary Disease Foundation.
“Carol Burnett is a creative dynamo and a comedic genius,” said SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard. “She embodies the generosity and courage that the greatest actors use in creating enduring and memorable characters. From her heartbreakingly hilarious Starlet O’Hara to the adorably inept Eunice and alarmingly funny Miss Hannigan, Carol has delighted and inspired millions of viewers and thousands of comedic actors. She took risks as a performer and through her courage, encouraged fellow actors to try new things and always, always reach for the sky. Her innate love of actors led to the creation of an ensemble cast that made ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ a masterpiece of variety programming.”
Last year’s SAG lifetime-achievement honoree was Debbie Reynolds. Since 2000, eight of the 16 recipients of the Life Achievement Award have been women: Ruby Dee (2000), Shirley Temple (2005), Julie Andrews (2006), Betty White (2009), Mary Tyler Moore (2011), Rita Moreno (2013), Debbie Reynolds (2014) and now Burnett (2015).
Burnett is currently working on “In the Sandbox,” her fourth book.
You can watch Burnett accept her trophy at the SAG Awards when the show airs on TNT and TBS on January 30, 2016. In the meantime, check out the video from Makers below to get a quick refresher on her extraordinary legacy. You can watch more footage about Burnett from Makers here.