Laughing Till It Hurts: The Complete Life and Career of Carol Burnett

J. Randy Taraborrelli, Author
J. Randy Taraborrelli, Author William Morrow & Company $18.95 (432p) ISBN 978-0-688-08103-4
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Biographer of Diana Ross and Cher, Taraborelli purports here to flesh out the story related by Carol Burnett in One More Time , but, mainly, he covers the same ground. The material is dimmed by clumsy writing, but quoted comments of the star's associates add immediacy and verve. Taraborelli describes the entertainer's poor childhood in California, arrival in New York at age 21 and all-out efforts to get into show business. There are data on Burnett's brief marriage to a fellow UCLA student, early appearances on TV, the lead role in the Broadway musical Once Upon a Mattress and later success as the phenomenally popular television star. We read about her marriage to producer Joe Hamilton in 1963, which broke up after 20 years, and about their three daughters, one of whom, teenage Carrie, became addicted to drugs. Taraborelli speculates about Burnett's future and concludes, a bit breathlessly, ``Carol is not `just plain folks,' '' her personal evolution ``is just plain human .'' Photos not seen by PW. (September)
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