Carol Burnett was honored on Friday night at a fundraiser for the James M. Stewart Museum Foundation.
The TV legend and iconic comedienne spoke at the ceremony about growing up enamored with Jimmy Stewart.
“I just love Jimmy Stewart,” Carol Burnett said. She recalled her first movie encounter with him, but couldn’t remember the name of the film.
“It was the late 30s and in a nightclub setting. I know I was 3 or 4 because my feet couldn’t touch the floor from my seat. I just remember I fell in love with that man.”
So did America.
Burnett got her big chance to talk in depth with Jimmy Stewart when she was going to have lunch with him. She was to meet him on the set of The FBI Story in 1958.
But, when it was time to be introduced, she sort of lost it.
“There he was. I saw him, my idol up there,” Burnett said. After the introduction, she was out of ideas and flustered, so she said, “Well, I guess it’s time to tie on the old feed bag … I wanted to die.”
Burnett then proceeded to step right into a bucket of whitewash, which she said she then “dragged across the entire stage, and I left and never went back.”
Sometimes stars are just like us.
Stewart always had a special place in Carol Burnett’s heart. That is why it was so fitting that she receive the honor this year.
The 81-year-old is in good company with past winners like Janet Leigh, Shirley Jones, Ernest Borgnine and Rich Little. Little was famous for his impressions of Jimmy Stewart.
Congratulations to Carol Burnett on her Harvey award and more so on her illustrious career as one of the funniest women to ever grace American TV screens.