Carol_Burnett_1958
Photo of Carol Burnett during a comedy routine in 1958. By NBC photo by Elmer Holloway-stamp is faint. (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Carol Burnett will be honored with SAG-AFTRA’s highest tribute, given annually by the performers’ union to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” it was announced Monday.

Burnett, 82, is the 52nd recipient of the SAG Life Achievement Award.

The accolade will be presented to Burnett on Jan. 30 at the 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS.

SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard called Burnett “a creative dynamo and a comedic genius.”

“She embodies the generosity and courage that the greatest actors use in creating enduring and memorable characters,” he said. “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,” Howard said. “Her innate love of actors led to the creation of an ensemble cast that made ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ a masterpiece of variety programming.”

Burnett’s show ran for 11 years, averaging 30 million viewers a week and receiving 25 Emmy Awards, making it one of the most honored shows in television history.

Burnett’s many career accolades include multiple Emmys, a special Tony, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Mark Twain Prize for Humor.

She’s in the midst of writing her fourth book and has established several scholarships, including the Carol Burnett Musical Theatre competition at her alma mater, UCLA.

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