Lucille Ball Loved Carol Burnett Like a Daughter, 1976 Interview Is Too Cute To Handle


No matter how old you get, friendships are something truly special.

The bond between friends so often goes beyond just good times and laughs, becoming a treasure trove of memories shared over the years.

Take the decades-long friendship between Hollywood icons Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett, for example. Theirs was a friendship full of memories — hilarious and touchingly sweet at the same time.

In 1976, the two of them appeared together for an interview on actress Dinah Shore’s variety talk show “Dinah!”

Ball came out on stage first and Burnett later made a surprise entrance — to Ball’s utter delight.

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It’s quickly clear from her actions during the interview that Ball adored Burnett. The two embraced affectionately multiple times and Ball just looked thrilled to have Burnett by her side. She was even comfortable enough around Burnett to play with her necklace.

During the interview, Burnett recalled the exact date the two met: May 12, 1959. Ball came to see Burnett in her off-Broadway show “Once Upon a Mattress,” and Burnett said just how shocked she was that the TV star had come to see her show.

Burnett said that she was more nervous with Ball in the audience than she had been on opening night. After the show, Ball came back to Burnett’s dressing room to talk to the young actress.

Burnett told Glamour recently, “(Ball) called me ‘kid’ because she was 22 years older than I. Just as she was leaving, she said, ‘Kid, if you ever need me for anything, give me a call.'”

And call she did. When Burnett needed a big name guest star for one of her very first network specials, CBS told her to ring up Ball.

Burnett recalled their conversation: “They said, ‘All (Ball) can say is no. Just call and ask.’ So I did, and I got her on the phone. She said, ‘Hey, kid, you’re doing great, what’s happening?’ And I said, ‘I know you’re really busy, I don’t want to bother you,’ and she said, ‘What are you talking about?'”

Burnett continued, “I said, ‘I’m going to be doing this special for CBS and…’ She wouldn’t even let me finish the sentence and said, ‘When do you want me?’ And so she was my guest. We became very close friends.”

HOLLYWOOD, UNITED STATES: Picture of Lucille Ball taken in Hollywood, California, 17 June 1949. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
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The two formed a relationship that was part friendship and part mentorship. Burnett told the Hollywood Reporter that Ball “never gave me advice, but I watched how she handled herself and handled everybody.”

Burnett said the two became such good friends that Ball even threw her “a black tie baby shower. With men attending. It one of the funniest evenings ever. Her husband was comedian Gary Morton. He opened up the baby gifts and he did routines on everything. It was just hysterical.” Burnett recalled how Ball was the perfect hostess.

Ball certainly did love Burnett, and the “I Love Lucy” star’s last gesture was a cherished tradition between the two women.

“She would always send me flowers on my birthday,” Burnett said. “(Years later), she died on my birthday, April 26. That afternoon I got flowers from her. It said, ‘Happy birthday, kid.'”

The bond these two women shared was definitely a special one. Do you have a lifelong friendship like this one?

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