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Carol Burnett Shares Show-Biz Memories In New Memoir

ALICIA RANCILIO   04/15/10 10:47 AM ET   AP

Carol Burnett

"This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection" (Harmony, $25, 288 pages), by Carol Burnett. If you're drawn to the good old days of Hollywood before reality TV, round-the-clock celebrity updates on Twitter, and carefully crafted sound bites approved by publicists, then you'll enjoy Carol Burnett's new book. The 76-year-old actress-comedian recounts some of her favorite Hollywood memories in "This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection."

Burnett has a history with entertainers including Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Elizabeth Taylor. She recounts many of her favorite stories about these stars from both a professional and personal level.

She also provides behind-the-scenes insight into some of her career highlights, including her trademark Tarzan yell, a regular bit on "The Carol Burnett Show," which aired on CBS for 11 seasons. She used the yell to scare away a mugger while walking late at night in New York City, and also let it rip to prove her identity when trying to pay a bill with a personal check.

Readers will learn how a teenager named Vicki Lawrence went from sending Burnett a fan letter to playing her younger sister – and later her mother – on "The Carol Burnett Show."

And she writes about her strong friendship with Lucille Ball, who was something of a mentor. Ball taught Burnett that it was OK to have a voice in the workplace.

One laugh-out-loud moment occurs when Burnett relates how she schemed with Julie Andrews to play a joke on director Mike Nichols at a Washington hotel. Andrews and Burnett decided to dress in pajamas and kiss as a way of greeting Nichols as he got out of an elevator. Instead of Nichols, they were surprised by former first lady Lady Bird Johnson.

Burnett gets serious when writing about the death of her daughter Carrie Hamilton, who died of cancer in 2002 at 38. But she provides one of her favorite anecdotes about her daughter as a young girl being disciplined for lying.

Burnett is touring the U.S. in a traveling stage show where she answers questions from the audience. If you can't make it to the show, the book is an opportunity to learn about some of the moments in her life – and feel like you're sharing quality time with Burnett.

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Filed by Jessie Kunhardt  |