Legendary comedienne Carol Burnett was full of laughs on her long-running variety series, The Carol Burnett Show. But behind the scenes, she was known to induce scowls on fellow celebrities. The 83-year-old spitfire revealed her biggest feuds in RadarOnline’s exclusive preview of her upcoming tell-all, In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox.
Leading man Cary Grant loathed Burnett’s blue-collar characters in her popular ongoing sketch, The Family. “I hate them,” he allegedly told the star during a dinner party in the '70s. “They’re ugly characters, yelling and fighting all the time, and utterly without any redeeming qualities!” The late actor later apologized for his diss.
Though Joan Crawford initially “loved” Burnett’s sketches, she hated the star’s spoof of her film Torch Song. “I heard through the grapevine that she didn’t care for my interpretation, thinking it was mean,” the funny lady said.
Rock Hudson was a fan of Burnett’s take on his movies with Doris Day, but the all-American actress did not approve, Burnett claimed: “I was told that Doris Day didn’t get a big kick out of it.”
After Burnett parodied Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal’s film Love Story, the explosive actor confronted her at a Hollywood party. The star “cornered me and told me in no uncertain terms that he hated it, and ‘that guy who played me was awful,’” she wrote.
Late movie star Betty Grable may have appeared to be a class act in the movies, but off screen, she was far from elegant. Burnett claimed she was a “Coca-Cola addict” who drank “several Cokes a day,” resulting in “unrestrained belching.” After Grable burped during a scene on Burnett’s show, comedienne Martha Raye allegedly shouted, “Jesus Christ, Betty, why don’t you just fart and save your teeth?”
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Carol Channing had her own bizarre habits. During dinner one night at a restaurant, the eccentric actress asked for an empty plate— and then pulled out a “huge slab of raw whale blubber” for her dinner! “This must have worked for her, because she was the picture of glowing good health,” Burnett explained.
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During their 11 years on air, only one guest was a “belligerent little SOB,” Burnett insisted. While she refused to name the star, she said he was “on something” and “very short.” Producers even called him a “pony’s a**!”
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One day, Burnett fired her sidekick Harvey Korman for his dark “moods” and “rude” behavior to costars and guests. She eventually accepted his pleas for forgiveness and, of course, returned his job. “You are never, ever to be nasty to one of our guests or anyone on our crew,” she allegedly scolded him. “We all have moods, but we don’t bring them to work.” They patched up their relationship, and Burnett says she was devastated when he died in 2008.