San Antonio-born comedian Carol Burnett — actress, author and spirit guide to several generations of self-deprecating, rubber-limbed, humanely hilarious thesps — will be the Austin Film Society’s first honoree of the 2016 Texas Film Hall of Fame. Burnett, whose quiver of kudos includes Emmy, Golden Globe, Peabody awards and, in 1969, a Special Tony Award, was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2005 and the 2013 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize. She is to be inducted at the Texas Film Awards on March 10, 2016 at the Austin Studios.
“Carol Burnett is the queen of comedy who defined the American variety show, reigned in American living rooms for many years and set the bar for any comedian who followed her,” said film director and writer Richard Linklater, who also is artistic director of the Austin Film Society. “Her brilliance on screen and stage made her an icon, but modern American comedy as we know it was born of Carol Burnett’s influence. As a woman comedian she was a trailblazer; comedy and variety shows were a man’s world before Carol broke through and changed the industry. We’re humbled to honor her and welcome her back to Texas.”
The Texas Film Hall of Fame, now in its 16th year, honors Texans’ contributions to film and television, inducting some of the industry’s most iconic filmmakers, films, actors and entertainers. Members include Tommy Lee Jones, Cyd Charisse, Terrence Malick, Sissy Spacek, Easy Rider and Quentin Tarantino, among many other major artists and films. The awards event benefits the Austin Film Society’s artistic and educational programs.