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3. When Opportunity Struck, Burnett Grabbed Hold

Burnett’s story was one that saw her being taken from a buffet line to propelled into the spotlight. As a drama student at UCLA, Burnett and fellow students were invited to a send-off party for a professor. Burnett chose to perform a scene from the musical “Annie Get Your Gun.” A stranger approached her afterwards to commend this performance. After finding out that she wanted to someday be on Broadway, but lamenting about her financial situation, this man offered her $1000 to get on her way, with conditions: Pay him back without interest in five years, pass on the same kindness when she could, and never reveal his identity. Despite her grandmother and mother’s misgivings, Burnett took the chance and the money.

Carol Burnett

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