The Carol Burnett Showfeatured numerous guest starsduring its run from 1967 to 1978. Hollywood royalty consisting of Lucille Ball, bing Crosby, and also Jimmy Stewart every took a rotate performingwith the range show star.

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Film icon Rita Hayworth made she debut ~ above the comedy collection in season 4, despite Burnett had actually some concerns watching the Gilda star in rehearsals.


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Carol Burnett and also Harvey Korman the ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ | CBS photograph Archive/Getty Images

Carol Burnett invite Rita Hayworth ~ above the map out show

After act a spoof the Hayworth’s classic 1946 film Gilda, Burnett received a telegram native the movie star through accolades top top the skit. Once Burnett dubbed to give thanks to her, she invite the movie star top top The Carol Burnett Show through a setup currently in mind.

“We were to execute a sketch where Rita (as herself) was having lunch in ~ he Brown Derby through her agent (Harvey Korman),” Burnett explained in she her 2016 memoirIn Such good Company: Eleven year of Laughter, Mayhem, and also Fun in the Sandbox.“Vicki and also I to be an obnoxious mother and also daughter who kept interrupting their lunch.”

Burnett and also Hayward would then sing a duet, followed by the live audience and also viewers seeing a clip that Hayworth dancing through Fred Astaire from You’ll Never acquire Rich.


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Hayworth want her cool finale through Burnett to function them both dressed as Burnett’s standard Charwoman character. Hayworth would be decked out in the cleaning garb, feather in a mirror with Burnett as her reflection law a “mock striptease number.”

Rita Hayworth couldn’t find her footing

According to Burnett, Hayworth to be a tiny off her video game when it come time come rehearse your dance number.

“I remember hear somewhere that Fred Astaire when said that Rita Hayworth to be his favourite dancing partner,” The Carol Burnett Show star recalled. “She was classically trained in ballet, tap, ballroom, swing, and also Spanish dancing. … so it to be a good surprise to Ernie Flatt, our choreographer, when Rita to be unable come execute a simple step or two in our Charwoman dance routine.”

Hayworth ongoing to stumble v the steps, prompting Burnett to take it some security measures.


“She to be so nervous the we made decision to pre-tape the number, for this reason she wouldn’t have to perform the in prior of ours live audience on-the-air show,” the famous redhead explained. “Was she drinking? us didn’t know, however it was noticeable that something to be terribly wrong. Friday came, and we were all concerned about her.”

‘The Carol Burnett Show’ audience loved the ‘Gilda’ star

Word had spread that the film star would certainly be showing up on The Carol Burnett Show, v tickets being snapped up for both the dress rehearsal and the on-the-air show. The overwhelming agree from the audience alleviated Hayworth’s stage fright.

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“When she made her entrance in the Brown Derby sketch, feather gorgeous, she obtained a standing ovation,” Burnett wrote. “The exact same thing occurred on the 2nd show. Rita must have actually felt the love pouring out to she from the studio audience, since she much more than climbed to the occasion.”

When their videotaped dance number was put up because that the studio audience, Hayworth gained even more accolades.


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“The finale was played earlier to the audience top top the TV monitors,” Burnett shared. “There was major applause because that her when the number was over. Rita was beaming during the bows. … She to be so really sweet to everyone that week, and all of the angst that had been felt ended up being a dim memory.”