- Carol Burnett is a comedy legend who trailblazed a path for women in comedy following her
- She became a mother three times in the 1960s with her then-husband, Joe Hamilton
- She has three girls who all followed her steps into show business
- Sadly, her eldest daughter died from cancer-related issues in 2002 and her youngest suffers from substance abuse issues
Carol Burnett, 89, has enjoyed an illustrious career, having five Golden Globe Awards, six Primetime Emmy Awards, a Special Tony Award and Stephen Sondheim Award, and a Grammy to her name. She is admired as a trailblazer for women, having been the first female to lead a comedy variety show when The Carol Burnett Show debuted in 1967. Plus, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association created an award in her honor in 2018.
During Carol’s more than six outstanding decades in the entrainment industry, she also became a mother. She welcomed three girls with her ex-husband, Joe Hamilton, to whom she was married between 1963 and 1984. Read on to learn about Carol Burnett’s three daughters and her relationship with them.
Carrie Hamilton was the firstborn daughter of the Annie star and was born in 1963 — the year her parents walked down the aisle. Unfortunately, she died at the age of 38 in 2002 due to pneumonia and lung cancer complications. “I think of her every day. She never leaves me … I just feel her,” Carol told PEOPLE in 2018.
While she was alive, Carrie followed her mother’s footsteps and pursued an entertainment career, notably playing Reggie Higgins on the television series Fame between 1986 and 1987 and appearing in some of the hottest shows of the 1990s, such as The X-Files and Beverly Hills, 90210, per IMDb. She was also a talented vocalist and joined the first musical tour of Rent across the United States in 1996.
Speaking of her personality to PEOPLE, Carol said her firstborn was “very interested in people” and “never met a stranger.” She added, “She also loved to write. One time she was in New York and it was the winter, and homeless people would come up and ask for money. She would say, ‘I’ll give you $10 if you tell me your story.’ She would collect those stories and write about them.”
Unfortunately, Carrie also experienced severe struggles with substance abuse when she was a teen and went to rehab three times before she was able to get sober. “She got sober when she was 17,” Carold frankly shared with PEOPLE. “I put her in a third rehab place, and oh my God, she hated me. I came to the conclusion that I had to love her enough to let her hate me. She got sober and we started bonding. We wound up working together, writing a play together. We worked together in three shows.”
They notably wrote Hollywood Arms, which was a dramedy and was inspired by Carol’s life with her no-nonsense grandmother Nanny, who she lived with in Hollywood before she became a star. It was directed by Hal Prince, the Tony Award-winning director of West Side Story, The Phantom of the Opera, and more, and debuted at New York City’s Cort Theater in 2002, per Playbill.
Sadly, Carrie did not get to see her hard work come to fruition. “When Carrie died, I didn’t want to get out of bed for a while, but I had a play to finish that we started that Hal Prince was going to direct,” Carol recalled to PEOPLE. “I owed it to Carrie, and I owed it to Hal.”
Carrie is of course remembered by her mother, father, and two sisters. She married writer and actor Mark Templin in 1994 but they divorced four years later. She did not have any children.
Jody Hamilton, Carol and Joe’s second daughter, was born in 1967. She’s also in show business and produced her mother’s 2001 The Carol Burnett Show television special, Carol Burnett: Show Stoppers. She has also dabbled in acting, per IMDb, landing a part in Genesis: The Future of Mankind Is Woman, which is about an all-female world. She currently co-hosts the politics and pop culture podcast, From the Bunker.
Jody married her husband, Lonny Paul, in Sept. 2018.
Carol’s youngest daughter, Erin Hamilton, was born in 1968. Erin took to the musical side of the business and became a dance-pop singer. She is most known for her 1998 song “Dream Weaver,” which was a cover of Gary Wright‘s 1975 hit. To support her young music career, she opened for Bette Midler and Whitney Houston, per All Music. Her debut album, One World, came out in 1999. She has not released anything since. In 1993, she was notably given the title of Miss Golden Globe, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Erin is the only daughter of Carol to reproduce and has two sons. She gave birth to her eldest son, Zachary Carlson, in 1997 with her ex-husband Trae Carlson, and then birthed her second son, Dylan West, in 2006 with her ex-husband Kurt West. Unfortunately, Erin has struggled with substance abuse issues like her older sister, resulting in Carol and her husband, Brian Miller, filing for temporary guardianship of Dylan in Aug. 2020.
“Due to addiction issues and other circumstances that my daughter, Erin, has been struggling with impacting her immediate family dynamic, my husband and I have petitioned the court to be appointed legal guardian of my 14-year-old grandson,” she told Page Six in a statement at the time. “Guardianship will be for oversight purposes concerning his health, education and welfare and not intended to deny him nor the parents proper visitation with one another. We look forward to recovery being the next stepping stone towards normalization and ask for privacy at this time to allow that process to occur.”
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Carol stated that Erin “suffered from severe substance abuse and addiction issues” throughout Dylan’s entire life, which has led him to live an “unstable, unpredictable and unhealthy” life.
Carol was granted temporary custody in Sept. 2020.Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.