Multi-talented Vicki Lawrence was born in
Inglewood, California, where she excelled in dancing and singing, was a
cheerleader and was voted "Most Likely To Succeed" by her
From 1965 to 1967, Vicki sang with the Young Americans
musical group and also appeared in the feature film, "The Young
Americans," which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary.
During her senior year of high school, Vicki sent
Carol Burnett a letter, which included a local newspaper article
mentioning their resemblance. Vicki invited Ms. Burnett to the local
fire department's "Miss Fireball Contest" in which she was
performing. Ms. Burnett, looking for an actress to play her kid sister
on her new variety series, contacted Vicki and made arrangements to come
to the event. The rest is television history. "The Carol Burnett
Show" premiered in the Fall of 1967, the same year Vicki entered
UCLA to study Theatre Arts. She spent 11 years with Carol, earning one
Emmy Award and five Emmy nominations.
In 1968, Vicki went to Vietnam to visit U.S. troops
with Johnny Grant. As a recording artist, Vicki received a Gold record
in 1973 for her international hit single, "The Night The Lights
Went Out In Georgia."
After the Burnett show ended, Vicki Lawrence
went on to star in her own series, "Mama's Family," with Ken
Berry, Dorothy Lyman, Beverly Archer and Allan Kayser. The last original
episode was done in January of 1990, completing five years of first-run
syndication. The show can still be seen daily throughout most of the
Her efforts to protect women's rights were recognized
in 1988, when Vicki was the first woman to be honored as "Person of
the Year," an award given yearly by the Coalition of Labor Union
Women. Shortly thereafter, Vicki became one of the few successful female
game show hosts when she took on the daytime network version of
"Win, Lose or Draw."
From 1992 to 1994 Vicki further perfected her hosting
skills on her own daytime talk show appropriately called
"Vicki!". She received critical acclaim when she was the only
talk show host since Oprah to be nominated for a Daytime Emmy in her freshman
year. In the fall of 1997, she briefly returned to daytime talk as the
host of "FOX after Breakfast" from New York City.
On stage, Vicki has appeared in numerous productions,
including "Carousel," "Send Me No Flowers,"
"No, No Nanette," "My Fat Friend," "Chapter
Two," "Twigs," "Hello Dolly," "Special
Occasions," "I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It On The
Road," "Annie Get Your Gun" and live from the Grand Ole
Opry, "Nunsense 3: The Jamboree," which aired on TNN.
Vicki Lawrence travels all over the country
speaking to women's organizations about her life and career, women's
health and being a woman in a man's world. All the while, she approaches
everything with her characteristic sense of humor, reminding us all that
"Life is much too serious to be taken seriously!" In 1995
Simon and Schuster published her story. Her autobiography is entitled
The True Life Adventures of Miss Fireball."
Vicki can be seen daily as a regular on the
syndicated new "Match Game." She was also invited to join
The Board of Trustees for Miller Children's Hospital at Long Beach
Memorial Medical Center. (One of only eight children's hospitals in
the state, Miller Children's Hospital was dedicated in 1970 as a
community, nonprofit hospital and now services patients within a 100
mile radius in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.) Vicki devotes much of
her spare time working on their behalf.
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Mar 26, 1949
..in Los Angeles