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26 April 1933, San Antonio, Texas, USA. An actress, comedienne, singer, director, producer, and writer, Burnett was raised by her maternal grandmother in Los Angeles and studied theatre arts and English at the University of California. After graduating she worked in summer stock before moving to New York in 1954. Unable to find work as an actress, she staged a show at the Rehearsal Club hotel in which she sang Eartha Kitts hit song Monotonous from New Faces Of 1953. In 1957 she caused a stir at the Blue Angel nightclub with her rendition of I Made A Fool Of Myself Over John Foster Dulles. This parody aimed at teenage rock n roll groupies was written by Ken Welch, a songwriter and vocal coach whose material was ideally suited to her kooky style. Years later, he and his wife Mitzi wrote medleys for Burnetts television specials with Julie Andrews and others.
In 1959 Burnett made an...