|Born||Carrie Louise Hamilton
December 5, 1963
New York City, New York
|Died||January 20, 2002
Los Angeles, California
|Occupation||Actress, singer, playwright|
Carrie Louise Hamilton (December 5, 1963 in New York City – January 20, 2002, in Los Angeles) was an American actress, singer, and playwright. She was the daughter of comedienne Carol Burnett and producer Joe Hamilton.
Hamilton worked in a number of productions for stage, film, video, and television. She took the role of Reggie Higgins in the TV version of the musical Fame for the fifth and sixth seasons (1985–1987), and portrayed the role of Maureen Johnson in the first national tour of the stage musical Rent to considerable acclaim. She also studied music and acting at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.
One of her films was Tokyo Pop (1988), in which she played an American singer who journeys to Japan. There she found a relationship with both a singer (played by Diamond Yukai aka Yutaka Tadokoro) and a band that made it into the Tokyo pop charts Top Ten. She performed several songs in the movie.
Hamilton occasionally appeared with her mother on film. In 1987, Carol Burnett guest starred in an episode of Fame entitled "Reggie and Rose". They co-starred in a 1988 TV movie titled Hostage. Nine years later, mother and daughter also starred on an episode of Touched by an Angel entitled "The Comeback". Hamilton played an aspiring Broadway star whose mother (Burnett) had also made a run for Broadway fame but failed (thanks to a dirty trick on the part of her conniving best friend, played by Rita Moreno).
In 1999, she starred in a popular sixth season episode of The X-Files, entitled "Monday". She played the role of Pam, the girlfriend of a would-be bank robber who is forced to relive the same day over and over.
She was the inspiration for the 1983 hit single "Carrie's Gone" (#79, Billboard), written by former boyfriend Fergie Frederiksen and recorded by his band, Le Roux, after the couple broke up. The 12-year age difference (Carrie was 19 and Fergie was 31 at the time) was cited as the main reason for the break-up. She also dated American singer/songwriter Ryan Adams in the late 90s. He was hit hard by her death and many of his songs are also written about and/or dedicated to Carrie, including much of his albums Demolition and Love is Hell.
Carrie Hamilton died from lung and brain cancer January 20, 2002, in Los Angeles at the age of 38, and is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. Carrie had started smoking cigarettes as a teenager.
Carrie was survived by her mother as well as: two sisters, Jody and Erin; five half-sisters Kathi, Dana, Judi, Jennifer, and Nancy; and one half-brother, John Hamilton. Her father, Joe Hamilton, died in 1991, and her half-brother Jeffrey died in 1997.
In July 2006, the former Balcony Theatre of the Pasadena Playhouse was dedicated the Carrie Hamilton Theatre in her memory (Burnett is a board member). The theatre hosts a readings series, "Hothouse at the Playhouse;" the Directors Lab West and the Furious Theatre Company. On February 19, 2007, the Playhouse announced that architect Frank Gehry will be redesigning the Carrie Hamilton theater.
On March 23, 2010 legendary Emmy-Award winning actress and comedienne Carol Burnett joined the establishment of the Anaheim University Carrie Hamilton Entertainment Institute. Carol Burnett signed a citation establishing the institute with Anaheim University Vice-President for Academic Affairs Dr. David Nunan, prior to answering questions regarding her daughter Carrie Hamilton and the Carrie Hamilton Entertainment Institute during a Q&A session with moderator Darrell Nelson. Carol concluded the Q&A by reading the following quote from her daughter Carrie:
"ABOUT ART. . . The legacy is really the lives we touch, the inspiration we give, altering someone's plan -- if even for a moment, and getting them to think, rage, cry, laugh, argue . . . walk around the block, dazed . . . (I do that a lot after seeing powerful theater!) More than anything, we are remembered for our smiles; the ones we share with our closest and dearest, and the ones we bestow on a total stranger, who needed it then, and God put you there to deliver."