The award is scheduled to be presented to the comedienne at a Jan. 30, 2016, ceremony in Hollywood.
Best known for her long-running TV variety show, "The Carol Burnett Show" (1967-78), Burnett first reached stardom playing gawky princess Winifred in the Broadway musical Once Upon a Mattress, based on the fairytale "The Princess and the Pea. She starred in the musical Fade Out — Fade In but then was not seen on Broadway again until 1995's Moon Over Buffalo, followed by the Sondheim revue Putting It Together, and her own play, co-written with her daughter, Hollywood Arms. Burnett also appeared in the first film adaptation of Annie, as Miss Hannigan.
The SAG-AFTRA award goes to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession.” She's already the owner of a Tony Award, a half-dozen Emmys, a Kennedy Center Honor, the Mark Twain Prize for Humor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard released the following statement: “Carol Burnett is a creative dynamo and a comedic genius. She embodies the generosity and courage that the greatest actors use in creating enduring and memorable characters. From her heartbreakingly hilarious Starlet O’Hara to the adorably inept Eunice and alarmingly funny Miss Hannigan, Carol has delighted and inspired millions of viewers and thousands of comedic actors. She took risks as a performer and through her courage, encouraged fellow actors to try new things and always, always reach for the sky. Her innate love of actors led to the creation of an ensemble cast that made 'The Carol Burnett Show' a masterpiece of variety programming.”