Carol Burnett

By Tony Rizzo
HOLLYWOOD — We’ve received mail from devoted “All My Children” fans who don’t know how they’ll manage without the long-running soap. Cheer up! Word is that the wonderful Carol Burnett, a devoted “AMC” fan herself who appeared as Verla Grubbs in ’83, ’95 and 2005, will be in several episodes in September. In ’83, Carol made the TV movie “Between Friends” with Elizabeth Taylor, and they arranged their shooting schedule around their favorite soaps (Carol’s was “AMC”; Liz’s was “General Hospital), and they watched them together. Liz appeared in “GH” leading up to and including the marriage of Luke and Laura, which was the highest-rated show in daytime TV history.

In ’84, when Carol appeared as Verla Grubbs, she found herself in a scene in a restaurant. During the scene, a charwoman, dressed like Carol’s famous charwoman from “The Carol Burnett Show,” became overly intrusive, cleaning, in the scene. When the unsuspecting Carol looked into the face of the charwoman, she saw it was Elizabeth Taylor! Carol stayed completely in character, but they had gales of laughter for many years thereafter. When Carol shoots those new shows for “AMC,” you can be sure she’ll be remembering that first shoot with the late, great Elizabeth Taylor!
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Chatted with Gena Rowlands, who’s leaving soon to make “Last Dance” in Australia, about her longtime friend Peter Falk, who passed away a few weeks ago. Gina guest-starred on an episode of “Columbo” in l975, and her late husband, John Cassavetes, cast Peter in “Husbands” and as Gena’s husband in “A Woman Under the Influence,” for which she was nominated for a best actress Oscar, won that year by Sophia Loren for “Two Women.” Peter also did a cameo in Gena’s “Opening Night” film, directed by Cassavetes as well. “Peter was so wonderful to work with,” she told me. “We had such a great time with him on and off the screen. I will really miss him a lot.”

Those Hemsworth brothers are on fire, career-wise. Chris Hemsworth made a big splash with “Thor” and shot two films for MGM, which were delayed by money problems. Now, “Cabin in the Woods” is slated for Halloween, and the remake of “Red Dawn” has been delayed so MGM can update the film to the tune of $1 million. Hemsworth also will star in “The Avengers” with Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo, due out in May 2012. Meanwhile, Liam Hemsworth, Miley Cyrus’ love interest on and off the screen in “The Last Song,” has “The Hunger Games” due out in March 2012 and is set to star in “AWOL.” These guys may come from Down Under, but they sure are on top now!

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© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.