Anthony Hopkins was in the Carol Burnett Show audience for its most famous sketch

He witnessed one of the show’s funniest moments live.

The Carol Burnett Show had no shortage of famous guests. Dick Van Dyke and Jim Nabors appeared over a dozen times each. Stars like Andy Griffith, Betty White, Alan Alda, Maggie Smith and Cher all stopped by to have fun with Burnett and the other cast members.

Another famous actor you can add to the list, though he wasn't in any sketches, is Anthony Hopkins. In 1976, the 38-year-old attended a taping of the hit sketch show. Though he was a somewhat known actor, Hopkins had barely begun the career for which he is famous.

By that time, Hopkins had been in several British TV shows, including an epic mini-series adaptation of War & Peace. He had also appeared in films like The Lion in Winter, The Looking Glass War and The Girl from Petrovka with Goldie Hawn. But his role as Dr. Frederick Treves in The Elephant Man was still four years away and his Oscar-winning turn as Hannibal Lector wouldn't come for 15 years.

Still, Burnett introduced him as "my favorite actor today." Hopkins gave Burnett a friendly wink as the crowd applauded.

Little did he know, it would be one of the single best episodes of the show's entire run. It would cement its place in comedy history with its parody of Gone with the Wind. As extravagant as it is outrageously funny, "Went with the Wind" features one of the best sight-gags ever put on television. In the film, Scarlett O'Hara wears a striking dress made out of window curtains. In Burnett's version, she does the same but forgets to take the curtain rod out!

The crowd roared with laughter at the sight of Burnett in the costume. The folks in the studio that day were the first to experience the iconic moment. The fact that a future Oscar winner was among them makes it all the better.

Watch The Carol Burnett Show on MeTV!

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harlow1313 39 months ago
Thanks columbo-scat. That's quite the incoherent ramble.
texasluva 39 months ago
We are not losing anything. You have by losing your mind. No one besides yourself (same deleted poster that was booted out just yesterday) wishes to hear any of your spew. It's posters like you whom are ruining every chat site in the past years. Your kind is NOT wanted, period.
TheresaPerry 39 months ago
I still miss "The UNtouchables" and "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis".
CouchPotato19 39 months ago
Does he look a tiny bit like Alan Alda there?
TenTanToes 39 months ago
Nothing like those old Western reruns my dad watched. And I would watch along, too. Now is fun to recognize, point out thereafter famous actors who had bit to larger parts in episodes.
I'm the trivia princess at naming them to friends 😊
And...if Anthony Hopkins didn't laugh hysterically, rather than just a grin, at Carol Burnett and her 'saw it in the window' line, his 'British Reserve' is in overdrive.
SteveMarshall 39 months ago
Surprised the article didn't mention Carol's line, which went something like: "Well, I saw it in the window...".
Edit: looked it up...the line is: "I saw it in the window and just couldn't resist it."
Wiseguy SteveMarshall 39 months ago
They figured everyone by now knows that...the article was about something most people didn't know or remember, who was in the audience.
MichaelFields 39 months ago
My favorites of that show was all the times Tim Conway would do anything he could to crack everyone up, especially Harvey Korman, it was the best, the Dentist, the meat market guy, and the two elephant joke with "mama" I mean everyone knew it was coming Carol covered her face before the end but still fell out of the chair. Miss those innocent good times.
F5Twitster 39 months ago
"But his role as Dr. Frederick Treves in The Elephant Man was still four years away and his Oscar-winning turn as Hannibal Lector wouldn't come for 15 years."

That's Hannibal LECTER, with two "e"s.

And Hopkins became more familiar to American audiences as one of the stars of the 1974 ABC minseries "QB VII."
dangler1907 F5Twitster 39 months ago
Look up "pedantic" some day.
CouchPotato19 dangler1907 39 months ago
Now, now. No need to get nasty.
CouchPotato19 F5Twitster 39 months ago
Or, as I call him. Hannibal Lecher.
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TenTanToes 39 months ago
Peter_Falk_Fan 39 months ago
I wonder if he had a nice chianti while he was watching the sketch.
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TenTanToes LoveMETV22 39 months ago
And can't stand her in anything else I've tried to force myself to watch with her in it. Including Inside Man. She darn near ruined the film.
LoveMETV22 TenTanToes 39 months ago
well everyone has the right to their own opinion.
LoveMETV22 TenTanToes 39 months ago
Don't force yourself then.
Pffft pfft pftt pftt!
LoveMETV22 39 months ago
What a great actor, and congrats to his BAFTA award. Carol Burnett is a great actress too with her own list of accolades.
cperrynaples LoveMETV22 39 months ago
Well, Carol may not agree with you! She once said that when one of her movies was shown on a cross-country flight, she apologized to the passangers....LOL!
TenTanToes cperrynaples 39 months ago
Movies 'was' shown....what films?
cperrynaples TenTanToes 39 months ago
I believe it was "The Front Page" with Walter Matthau & Jack Lemmon!
CarolKelley LoveMETV22 39 months ago
And congrats on last evening's Oscar for The Father!
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