Carol Burnett becomes a Desperate stepmom

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Carol Burnett is making a rare TV appearance on Desperate Housewives, as a villainous stepmom to one of the main characters. Burnett's character will make her debut on April 9.

Burnett will plays the role of Eleanor Mason, the stepmother of Bree Van De Kamp, played by Marcia Cross. Burnett told USA Today that she took the role because it reminded her of her favorite daytime soaps.

"I thought this would be a hoot," says Burnett. "I'm a soap opera fan...all these crazy things happen in this one town--just like in [All My Children's] Pine Valley."

Burnett says that when she read the script, she asked creator Mark Cherry to make her character "a little meaner. It's more fun to have those villainous takes."

For his part, Cherry is a big fan of Burnett's, saying, "I learned how to be funny watching Carol Burnett."

Burnett was the star of many TV comedy and sketch shows, most notably The Carol Burnett Show, which aired for 12 years. In addition to Burnett, the cast included comedy luminaries Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, Steve Lawrence, and Dick Van Dyke. The show won or was nominated for multiple Emmys every year it was on the air.

Burnett's daughter, Carrie Hamilton, died of cancer four years ago, and the comedian has since limited her acting roles. She has spent most of her time and energy creating The Carrie Hamilton Theatre. Although Burnett's character is scheduled for only one episode of Housewives, everyone involved has stated they hope for more episodes with the red-haired funnylady.