Vicki Lawrence

Emmy Award-winning comedienne Vicki Lawrence is one of the most beloved television personalities of her generation. Plucked out of total obscurity as a high school senior, Lawrence went on to become part of the now-legendary cast of The Carol Burnett Show. In the seventh season, at the ripe old age of 24, she created her most endearing character to date, Thelma Harper, or Mama as she is better known to her fans.

After the Burnett Show, Vicki went on to star in Mama’s Family, which consistently topped the ratings for its entire six-year run of original shows. Mama has attained almost a cult status among her legions of loyal television viewers, who still enjoy her in reruns twice daily throughout most of the country. Vicki Lawrence is a noted women’s rights activist and she was recognized for her efforts in 1988 when she was the first woman to be honored as “Person of the Year” by the Coalition of Labor Union Women.

Vicki is also the national spokesperson for The Cholesterol Low Down and as spokesperson for The American Heart Association Go Red for Women program, Lawrence uses her energy, enthusiasm and entertainment skills to help others. Aware that heart disease runs in her family, she recently learned that she has elevated cholesterol and has increased her commitment to increasing public awareness about cholesterol and the importance of heart health.

TOPICS

Being a Woman in a Man’s World
Lawrence travels all over the country speaking to womens’ organizations about her life and career, and the challenges and obstacles faced as a woman in what is seemingly still a “man’s world.” She’s brings to the stage her characteristic humor and wit, reminding us all that “Life is much too serious to be taken seriously!”

Vicki! True Life Adventures of Miss Fireball

Women’s Health

Full Biography

Multi-talented Vicki Lawrence has been a star since the day she was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by her graduating class at Morningside High School in Inglewood, California. From 1965-1967, Lawrence sang with the Young American’s musical group and also appeared in the feature film, The Young Americans, which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary. Her show-biz career took off when, during her senior year in high school, she sent Carol Burnett a letter including a local newspaper article mentioning their resemblance. Lawrence invited Burnett to the local fire department’s “Miss Fireball Contest” where she was performing. Burnett, looking for an actress to play her kid sister on her new variety series, contacted Lawrence and made arrangements to come to the event. The rest is television history. The Carol Burnett Show premiered in 1967, and ran for 11 years, during which time Lawrence earned one Emmy Award and five Emmy nominations. After the show ended, Lawrence went on to star in her own series, Mama’s Family, with Ken Berry, Dorothy Lyman, Beverly Archer, and Allan Kayser.

Lawrence gained national recognition not only as an actress, but also as a game and talk show host, recording artist, theatre performer and writer. She became the first woman to host a game show with the daytime network version of Win, Lose, or Draw. 1992, her daytime talk show Vicki! was one of the most successful daytime talk shows to debut. She received critical acclaim as the only talk show host since Oprah Winfrey to be nominated for a Daytime Emmy in her freshman year. Her musical career peaked in 1973, when she received a gold record for her international hit single, “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.” On stage, Lawrence has appeared in numerous productions, including Carousel, Special Occasions, Annie Get Your Gun, and Nunsense 3: The Jamboree, which aired on TNN. Most recently, she appeared in the The Vagina Monologues.

In addition to performing, Lawrence is an avid women’s rights activist, traveling across the country speaking to organizations about her life, career, women’s health and being a woman in a man’s world. She was recognized for her efforts in 1988 when she was the first woman to be honored as “Person of the Year” by the Coalition of Labor Union Women. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for Miller Children’s Hospital at Long Beach Memorial Center, a community, nonprofit children’s hospital. As the national spokesperson for The Cholesterol Low Down and spokesperson for The American Heart Association Go Red for Women program, Lawrence uses her energy, enthusiasm, and entertainment skills to help others. Aware that heart disease runs in her family, she recently learned that she has elevated cholesterol. She is working with her doctor to lower it through diet, exercise, and possibly medication, and is committed to increasing public awareness about cholesterol and the importance of heart health.

In 1995, she published her autobiography, Vicki!: The True Life Adventures of Miss Fireball.

In 2023, Liz’s highly acclaimed book, Dare To Own You, placed in the Silver/ 2nd Place category for “Self-Help” of the annual Feathered Quill Book Awards and was also a Finalist in the category of “memoir/ biography.” It is available on Amazon and Audible and at Barnes & Noble.

Prior to launching Brunner Communications in 2013, Brunner served as a main news anchor and reporter at ABC-TV, WCVB NewsCenter 5 in Boston. During her tenure, Brunner co-anchored the #1 rated 6pm newscast and covered countless breaking news stories. She conducted exclusive one-on-one interviews with prominent figures ranging from professional athletes to global political leaders including President Barack Obama. Recognized as one of the nation’s most accomplished journalists, Brunner’s distinguished approach of educating and communicating information to viewers has yielded countless industry awards & earned her a devoted following. Among Brunner’s industry recognitions are multiple New England Emmy Awards, two national Gracies from the Alliance for Women in Media, an Edward R. Murrow Award, an Associated Press Award, and a Communications Achievement Award from the American Women in Radio and Television.

Brunner has served on the Board of Directors for Make a Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She is a member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Network Advisory Board, and was inducted into the 2017 class of the Boston YWCA’s Academy of Women Achievers. Speaking frequently at philanthropic events, Brunner’s engagement in the community has been instrumental to the success of deserving nonprofit organizations. In addition to keynote speaking engagements, Brunner continues to make TV and radio appearances as well.

A classically trained vocal performer and former high school music educator, Brunner holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. Brunner has performed with the Boston Pops and at professional sporting events, among others.

Programs

Brunner has served on the Board of Directors for Make a Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She is a member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Network Advisory Board, and was inducted into the 2017 class of the Boston YWCA’s Academy of Women Achievers. Speaking frequently at philanthropic events, Brunner’s engagement in the community has been instrumental to the success of deserving nonprofit organizations. In addition to keynote speaking engagements, Brunner continues to make TV and radio appearances as well.

A classically trained vocal performer and former high school music educator, Brunner holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. Brunner has performed with the Boston Pops and at professional sporting events, among others.

“COMMUNICATE, CONNECT & ENGAGE”
Each and every person, no matter what profession or industry, needs to exude confidence, “executive presence,” and communicate effectively in all relationships in order to “seal the deal.” Liz Brunner shares her practical and proven communication tips, storytelling techniques and innovative “Brunner Method” for practicing that can be implemented immediately that will energize anyone to connect more authentically with customers, clients and colleagues in a way that resonates, engages and gets results.

“BE THE LEADER WITHIN”
With so much uncertainty in the world, leaders face multiple challenges and complexities requiring a renewed focus on what makes an effective leader today. Companies need to develop new leaders and empower them to be successful in the future. However, simply giving someone the responsibilities or title of a leader doesn’t necessarily make a person an effective nor influential leader. No one is born knowing how to be a leader. We learn how to be a leader. As a sought after authentic leader and keynote speaker, Liz Brunner offers an approach that will inspire audience members to unleash their leader within.

“FINDING YOUR AUTHENTIC VOICE”
Your voice is an instrument. It’s the one instrument we all play, but just because you have a voice and can speak, does not necessarily mean you are using it in a way to ensure you are being seen and heard as you intend.  Each of us must find our authentic voice. As a former semi-professional singer, award-winning news anchor and executive communications coach, Liz Brunner provides actionable tools of how to find and use your authentic voice, the language required to command respect, and to be seen and heard as you intend.

“NO KNOWLEDGE IS EVER WASTED!”
What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail? What would any of us do if we didn’t allow fear to stop us? Too often we don’t take the risk of stepping out of our comfort zone to create our next chapter. And, even if we want to, we don’t know how or where to turn. Liz Brunner’s inspirational career journey from music teacher in the high school classroom, to her Emmy award-winning career in the television newsroom and on the anchor desk, to being an entrepreneur, Executive Communications Coach working with other CEOs in the boardroom, will motivate you to discover what themes and patterns exist in your own journey. No knowledge is ever wasted. No experience is ever wasted. You know more than you think you know. Liz’s motivational message will guide you to connect the dots of your own experiences to create your next chapter.

“SEVEN STEPS TO SUSTAINING SUCCESS”
Congratulations! You’ve done it. You visualized your dreams into reality. But now what? Where do you go from here? You may even be asking yourself, “Is that all there is? Have I really achieved ‘success’ or is there more? And, what is ‘success?” How do I define it for myself?’” Sustaining success does not happen by accident. It’s about “evolving.” Evolving through the tough times, handling the curveballs that life will throw at you. It takes resilience, developing an inner strength to meet those challenges head-on and to persevere. Having journeyed through four successful, at times challenging career chapters—High School music teacher, to retail, to award-winning TV news anchor to entrepreneur—Liz Brunner knows what it takes to be resilient, to persevere and she can help you not only define success for you, find your “mojo” if you’ve lost it, and tangible tactics and practices to intentionally sustain success.

“NETWORKING LIKE A PRO!”
Networking is essential to advancing your career — “it’s not what you know, but WHO you know,” but for many people, whether extrovert or introvert, networking can feel like many of the same pitfalls as dating! All those awkward conversations. Liz Brunner delivers her creative, customized “Pre-Game, Game-Time, and Post-Game” approach to networking with practical tips and techniques that can easily and immediately be implemented.

“WHAT’S AT THE END OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE? HOW TO FIND YOUR PASSION AND PURPOSE”
Two questions have been asked over and over again by generations; “What is my passion?” And, “What is my purpose?” Passion and purpose are inextricably linked, but figuring out either requires one to get out of their comfort zone, and that is not always easy! In this highly motivational speech, Liz Brunner offers guidance on how to discover your own passion and purpose, and how to break patterns that may be holding you back from following your destiny and living your best life.

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