Broadway Star Carol Channing Dead at 97

Broadway Star Carol Channing Dead at 97

Channing died of natural causes in Rancho Mirage after having suffered multiple strokes a year ago, publicist Harlan Boll said. I admired her before I met her, and have loved her since the day she stepped. or fell rather. into my life. The actress died in her home in Rancho Mirage, Calif.at the age of 97.

Channing's big break came when she landed the role of Lorelei Lee in the original Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. "We supported each other, cried with each other, argued with each other, but always ended up laughing with each other".

Channing was also well known for her cinematic achievements as well and earned a Golden Globe nod and Academy Award nomination for her turn as Muzzy Van Hossmere in the 1967 musical comedy Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Channing played each role for years on Broadway and on tours around the world, taking the stage as Dolly more than 3,000 times.

Channing would have turned 98 on January 31.

Channing continued as Dolly, a matchmakers who receives her toughest challenge when a rich grump seeks a wife, in national tours over the years, with her final performance as Dolly coming in 1996 when she was in her 70s.


Carol Channing's trademark platinum blond hair framed a face that always seemed to be smiling, her wide-eyed innocent style belied a very savvy mind, and her voice was unmistakable. Channing herself claimed that her most cherished honor was being included on President Richard Nixon's famed "enemies list".

And before Beyonce, Katy Perry or even Madonna, it was Channing who was the first featured solo artist to appear during the halftime show at Super Bowl IV in 1970 in front of 80,000 people. "The result was very positive, so I did it again".

But for a generation of children, her role as the White Queen in the 1985 Irwin Allen mini-series Alice in Wonderland (yes, the same Irwin Allen who made The Poseidon Adventure) DESTROYED US.

Channing credited her father with her dream to become an entertainer. Looking back, she has zero regrets. Her most notable episode brought her together with fellow singing luminaries Della Reese, Ann Miller and Ethel Merman (who had turned down the title role in Hello, Dolly! almost 20 years prior).

"Regret leads to negativity and negativity kills creativity", said Channing.

In 2003, Channing married her junior high school sweetheart, Harry Kullijian, a California developer, who contacted Channing after learning that she had written fondly about him in her autobiography. "Given the opportunity, I might change a choice I made, but you can't regret making what you thought was the best decision at the time".

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