Broadway Legend Carol Channing Has Died at Age 97 15 January 2019

Cristina Cross
January 16, 2019

Broadway legend Carol Channing has passed away at the age of 97.

"It is with extreme heartache, that I have to announce the passing of an original Industry Pioneer, Legend and Icon - Miss Carol Channing". She credited her father with encouraging her: "He told me you can dedicate your life at 7 or 97".

In 1968, Channing won a Golden Globe Award for her supporting role as Muzzy Van Hossmere in Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Channing famously originated the titular character in the Broadway musical Hello, Dolly! in 1964, a part that won her a Tony Award for Best Actress and remained her signature role for the rest of her life, reportedly performing it more than 5,000 times. She was hailed throughout her long-running career, including being inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981 and receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Tonys and the Drama Critics Circle in 1995 and 1996, respectively. She made her way to Broadway soon after, appearing in the 1941 musical Let's Face it! as an understudy to Emmy-winning actress and comedian, Eve Arden.

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A positive review of her role in a revue show in NY convinced her to ditch education in favour of full-time performing.

Channing has seemingly done it all as a performer.

Channing's near-religious connection to her audience gave her an astounding amount of energy, and she grew irritated with those who tried to diminish the importance of theater in people's lives.

Channing used her unique voice to her advantage when it came to expanding her career opportunities. Landing in Los Angeles, she auditioned for Marge Champion, wife and dance partner of Gower Champion who was putting together a revue, "Lend an Ear".

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In 1956, she married her manager and publicist Charles Lowe and the couple remained together for 42 years. On television, Channing appeared many times on "What's My Line?" and took guest-starring roles on a wide variety of shows, such as "The Muppet Show", "The Nanny" and "Magnum, P.I". As the innocent gold digger in the musical "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", her stardom was assured.

Channing stars in the revival production of Hello, Dolly! at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City in March 1978.

"That was it. I said goodbye to trigonometry, zoology and English literature", Channing said later.

The star and her second husband, Canadian football player Alexander Carson, had a son, Channing, who is a newspaper cartoonist.

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