Celebrity

Broadway Legend Carol Channing Dies At 97

Allan Warren / Eric Skipsey- Wikimedia

With almost 5,000 performances in Hello, Dolly’s starring role on Broadway, it’s safe to say actress Carol Channing made her mark on the iconic musical.

The theater legend also earned fame for her parts in other Broadway shows, on television, and for touring as a double act with comedian George Burns.

Today, Channing’s publicist, B. Harlan Boll, announced the actress died of natural causes in the early hours of the morning, at her home in Rancho Mirage, California.

Boll also revealed the actress had suffered a pair of strokes in recent years.

Carol Channing Hello, Dolly
Channing, seen in a promotional photo from 'Hello, Dolly'.King c/o Sabinson - Wikimedia

In his statement, he called Channing "an original Industry Pioneer, Legend and Icon."

Her take on the matchmaker Dolly in the beloved musical helped to popularize Jerry Herman’s songs from the show, including "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" and "It Only Takes A Moment."

The star also won a Tony award for Best Actress in a Musical for the part.

The actress was also originated the role of Lorelei Lee in the musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, where she performed "Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend." Channing’s part would famously be taken by Marilyn Monroe in Hollywood adaptation of the show.

Carol Channing Pearl Bailey
Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey perform in a 1973 TV special.CBS Television - Wikimedia

Along with her prolific career on the stage, Channing also had a handful of film roles, including in Thoroughly Modern Millie with Julie Andrews and The First Traveling Saleslady with Ginger Rogers.

She also made history as the first solo artist featured in a Super Bowl halftime show, when she took to the field in 1970 during Super Bowl IV. Her return in 1972 also made her the event’s first repeat performer.

Channing continued to tour and perform well into her 70s, and modern audiences were re-introduced to her body of work by the 2011 documentary Carol Channing: Larger Than Life.

Carol Channing
Channing in 1973.Allan Warren - Wikimedia

Channing was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Tony’s in 1995, in recognition of her more than four decades on stage. She was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

[H/T: ABC News, Fox News]

Such an incredible career! May she rest in peace.

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