Carol Channing dead: Hello Dolly star and Broadway legend dies age 97

16 January, 2019, 21:54 | Author: Eloise Houston
  • Carol Channing, Broadway's 'Dolly,' dead at 97

Actress Carol Channing, who played the role of Dolly Levi in the musical Hello, Dolly! nearly 5,000 times, has died aged 97.

Many fans and fellow stars have paid tribute to the Broadway star on Twitter, including Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The current touring company for "Hello Dolly!" released a statement Tuesday on the star's death. Broadway icon Carol Channing.

The daughter of newspaper editor George Channing and his wife Adelaide, Channing was born in January 1921 and grew up in Seattle, Washington. When his only child was 3 months old, he moved to San Francisco and worked as a writer for The Christian Science Monitor and as a lecturer.

Channing was the hit of "Lend an Ear" in a small Hollywood theater, and she captivated audiences and critics when the show moved to NY. She played the role of Lorelei Lee.

Boll also confirmed Channing had died of natural causes. Channing's mother was German Jewish and her father was African American and German.

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She wrote in her memoir of her five-year marriage to her first husband, Theodore Naidish, that she learned to speak fluent Yiddish from his grandfather, Sam Cohen, who lived in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach.

After a brief stint in college, Channing moved to NY, where she made her stage debut in "Never Take No for an Answer" and was an understudy in "Let's Face It". Channing lost out on the role in the 1953 film adaptation to Marilyn Monroe.

Now an established stage star, she began playing scheming matchmaker Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!, the enormously popular musical whose eponymous leading song became her signature tune.

It became the role that would help to define her career, and she reprised it in multiple productions over the decades. She would later tour with the show all over the world, and return for two Broadway revivals - first in 1978 and again in 1995. She also won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Muzzy in the 1968 movie Thoroughly Modern Millie. Voicing herself on Family Guy (2006)5.

Channing and Kullijian, a former city councilman in Modesto, California, reunited 70 years after they attended middle school together and married in 2003. He died in 2011.

Theater producer David Merrick told her: "I don't want that silly grin with all those teeth that go back to your ears". He adopted Channing's son and supervised every aspect of her business affairs and appearances.

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