RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (CelebrityAccess) Carol Channing, 97, a Broadway legend indelibly tied to the Broadway production and film of “Hello, Dolly!,” died of natural causes at her home in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
“It is with extreme heartache that I have to announce the passing of an original Industry Pioneer, Legend and Icon – Miss Carol Channing,” publicist B Harlan Boll said in a statement to Broadway World. “I admired her before I met her, and have loved her since the day she stepped … or fell, rather … into my life.”
Channing, who was recognized with a lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 1995 and was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981, had 4,5000 performances in the title role of “Hello, Dolly!” and appeared in plays like “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “Lorelei.” She also had movie roles in films like “Skidoo” and “The First Traveling Saleslady” plus, on television, was a regular on “The Hollywood Squares.”
Her career began at a very early age and she studied drama and dance at Bennington College when she was cast in a Marc Blitzstein opera that closed within three days, then worked for years doing gigs in nightclubs and the Catskills. Her big break came in 1949 with “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” when she song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” as the character Lorelei Lee.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of the one and only Carol Channing,” the company that is currently producing “Hello, Dolly!” said in a statement. “She was a ‘Dolly’ for the ages, and a true icon of the American Theater. Betty Buckley and the cast will dedicate tonight’s performance in San Diego to her memory.”
“When the whistles blow
And the cymbals crash
And the sparklers light the sky
I’m gonna raise the roof
I’m gonna carry on
Give me an old trombone
Give me an old baton
Before the parade passes by!”
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) January 15, 2019
She was show business and love personified ❤️❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/isNzReB733
— Bernadette Peters (@OfficialBPeters) January 15, 2019
“We feel the room swayin’
While the band’s playin’
One of you old favorite songs from way back when…”
You defined Broadway.
Rest In Peace, Carol Channing.
— RUTH BUZZI (@Ruth_A_Buzzi) January 15, 2019
Dazzling. Priceless. Durable. Flawless. A diamond.
Carol Channing, 1921-2019.
Rest in peace.
— The Tony Awards (@TheTonyAwards) January 15, 2019