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Carol Channing
Carol Channing colour Allan Warren.jpg
Channing in 1973
Born
Carol Elaine Channing

(1921-01-31)January 31, 1921
Died January 15, 2019(2019-01-15) (aged 97)
Alma mater Bennington College
Occupation Actress, dancer, singer, comedian
Years active 1941–2019
Home town San Francisco, California, U.S.
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Spouse(s)
Theodore Naidish
(m. 1941; div. 1944)

Alex Carson
(m. 1953; div. 1956)

Charles Lowe
(m. 1956; died 1999)

Harry Kullijian
(m. 2003; died 2011)
Children 1

Carol Elaine Channing (January 31, 1921 – January 15, 2019) was an American actress, singer, dancer and comedian. Known for starring in Broadway and film musicals, she had expressiveness and an easily identifiable voice, whether singing or for comedic effect. Channing also studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City.

She began as a Broadway musical actress, starring in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1949 and Hello, Dolly! in 1964, when she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She revived both roles several times throughout her career, most recently playing Dolly in 1995. Channing was nominated for her first Tony Award in 1956 for The Vamp followed by a nomination in 1961 for Show Girl. She received her fourth Tony Award nomination for the musical Lorelei in 1974.

As a film actress, she won the Golden Globe Award and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Muzzy in Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). Her other film appearances include The First Traveling Saleslady (1956) and Skidoo (1968). On television, she appeared as an entertainer on variety shows, from The Ed Sullivan Show in the 1950s to Hollywood Squares. She had a standout performance as The White Queen in the TV production of Alice in Wonderland (1985), and had the first of many TV specials in 1966, An Evening with Carol Channing.

Channing was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981 and received a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 1995. She continued to perform and make appearances well into her 90s, singing songs from her repertoire and sharing stories with fans, cabaret style. She released an autobiography, Just Lucky I Guess, in 2002, and Larger Than Life, a documentary film about her career, was released in 2012.

Channing died on January 15, 2019, of natural causes at her home in Rancho Mirage, California sixteen days shy of her 98th birthday.

Legacy and honors

CarolChanningHandPrint
The handprints of Carol Channing in front of The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort
  • 1970, Channing was the first celebrity to perform at a Super Bowl halftime.
  • In 1973, it came to light during the Watergate hearings that Channing was on a master list of Nixon's political opponents, informally known as Nixon's "enemies list". She has subsequently said that her appearance on this list was the highest honor in her career.
  • 1981, Channing was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.
  • 1984, Lowell High School renamed its auditorium "The Carol Channing Theatre" in her honor.
  • 1988, The city of San Francisco, California, proclaimed February 14, 1988, to be "Carol Channing Day."
  • 1995, she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award.
  • 2004, she was awarded an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts by California State University, Stanislaus.
  • 2004, she received the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre.
  • 2010, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to her.
  • In December 2010, Channing was honored at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Gypsy of the Year competition.

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