Published: Wed, January 16, 2019
Culture&Arts | By Drew Collins

Carol Channing, Hello Dolly actress, dies aged 97

Carol Channing, Hello Dolly actress, dies aged 97

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

Fellow stars of the stage and screen, including "Hamilton" creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda, paid tribute to Channing on social media Tuesday.

The tour of "Hello, Dolly!" said Tuesday it would honor Channing at its current stop in California.

"Doesn't matter what the name of the character, it's always Carol", explained one commentator in Channing's 2012 documentary, Larger Than Life.

In her 2002 autobiography, Just Lucky I Guess, Channing revealed that when she was 16 years old, her mother told her that her father was part African American.

She would have turned 98 on January 31.

She grew up in San Francisco, where her parents were devout members of the Christian Science religion and her father a popular lecturer for the church.

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. Her role as Mrs.

He was listed as "colored" on his birth certificate because of his mother, though his father was Nordic German. But Channing's wild and kooky turn as the White Queen has become a bit of a cult favorite over the years, especially for her inspired performance of the song, "Jam Tomorrow, Jam Yesterday".


While majoring in drama and dance at Bennington College in Vermont, she was sent off to get experience in her chosen field. Channing lost out on the role in the 1953 film adaptation to Marilyn Monroe.

The musical comedy star delighted audiences with nearly 5,000 performances as the scheming Dolly Levi in "Hello, Dolly" on Broadway.

It became the role that would help to define her career, and she reprised it in multiple productions over the decades.

The news was confirmed in a statement by her publicist B Harlan Boll to Broadway World.

The iconic actress enjoyed a glittering career in the spotlight, seeing her land roles in iconic films such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and film Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). She lent her voice to Family Guy, and also appeared on The Love Boat, Touched By An Angel, and Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.

She went on to rekindle her romance with her school sweetheart, Harry Kullijian, and the pair tied the knot in 2003 but he died in 2011.

Channing has been married four times. Here's a look back at her life, death, and net worth.

Channing continued to work well into her 90s.

In 1995, Carol received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Tony Awards.

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