Carol Channing, the legendary actress known for her roles in “Hello, Dolly!” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” has died at 97.
She played Dolly Levi more than 5,000 times across three Broadway runs from the 1960s to the 1990s and on tours around the world. The role won her the 1964 Tony Award for best actress in a musical. She said she only ever missed one performance as Dolly after coming down with food poisoning in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Channing’s first leading role was as Lorelei Lee in the musical based on the “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” novel which opened in 1949, catapulting her to stardom and a Time magazine cover. Her most successful film role was as the nightclub singer Muzzy Van Hossmere in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” which earned her an Oscar nomination in 1968.
Following the 30th anniversary tour of “Hello, Dolly!” in 1995, she received a lifetime achievement Tony Award. Carol Channing’s death comes just 2 weeks before what would have been her 98th birthday, on January 31st.
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carol_Channing