According to BroadwayWorld, the theatre world lost an icon last night. The website is reporting that Channing died at 12:31am on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019, at home in Rancho Mirage, CA of natural causes.
Channing was born Jan 31, 1921 in Seattle, Washington, the daughter of a prominent newspaper editor, who was very active in the Christian Science movement. At just two weeks of age, her father’s work took the family to San Francisco, where Carol was raised, schooled and eventually found work as a model.
She made her Broadway debut in 1948 in Blitzstein’s No For An Answer. Other Broadway appearances have included So Proudly We Hail, Let’s Face It, Lend An Ear, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Show Girl, Pygmalion, The Millionairess, The Vamp, Four On A Garden, and Wonderful Town.
In addition to receiving a special Tony Award in 1968, she won the Tony Award in 1964 for her legendary portrayal of Dolly Levi in Jerry Herman’s Hello, Dolly!
Jacqueline Kennedy and her two children made their first public appearance after JFK’s death by seeing Channing perform in Hello, Dolly! and reportedly visited her backstage later. She has since played the role in over 5000 performances, without missing a single performance. She then toured with her own revue, Carol Channing and Her Ten Stout Hearted Men and critically acclaimed tours of Jerry’s Girls and Legends, in which she co-starred with Mary Martin.
Channing was of course also a film star. She became especially known for the role of Muzzy in Thoroughly Modern Millie, which earned her an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award.
Other films include Paid In Full, The First Traveling Saleslady, Skidoo, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Archie and Mehitabel and Thumbelina.
Channing’s publicist, released the following statement:
“It is with extreme heartache, that I have to announce the passing of an original Industry Pioneer, Legend and Icon – Miss Carol Channing. I admired her before I met her, and have loved her since the day she stepped … or fell rather … into my life. It is so very hard to see the final curtain lower on a woman who has been a daily part of my life for more than a third of it. We supported each other, cried with each other, argued with each other, but always ended up laughing with each other. Saying good-bye is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but I know that when I feel those uncontrollable urges to laugh at everything and/or nothing at all, it will be because she is with me, tickling my funny bone.”
The touring company of Hello, Dolly! also released the following statement:
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of the one and only Carol Channing. 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.”
is survived by her son, Channing Lowe and close family member, Sylvia Long. Services have not yet been determined.
Good-bye, Dolly. The Real 360 family will miss you.