Broadway legend Carol Channing dies at age 97

Carol Channing

Carol Channing

I was kidding with the girls before she had those big banjo eyes, and that's what they called them in my day. Channing died of natural causes in California having twice suffered strokes over the past year.

The "Hocus Pocus" star's reprisal of the iconic Broadway show earned her four Tony Awards in 2017 including Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical and Best Revival of a Musical.

Channing won an Emmy and several nominations for television variety specials but her film career was sporadic at best, although she received an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe for her part in the Julie Andrews musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie" in 1967.

Although she started out in theatre starring in musicals, Channing subsequently took her talents to Hollywood.

Although she had a legendary career on stage, Channing made a few films as well.

Channing was born January 31, 1921, in Seattle, where her father, George Channing, was a newspaper editor.

Though this rendition was more of a memorial to the woman who made it famous: Carol Channing.

The video makes for an interesting look back at '60s Los Angeles - and at dated attitudes. Channing and her mother would stand outside venues to distribute copies of The Christian Science Monitor.




She worked at resorts in the Catskill Mountains in NY and at Macy's department store before landing the role of the fortune-hunting Lorelei Lee in the 1949 musical "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes".

Channing's near-religious connection to her audience gave her an astounding amount of energy, and she grew irritated with those who tried to diminish the importance of theater in people's lives. She had great respect for the show's creator, Thornton Wilder, and was deeply touched by the character's gradual ascent in this most optimistic of Broadway shows.

"She was a "Dolly" for the ages, and a true icon of the American Theatre. Betty Buckley and the cast will dedicate tonight's performance in San Diego to her memory".

Channing had two early marriages that ended in divorce - to novelist Theodore Naidish and pro footballer Alexander Carson, father of her only child, Channing.

In 1956 she married TV producer Charles Lowe, who adopted her son and became her manager.

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.

Actor George Burns and Channing perform a dance routine in September 1976 during a rehearsal for their roadshow.

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