Carol Channing: A Tribute to Broadways Best
Julia Petrillo – Staff Writer
Broadway star Carol Channing passed away on January 15, 2019 at the age of 97. She died of natural causes after suffering from multiple strokes the previous year, according to Reuters.
Channing was not only a singer, but she was also an actress, a dancer and a comedian. Though, she was best known for her role as Dolly Levi in the hit Broadway musical “Hello Dolly” according to CNN.
The touring company performing “Hello Dolly,” also according to CNN, released a statement following Channing’s death: “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.”
Channing was born in Seattle, but grew up in San Francisco. In San Francisco, her parents were members of the Christian Science religion. Channing and her mother would hand out copies of The Christian Science Monitor outside of venues.
It was religion that started her interest in theater, though her real start came from the 1949 Broadway play “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” writes Fox News.
Along with performing on Broadway, she also acted in many movies including “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
Not only was she on the silver screen, but in 1970, Channing was also the first featured solo artist during the halftime show at Super Bowl IV according to Fox News. She was the first Super Bowl repeat, appearing again in 1972.
“I am proud of it now, but at the time I certainly didn’t know it was going to be that big of a deal. We just saw it as an opportunity to promote the current show. The result was very positive, so I did it again,” said Channing to Fox.
Channing’s career spanned decades, she performed into her 90s. It was later in her career that she was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. For working with the AIDS and Actor’s Fund, she also received a Tony Awards Lifetime writes CNN.
As for her career, Channing told Fox News she has zero regrets, stating:
“Regret leads to negativity and negativity kills creativity,” said Channing. “Given the opportunity, I might change a choice I made, but you can’t regret making what you thought was the best decision at the time.”
Celebrities from Lin-Manuel Miranda to Barbara Streisand and many more, remembered Channing.
“The great, the legendary Carol Channing has died at age 97. She was a complete original, and there will never be another. Blonde, 6 ft tall and utterly hilarious, she was a legend. My condolences to the world; to those who knew her or saw her and those who never got the chance,” Tweeted singer Bette Midler.
Actor George Takei took to Twitter as well, tweeting, “She rejoins the heavens as a new diamond in the night sky, and as she famously sang, they are a girl’s best friend. Goodbye and farewell, forever our Dolly.”