Carol Channing, one-of-a-kind star of stage and screen, dead at 97

Carol Channing arrives at a performance celebrating her 90th Birthday at Pantages Theater on February 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, CA

Broadway legend and Tony winner Carol Channing has given her final curtain call. She was 97.

Her publicist, B Harlan Boll, announced the sad news on Facebook:

“CAROL CHANNING – You had us at “HELLO, DOLLY!” –
Born: Carol Elaine Channing on January 31, 1921 in Seattle, WA
Died: At 12:31am on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019, at home in Rancho Mirage, CA of natural causes

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.”

Channing is best known for her roles in Broadway’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Hello, Dolly!, the latter of which won her a Tony award for Best Actress in a Musical in 1964. For her performance in the 1967 film adaptation of Thoroughly Modern Millie, Channing won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for an Oscar.

Here’s a compilation of her TV and film appearances over the years:

For a thoroughly thorough look back at Channing’s singular career in show business, head here.