Broadway legend Carol Channing dies at age 97

Carol Channing, Broadway's 'Dolly,' dead at 97

Broadway legend Carol Channing passes away

Broadway has lost a legend.

Carol Channing, the legendary Broadway actress who portrayed Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly! has died, her publicist said in a statement.

Channing's longtime publicist B Harlan Boll confirmed the star's death to PEOPEL on Tuesday, saying the star died at 12:31 a.m.at her home in Rancho Mirage, California, of natural causes.

Years later Channing also found out that her father had been harboring a secret.

Many tributes were posted on Twitter, with the League of Professional Theatre Women saying Channing "was a gift of inspiration to so many".

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of the one and only Carol Channing". Furthermore, Channing was the voice for characters in the shows Where's Waldo? Viola Davis mourned: "You had a great run!"

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The following year her life and career was celebrated in the documentary "Carol Channing: Larger Than Life". She started her career on Broadway in productions such as Proof Thro' the Night and Lend an Ear.

She wowed them in an audition and was hired on the spot.

Channing had a love for daytime, which led to her appearing as herself on The Bold and the handsome in 1993 when the Forresters staged a celebrity-packed fashion show, which included Brooke's (Katherine Kelly Lang) line of clothing for men. The critics followed suit.

On the stage, Channing was best known for her roles in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949) and won a Tony Award for her performance in Hello, Dolly! in 1964.

Channing was born in Seattle to George Channing, a newspaper editor, and his wife, Adelaide.

It was a description that also fit her, which she put down to her lifelong faith in Christian Science. She married him at the age of 82. "And the people who do that are happier people".

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After a brief stint in college, Channing moved to NY, where she made her stage debut in "Never Take No for an Answer" and was an understudy in "Let's Face It". She found a job in a NY revue.

"I will forever admire and look up to you, Carol."
"I said goodbye to trigonometry, zoology and English literature". She was 97 years old.

It was her religion that first led her to the theater. As the innocent gold digger in the musical "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", her stardom was assured.

She last performed with the show in 1996, when she was in her 70s and earned $5m (£3.9m) from one national tour. The film roles for Lorelei went to Marilyn Monroe and for Dolly to Barbara Streisand.

Singing her signature songs in Hello, Dolly! "Betty Buckley and the cast will dedicate tonight's performance in San Diego to her memory". At 16, she learned that her father was multi-racial, with an African-American mother and a German father. Her son became a successful political cartoonist. She then married TV producer and manager Charles Lowe.

Channing continued to work well into her 90s.

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After 41 years of marriage, she sued for divorce in 1998, alleging that he misused her funds and humiliated her in public. She remarked that they only had sex twice in four decades. I'm going to live. She called the book "Just Lucky, I Guess". He died in 2011.

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