It’s Today : Carol Channing Dies At 97

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Pat Cerasaro

Perhaps no performer in Broadway history was more inextricably associated with a role than legendary Tony Award winner Carol Channing and the title character in HELLO, DOLLY! Garnering 10 Tony Awards and becoming the longest-running musical in history up until that time, a considerable element of the production's success was unarguably due to the major star turn contributed by Channing.

Yet, Channing also created another iconic role in the span of her 70-year career, that of Lorelei Lee in the hit 1949 musical comedy GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, introducing the evergreen showstopper "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" while doing so. Other major stage performances include 1956's THE VAMP, 1961's SHOW GIRL and 1974's LORELEI. Channing's most fondly remembered screen performance remains THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, for which she received a 1967 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as countless television appearances ranging from THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW to ALICE IN WONDERLAND to her own solo specials and far beyond.

The lights of all Broadway theaters will be dimmed tomorrow night, which incidentally marks the 55th anniversary of opening night of HELLO, DOLLY!