Goodbye, Carol! A Tribute to Carol Channing, Star of the Stage


Broadway legend Carol Channing died in January 2019, at the age of 97. Perhaps best known for her starring role in Broadway’s Hello, Dolly in 1964, Channing was more than just an actress: she was a singer, a dancer, a comedian and she never stopped Growing Bolder — even in her final days.

In fact, Growing Bolder spoke with Channing in 2009, and she talked with us about her career, her personal life and her commitment to Move Forward. Give Back.®:

Channing also played Lorelei in 1950’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and while she didn’t get the film role for it or for Hello, Dolly, she was associated with those characters her entire career and performed the plays thousands of times.

Some of Broadway’s current stars paid tribute to a woman they say changed their industry:

Channing’s interest in theater and performing started in childhood — she grew up in California, raised by parents who were devout members of the Christian Science religion (source). She and her mother would hand out literature backstage, and she fell in love with the experience.

In 1964, she debuted in the role of Dolly in Hello, Dolly, which opened in January of 1964 and closed in late December 1970. With nearly 3,000 performances, it was the longest-running musical in Broadway history (although six other stars played the title role in those seven years).

Channing also performed on the small screen, in skits or as a guest on shows including The Andy Williams Show and Sesame Street.