Carol Channing Biography

Carol Channing

Quick Facts Of Carol Channing

Celebrated Name Carol Channing
Age 98 Years
Nick Name Carol
Birth Name Carol Elaine Channing
Birth Date 1921-01-31
Gender Female
Profession Actress
Birth Nation Seattle, Washington, United States
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[1]
Children 1
Spouse Theodore Naidish (m. 1941; div. 1944) Alex Carson (m. 1953; div. 1956) Charles Lowe (m. 1956; died 1999) Harry Kullijian (m. 2003; died 2011)
Home Town San Francisco, California
Place Of Death January 15, 2019 (aged 97) Rancho Mirage, California, U.S.
Eye Color Green
Hair Color Blonde
Place Of Birth Seattle, Washington, United States
Nationality American
School Lowell High School, San Francisco
College / University Bennington College, Vermont
Educational Qualification A Degree in Drama and Dance
Debut Movie Film (Actor)- Lend an Ear (1948) Lend An Ear TV (Actor)- Alice in Wonderland Alice in Wonderland
Father George Channing
Mother Adelaide Channing
Brothers None
Sisters None
Religion Christian Science
Ethnicity Multiracial
Hobbies Singing, Dancing
Favorite Food Raspberry
Foot Zucchini or Chopped Celery
Sexual Orientation Straight
Marital Status Widowed
Boyfriend Vidal Sassoon, British Businessman
Net Worth $25 million
Married Date May 10, 2003
Son Channing Carson
Daughter None

Carol Elaine Channing, popularly known as Carol Channing was an American actress, singer, dancer and comedian. She is considered one of the legends in the entertainment industry. She is best known for starring in Broadway and film musicals. Her characters typically displayed a fervent expressiveness and an easily identifiable voice, whether singing on for comedic effect. 

She died of natural causes at her home, Rancho Mirage, California, at the age of 97 on 15 January 2019.

Broadway legend, Carol Channing, passed away at the age of 97.

Broadway Legend, Hello, Dolly! star, Carol Channing passed away at the age of 97, on 15 January 2019 at her home, Rancho Mirage, California. She reportedly died of natural cause.

She was 16 days away from celebrating her 98th birthday and a day away from the 55th anniversary of the opening of Hello, Dolly!.

The death of a legendary icon is a tragic loss to the entertainment industry.

Early Life, Place of Birth, Parents, Siblings, Education, Ethnicity

Carol Channing was born on 31 January 1921. She was born to a father, Christian Channing and a mother, Adelaide Channing. Her father was multiracial. She grew up in San Francisco after her parents moved to San Francisco when she was only two weeks old. Her zodiac sign is Aquarius. 

She attended Aptos Junior High School and Lowell High School in San Francisco. After graduating from high school in 1937, she moved to Vermont to attend Bennington College. She majored in drama at Bennington.

She later studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City. 

Early Career, Hello Dolly!, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Television Appearances, Films, Autobiography

During her junior year at high school, she began trying out for acting parts on Broadway and played a small part in revue.

She quit school to pursue her acting career and performed at small functions or benefits, including some in the Catskill resorts.

She was 19 years old when she got her first job on stage in Marc Blitzstein's No for an Answer starting January 1941 at the Mecca Temple. 

She later moved to Broadway for Let's Face It!. Her role in 1948 film, Lend an Ear launched her as a star performer. 

She gained recognition with her signature song from the production, "Diamonds Are a Girl' Best Friend" for her role as Lorelei Lee in the Jule Styne and Anita Loos musical, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

During the late 1950s, she performed at her then-husband, Charles Lowe produced Burns and Allen comedy show.

Hello, Dolly!

She rose to national prominence as the star of Jerry Herman's Hello, Daddy! in 1964. For her work, she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 1964. 

She was then invited to major events, including those at the White House and at the Democratic convention.

The show became the longest-running musical in Broadway history, with nearly 3,000 performances from January 1964 until its end in December 1970.

She reprised her role of Lorelei Lee in the musical Lorelei, which broke all the box office records. The six days worth of performances sold out within 24 hours. The street running in front of the Music Hall was renamed Channing Square Drive in her honor.

She toured throughout the United States to perform the stage musical.

Thoroughly Modern Millie

She appeared in a number of films including The First Traveling Sales Lady, Skidoo, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Her work in Thoroughly Modern Millie won her a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture.

Following her success in Hello Dolly! and Thoroughly Modern Millie, she starred as Channing Carol Hunnicut in The Carol Channing Show in 1966.

She did voice-over work in cartoons including The Addams Family from 1992 to 1995.

Television appearances

She has made a numerous television appearances including regular and guest appearances. 

She appeared in What's My Line? from 1962 to 1966.

She also appeared on The Andy Williams Show in the 1960s, Alice in Wonderland in 1985, Sesame Street in 1986, The Nanny, and many more.

In January 2003, she recorded the audiobook of her best-selling autobiography Just Lucky, I Guess: A Memoir of Sorts. The audiobook was directed and produced by Steve Garrin at VideoActive Productions in New York City. However, the recording of Carol's autobiography was never released.

In January 2011, the documentary about Channing's life and career entitled, Carol Channing: Larger Than Life was released.

Awards, Nominations, Honors

She received a Theatre World Award for her role in 1948 film Lend an Ear.

She received a Tony Award Best Actress in a Musical nomination for her work in the short-lived revue, Show Girl in 1961.

She won Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her work in Hello, Dolly! in 1964.

She won Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre in 1966.

She won Golden Globe Best Supporting Actress-Motion Picture Award for her work in Thoroughly Modern Millie in 1968.

She was awarded Tony Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995 and Drama Critics Circle Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996.

She was the first celebrity to perform at a Super Bowl halftime in 1970.

She was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981.

Lowell High School renamed its auditorium "The Carol Channing Theatre" in her honor in 1981.

The City of San Francisco, California proclaimed February 14, 1988, to be Carol Channing Day in 1988.

She was inducted to Grammy Hall of Fame for her contributions in Hello, Dolly! in 2002.

She was also awarded Tony Award (West) Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to Benefit for AIDS and Actors' Fund in 2002. 

She was awarded an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts by California State University, Stanislaus in 2004.

She received the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre in 2004.

A Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to her in 2010.

She was honored at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Gypsy of the Year competition in December 2010.

Married, Husband, Children, Divorced

Channing was married four times. She was 20 years old when she got married for the first time. She married a writer, Theodore Naidish in 1941. They separated in 1944. She lived a poor life during her first marriage.

She then married a private detective and a former football player, Alexander F. Carson in 1950. He was known by the name Axe or "The Murderous Ax". They divorced in 1956 and had a son named Channing Carson.

She married Charles Lowe in the same year, 1956, she split up with Alexander F. Carson. They lived together for almost 42 years before separating in 1998. Her estranged husband died in 1999 before their divorce was finalized.

She rekindled her romance with her junior high school sweetheart, Harry Kullijian while recording the audiobook of her autobiography Just Lucky, I Guess, at VideoActive Productions, NYC. And they got married in May 2003. They lived in Rancho Mirage, California. Her husband, Harry died on 26 December 2011, on the eve of his 92nd birthday.

She had unique dietary habits. She revealed in 1978 that she preferred only organic food and had not eaten restaurant food in 15 years. She would bring several sealed containers with her own food when she was invited to restaurants. She later resumed eating food served by restaurants by 1955. She did not drink alcoholic beverages of any sort. 

Height, Weight, Body Measurements

Carol Channing stood at a height of 1.75m i.e. 5 feet and 9 inches tall. She had a body weight of 143 lbs i.e. 65 kg. She had an average body. Her other body measurements during her final days are unavailable. She had green eyes and blonde hair.

Net Worth, Source of Income

The net worth of legendary entertainer, who died at the age of 97 on 15 January 2019 was estimated at around $25 million. She earned her fortune working in the entertainment industry, thus, becoming the legendary entertainer.

Did You Know?

  • Her father changed his surname from Stucker to Channing before Carol's birth.
  • Her mother told her for the first time that her father's mother was African American and his father was German American.
  • She first wanted to perform on stage as a singer after seeing Ethel Waters perform.
  • She was elected class secretary in the fourth grade to high school.
  • Initially, she worked in Macy's bakery.
  • She was a registered Democrat.
  • She learned to speak Yiddish fluently from his first husband, Theodore Naidish's grandfather.
  • She revealed in 1978 that she preferred only organic food and had not eaten restaurant food in 15 years.
  • She was an ovarian cancer survivor.
  • In January 1950, Time magazine ran a cover story about her becoming a new star on Broadway.
  • In January 1955 and 1964, she was featured in cover stories in Life magazine.
  • he was 16 days away from her 98th birthday and a day away from the 55th anniversary of the opening of Hello, Dolly! when she died on 15 January 2019.

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