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General information  

  • Real name : Carol Elaine Channing
  • Place of birth : Seattle
  • Date of birth : 31/01/1921

Alias  

  • Channing Carol

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Carol Channing (1921)

Carol Elaine Channing

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  Summary  

Carol Elaine Channing is an American singer, actress, and comedienne. She is the recipient of three Tony Awards , a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination. Channing is best remembered for originating, on Broadway, the musical-comedy roles of bombshell Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and matchmaking widow Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly!

  Biography  

 career
Channing was introduced to the stage while working for her mother. In a 2005 interview with the Austin Chronicle, Channing recounted this experience: "My mother said, 'Carol, would you like to help me distribute Christian Science Monitors backstage at the live theatres in San Francisco?' And I said, 'All right, I'll help you.' I don't know how old I was. I must have been little. We went through the stage door alley , and I couldn't get the stage door open. My mother came and opened it very well. Anyway, my mother went to put the Monitors where they were supposed to go for the actors and the crew and the musicians, and she left me alone. And I stood there and realized – I'll never forget it because it came over me so strongly – that this is a temple. This is a cathedral. It's a mosque. It's a mother church. This is for people who have gotten a glimpse of creation and all they do is recreate it. I stood there and wanted to kiss the floorboards."

Channing's first job on stage in New York was in Marc Blitzstein's No For an Answer, which was given two special Sunday performances starting January 5, 1941 at the Mecca Temple (later New York's City Center). She was 19 years old. Channing then moved to Broadway for Let's Face It!, in which she was an understudy for Eve Arden. Decades later, Arden would play "Dolly" in a road company after Channing finally relinquished the role. Five years later, Channing had a featured role in a revue, Lend an Ear. She was spotted by author Anita Loos and cast in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as Lorelei Lee, the role that brought her to prominence. (Her signature song from the production was Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.) In 1961, Channing became one of a very few Tony Award nominees to gain a nomination for work in a revue , when she was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical, for the short-lived revue Show Girl.

Channing came to national prominence as the star of Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly! She never missed a performance during her run, attributing her good health to her Christian Science faith. Her performance won her the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, in a year when her chief competition was Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl. She was deeply disappointed when Streisand, who many believed to be far too young for the role, was signed to play Dolly Levi in the film, which also starred Walter Matthau and Michael Crawford.

Channing reprised the role of Lorelei Lee in the musical Lorelei. She also appeared in two New York revivals of Hello, Dolly!, and toured with it extensively throughout the United States. She also appeared in a number of movies, The First Traveling Sales Lady with Ginger Rogers, the cult film Skidoo and Thoroughly Modern Millie, opposite Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore. For Millie she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and was awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture.

In 1966, she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre. During her film career she also made some guest appearances on television sitcoms and talk shows, including CBS's "What's My Line?," on which she appeared in eleven episodes from 1962 to 1966. Channing also did a fair amount of voice over work in cartoons, most notably as Grandmama in an animated version of The Addams Family which ran from 1992 to 1995.

Channing was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981. She was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 1995, and an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts by California State University, Stanislaus in 2004. That same year, she received the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre. She and husband Harry Kullijian are active in promoting arts education in California schools with the Dr. Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian Foundation. The couple resides in Modesto, California.

In 1984, Carol had appeared on "Sesame Street" and sang a parody of the song "Hello, Dolly! called "Hello, Sammy!", a love song being sung by Carol to a character known as Sammy the Snake . Carol, in this parody segment, serenades Sammy telling him just how much she loves and adores him while Sammy coils himself around Carol's arms. This song includes lyrics such as "So..turn on your charm, Sammy/Coil yourself around my arm, Sammy/Sammy the Snake, I'll stake a claim on you"

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Carol Channing", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.