Carol Channing would have turned 101 on Jan. 31

Carol Channing was known around the globe for her roles in the musicals “Hello, Dolly!” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” and the film version of “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

But in the Coachella Valley, she was known as a longtime Rancho Mirage resident.

The Broadway icon received a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in 2010.

Carol Channing  was born Jan. 31, 1921. She died on January 31, 1921.  She was an American actress, singer, dancer, and comedian, known for starring in Broadway and film musicals. Her characters usually had a fervent expressiveness and an easily identifiable voice, whether singing or for comedic effect.

Channing began as a Broadway musical actress starring in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1949 and Hello, Dolly! in 1964, and winning the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the latter. She revived both roles several times throughout her career, playing Dolly on Broadway for the final time in 1995. She was nominated for her first Tony Award in 1956 for The Vamp, followed by a nomination in 1961 for Show Girl. She received her fourth Tony Award nomination for the musical Lorelei in 1974.

As a film actress, she won the Golden Globe Award and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Muzzy in Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). Her other film appearances include The First Traveling Saleslady (1956) and Skidoo (1968). On television, she appeared as an entertainer on variety shows. She performed The White Queen in the TV production of Alice in Wonderland (1985), and she had the first of many TV specials in 1966, titled An Evening with Carol Channing.

While well-known for her roles on Broadway, Carol Channing in 1970, was the first celebrity to perform at a Super Bowl halftime.

Channing died from natural causes on Jan. 15, 2019, at her home in Rancho Mirage, at the age of 97, 16 days before her 98th birthday. On January 16, the lights on Broadway were dimmed in honor of Channing. A crowd congregated outside the St. James Theater, as it had also been the anniversary of the opening of the original Broadway production of Hello, Dolly!. Her ashes were sprinkled between the Curran Theatre and the Geary Theater in San Francisco.

Image Sources

  • Carol Channing: Shutterstock