Broadway Star Dies at 97 Years Old


Art/Photo by Kevin Winter

HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 13: Singer Carol Channing performs at ‘TV Cares: Ribbon of Hope Celebration 2004’ on March 13, 2004 at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Ashley Driesler, Staff Writer

On January 15th, Broadway actress Carol Channing passed away. The musical star had suffered from two strokes in the past year. She was well known for her role in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as character Lorelei Lee. Channing also played Dolly Gallagher in Hello, Dolly!

  Dora Yela (11), who was informed of the news, stated, “Although I didn’t know of Ms. Channing before her passing, it is still very saddening and an overall loss. I have tremendous respect for performers, and I’m very glad she was able to succeed and do what she loved.”

  During her last Broadway appearance, she expressed her passion for performance by stating, “Performing is the only excuse for my existence… What can be better than this?”

  It all started for Channing on December 8th, 1949. This was the night she first became a Broadway star. It was opening night for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, debuting in Ziegfeld Theater. The show ran for two years following this and Channing acquired fame along the way.

  She went on tour after the musical’s run, and there she made connections with producer David Merrick, who had the rights to The Matchmaker with hopes of reinventing it in his new production, Hello, Dolly! Channing earned the role of Dolly Gallagher Levi, and this set forth her prominent musical career.

  Helly, Dolly! premiered at the St. James Theater in the January of 1964, and it earned amazing reviews. The production earned 10 Tony Awards and Channing won one for best actress in a musical.

  After learning about Channing’s life and passing, Carlos Palacios (11), stated, “It’s very inspiring to reflect on Ms. Channing’s life. She was very successful and a talented performer, and it pushes me to want to be successful and talented at my own passions.”

  Channing also sang a political song which President Lyndon B. Johnson used during his candidacy to rally support. This grew her ties with the first family and she performed the song during the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City.