One item that has been occasionally outdoing Brexit on social media during the last 24 hours is the outflowing of love and admiration for the legendary Broadway artist Carol Channing – best known to many for her memorable performances in Hello, Dolly! – who has died at the age of 97. The lights of the Great White Way will dim for one minute this evening [16 January], the 55th anniversary of the Broadway opening of Dolly in 1964 in which she so brilliantly played Dolly Levi (over 5,000 times!) in a Tony-winning portrayal. Thank you for the memories…
Carol Channing, who died on 15 January at her home in Rancho Mirage, California, first experiened what it was like to be a Broadway star when she appeared in Gentleman Prefer Blondes (1949) as Lorelei Lee. She also appeared in the shows Wonderful Town, Show Girl and The Vamp and tours of Jerry’s Girls. Film-goers will also treasure her performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie as Muzzy Van Hossmere (1967).
Among the huge amount of tributes all over social media, Bette Midler, who wowed audiences in the recent Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!, wrote:
“The great, the legendary Carol Channing has died at age 97. She was a complete original, and there will never be another. Blonde, 6ft tall and utterly hilarious, she was a legend. My condolences to the world; to those who knew her or saw her and those who never got the chance.”