Jan. 31st, 1921
Seattle, Washington, USA
Carol Channing's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2002 - The Kid Stays in the Picture
1994 - Thumbelina
1993 - Happily Ever After
1978 - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
1971 - Shinbone Alley
1968 - Skidoo
1967 - Thoroughly Modern Millie
1950 - Paid in Full
Guest TV Roles
Elderly Woman (Voiced)
Cornelia C. Contralto II (Voiced)
Carol Channing was born January 31, 1921, at Seattle, Washington, the daughter of a prominent newspaper editor, who was very active in the Christian Science movement. She attended high school in San Francisco and later worked as a model in Los Angeles. She attended prestigious Bennington College in Vermont and majored in drama and dance and supplemented her work by taking parts in nearby Pocono Resort area. She initially made her mark on Broadway in "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" playing Lorelei Lee. In "Hello Dolly" she played Dolly Gallagher Levi, the witty, manipulative widow intent upon finding a wealthy husband. The musical won ten Tony awards in 1964, including Channing's for best actress in a comedy. Jacqueline Kennedy (I) and her two children made their first public appearance after President John F. Kennedy's death by seeing her perform in "Hello Dolly" and later visited her backstage. She appeared in the film Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). Her son is a Pulitizer Prize-nominated finalist cartoonist and she continues to practice her Christian Science religion.
- Graduated from the prestigious Lowell High School in San Francisco, California in 1938. Her high school's theater is now named after her.
- Revealed in her autobiography "Just Lucky, I Guess" that her father was a light skinned African American who used one accent to help "pass" in the white world and another around the house, where he sang gospel music to entertain his daughter.
- She donated a dress she wore in the stage production of "Hello, Dolly!" to the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institute.
- Has three Tony Awards: in 1964, as Best Actress (Musical) for "Hello, Dolly!"; in 1968, a Special Award; and in 1995, a Lifetime Achievement Award. Was also nominated three other times for Best Actress (Musical): in 1956, for "The Vamp;" in 1961, for "Show Girl;" and in 1974, for "Lorelei."
- Measurements: 34A-25-36 1/2 (during "Hello Dolly!") (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
- In 1986-87, toured in the play "Legends" with 'Mary Martin (I)' (qv), the subject of an excellent, highly amusing book by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright 'James Kirkwood Jr.' (qv), "Diary of a Mad Playwright: Perilous Adventures on the Road with Mary Martin and Carol Channing". Despite the pressures, Kirkwood describes Channing as a true professional and a joy to work with.
- In 1967, 'Pearl Bailey' (qv) replaced her on Broadway when "Hello, Dolly!" was recast as an all-black production.
- Her trademark, poofy blonde hair has always been achieved by the use of wigs, as she's allergic to bleach.
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