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Carol Channing

Actor / Singer

Born: 31 January 1921
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington
Best known as: Broadway star of Hello, Dolly!

Carol Channing's fame comes from two smashing successes on Broadway: as Lorelei in 1950's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and as Dolly in 1964's Hello, Dolly!. Although she didn't get the film roles (the roles went to Marilyn Monroe and Barbra Streisand, respectively), Channing was associated with the characters her entire career and performed the plays thousands of times. She has appeared on TV and been in a handful of movies (notably in 1967's Thoroughly Modern Millie and 1994's animated Thumbelina), but her career as an entertainer has been focused on the stage. Her distinctive appearance and voice have made her a favorite of both male and female impersonators. In 2002 she published her memoirs, Just Lucky I Guess.

Extra credit:

Her son is Channing Lowe, an editorial cartoonist for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel… Channing’s signature song is “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” (though her version of “Hello, Dolly!” is as famous as Louis Armstrong‘s)… Channing is a Christian Scientist (a member of the church founded by Mary Baker Eddy)… In 2003 the 82-year-old Channing married Harry Kullijian, her former middle school sweetheart.

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