VIDEO: Hello, Carol! A Tribute to Carol Channing in Honor of Her 95th Birthday
Happy 95th birthday to legendary star of the stage and screen, Carol Channing! With three Tony Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Golden Globe Award, plus an Oscar nomination, Carol is especially beloved and revered in the Broadway community. Today, we honor her by taking a look back at some highlights of the star's vast career.
Five Fun Facts About Carol Channing
1. Carol was only 19 when she landed her first professional acting job in NO FOR AN ANSWER in New York.
2. She received her first Tony nomination for the short-lived THE VAMP in 1955.
3. While she did not receive a Tony nomination for her star-turn in GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, she did receive one for its 1974 sequel, LORELEI.
4. She appeared as the title role in HELLO, DOLLY! in over 5,000 performances.
5. Twenty-one years ago at age 84, Carol was honored with a lifetime achievement Tony Award.
Born in Seattle, Washington, Channing's first job on stage in New York was in No for an Answer at age 19. She received her first Theatre World Award for her performance in Lend An Ear. She was spotted in that production by author Anita Loos and cast in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as Lorelei Lee, a role that gained her wide recognition with what became her signature song, "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend."Channing would cement her star as the definitive Dolly Levi in Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly!, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She appeared in a number of films, including The First Traveling Sales Lady, Skidoo and Thoroughly Modern Millie, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress and won a Golden Globe Award. She continued for many years to star on stage, in films and television. She appeared in several revivals of Hello, Dolly!, ultimately playing the title role more than 5,000 times. She also lent her signature voice to animated films including Shinbone Alley, Happily Ever After and Thumbelina. She also supplied voices for the animated TV programs Where's Waldo?, The Addams Family and The Magic School Bus. In the new millennium, she published a 2002 autobiography, Just Lucky I Guess and later performed in the one-woman show, The First Eighty Years are the Hardest. In January 2012, Tony winning director and producer, Dori Berinstein, released the critically acclaimed and award winning documentary entitled Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, highlighting Channing's career, now celebrating its 75th year. Channing is a longtime advocate for arts education and has been honored by the California state legislature for her work to engage the public about the importance of the arts in education.