Sunday, January 20, 2019

Carol Channing: In Memoriam

Carol Channing: In Memoriam (1921 - 2019)

"Love Those Classic Movies!" is a huge fan of the much beloved actress of stage and screen; Carol Channing. It is sad news that this wonderfully delightful lady passed away on January 15, 2019 at the age of 97. 

Carol Channing is in every true sense a legend in her own time. No matter what medium this lady took on she simply won her
fans/critics with her professionalism and that SMILE! A smile that lit up the room and made all instantly happy around her. Carol did so many noteworthy roles such as on screen; Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) as Muzzy Van Hossmere which garnered her an Academy Award Nomination as Best Supporting Actress and winning a Golden Globe for the role. 

In this motion picture, Carol stars along other wonderful ladies; Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore. I have two favorite musical numbers in the movie; one being Jazz Baby! A song that Carol Channing's character is a wealthy flapper is at her palatial estate dancing and having never ending energy! Such a gem of a movie and role.  

In theater is where Carol Channing shined the very brightest. Being given the lead and having many unforgettable roles. One role for this legend she starred (prior to the FOX motion picture release) in the original production of; Gentleman Prefer Blondes
as Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe would later play the character in the movie). This first leading role in 1949. The role that Carol Channing will be forever remembered is the first and most remembered character Dolly Levi in the hit Broadway production; Hello Dolly! (1964). For this career and life changing role, Carol Channing found the true and most beloved role in Dolly Levi. She won a Tony Award for her role. Doing the production in NYC on Broadway and then went on the road with the traveling company and then later did revivals in 1977, 1982, and 1994. During this time Carol Channing did five thousand record breaking performances and to top it off only missing one performance due leaving Sand Diego (where the touring production was) and flying to NYC to receive her special Tony Award. 

Channing continued always being sought after for television, theatrical productions, and motion pictures. She was nominated for her first Tony Award in 1956 for The
Vamp followed by a nomination in 1961 for Show Girl. She received her fourth Tony Award nomination for the musical Lorelei in 1974. Television brought; The Love Boat, The Nanny. The Andy Williams Show and many more. 

Moving to motion pictures; Her other film appearances include The First Traveling Saleslady (1956) and Skidoo (1968). On television, she appeared as an entertainer on variety shows, from The Ed Sullivan Show in the 1950s to Hollywood Squares. She had a standout performance as The White Queen in the TV production of Alice in Wonderland (1985), and had the first of many TV specials in 1966, An Evening with Carol Channing.

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