Carol Channing dead: Actress dies aged 97

Charming Channing

As such, we look back at five fascinating facts about the celebrated life of the great Carol Channing. "And that's what makes a star. It's an electric thing for the performer; it's like plugging me in the wall".

Below, here are the Channing's most memorable moments.

It became the role that would help to define her career, and she reprised it in multiple productions over the decades.

Channing lived to perform.

The lanky, ebullient musical comedy star delighted American audiences over nearly 5,000 performances as the scheming Dolly Levi in "Hello, Dolly" on Broadway and beyond. Channing originated the role of Mrs.

Channing won a Tony award for her performance in the 1964 musical Hello, Dolly!

Like anyone with a lengthy show business career, Channing had her foibles. And below, she performs Dolly!

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Her sparkling stage presence mostly did not translate to the silver screen, but she did deliver one notable Hollywood performance in the film version of Thoroughly Modern Millie, for which she earned a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nomination, starring alongside Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore.

"Channing was one of the few who paved the path for so many women in theater and beyond", Chenoweth wrote on Twitter. She died Tuesday at 97. All went well until the end, when the two fittingly flubbed the lyrics.

She dropped out of Bennington University after a year and moved to NY, making her on-stage debut in Never Take No for an Answer in 1941. No matter the part, she made it her own, including a 1985 reinterpretation of the White Queen in a made-for-TV adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.

Carol Channing was born on January 31, 1921, in Seattle, Washington. Hopefully Channing's spark gets reincarnated elsewhere.

Channing and Kullijian, a former city councilman in Modesto, California, reunited 70 years after they attended middle school together and married in 2003. Then came Channing, who on short notice and without rehearsal, belted out the classic show tune (of course, a show tune), When the Saints Go Marching In. The show's hit song, "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend", became her signature number.

In a statement released to Broadway World, her publicist said: "It is with extreme heartache, that I have to announce the passing of an original Industry Pioneer, Legend and Icon - Miss Carol Channing". She also ascribed much of her iconic status to her endeared LGBT following, as she openly stated, "The gay community is responsible for so much of my success, and I love them".

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