Carol Channing, most known for her Broadway role in Hello, Dolly!, sadly died at her Rancho Mirage, CA home from unknown causes, her publicist Harlan Boll confirmed in a statement on Tuesday, January 15. She was 97 years old.
“It is with extreme heartache, that I have to announce the passing of an original Industry Pioneer, Legend and Icon – Miss Carol Channing. I admired her before I met her, and have loved her since the day she stepped … or fell rather … into my life,” Boll told Broadway World. “It is so very hard to see the final curtain lower on a woman who has been a daily part of my life for more than a third of it. We supported each other, cried with each other, argued with each other, but always ended up laughing with each other.
“Saying good-bye is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but I know that when I feel those uncontrollable urges to laugh at everything and/or nothing at all, it will be because she is with me, tickling my funny bone.”
Carol was not only known for her efforts on the stage. In addition to her Broadway stints in Lorelei, Showgirl, and The Vamp, the Tony Award winner also appeared in films Thoroughly Modern Millie (a role which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress), The First Traveling Saleslady, and Skidoo. On top of that, Carol was the first solo artist to ever appear on the Super Bowl halftime show. Back in 1970, she performed in front of 80,000 people.
In July 2018, Carol revealed she had no regrets about her career. “Regret leads to negativity and negativity kills creativity,” she shared with Fox News. “Given the opportunity, I might change a choice I made, but you can’t regret making what you thought was the best decision at the time.”