Carol Channing Dies; Broadway Legend Was 97

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Carol Channing, a beloved actress likely best known for her role in the Broadway production Hello, Dolly!, passed away on Tuesday.

She was 97 years old.

Carol Channing

The star's publicist, B. Harlan Boll, confirmed this sad piece of news to CBS, saying that Channing died at 12:31 a.m. in Rancho Mirage, California, of natural causes.

Channing was a Tony Award for her role as Dolly Levi in the aforementioned play, and was also nominated for an Oscar for her role in Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Other notes in her very impressive resume include:

- Being the first solo artist to sing at the Super Bowl.

- Earning a Tony Lifetime Achievement Award.

- Being a member of the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Channing was also equipped with a super distinctive, raspy voice that made her a favorite television talk show guest over the years.

She booked numerous appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and Hollywood Squares.

Carol Channing Picture

The legendary actress, singer and comedian had suffered a handful of strokes over the past year, Boll said, adding that no memorial events have been scheduled because that was Channing's wish.

But an endless array of Broadway talents and entertainment industry heavyweights have taken to social media in order to pay tribute.

Tweeted George Takei: 

One of Broadway's greatest lights, Carol Channing, has passed on. She rejoins the heavens as a new diamond in the night sky, and as she famously sang, they are a girl's best friend. Goodbye and farewell, forever our Dolly.

And Josh Gad:

Goodbye Dolly.

And Lin-Manuel Miranda:

lin tribute

Channing moved to New York after majoring in drama and dance at Bennington College in Vermont.

She made her stage debut in "Never Take No for an Answer." She was also an understudy in "Let's Face It."

The actress often credited her father with her dream to become an entertainer, one telling CBS News:

"He told me you can dedicate your life at 7 or 97. And the people who do that are happier people."

Carol Channing Photo

Channing continued to work well into her 90s.

She was hailed throughout her long-running career, including being inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981 and receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Tonys and the Drama Critics Circle in 1995 and 1996, respectively.

She is survived by her son, cartoonist Channing Carson.

We'll give the final word here to Boll:

"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."

May Carol Channing rest in peace.

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