Carol Channing's autobiography — "Just Lucky I Guess: A Memoir of Sorts" — is due in book stores Oct. 15 on the Simon & Schuster label.
The star of Broadway's Hello, Dolly! and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes shares details about her career, her life and "the star-studded cast of friends she made along the way." In a recent statement, the Tony winning actress said, "This is not a conventional autobiography and was never meant to be one. It is only what I remember of my life, and it is selective. I find I cannot relate anything at all if the memory is negative or critical of the places I have been, the people I've met, what I've learned, and, most importantly, what I've eaten."
In addition to her many triumphs — including her Tony for Hello, Dolly! and her Academy Award nomination for "Thoroughly Modern Millie" — Channing also details some of the obstacles she endured, including her long term food addictions, her battle with cancer and her first marriage to a struggling novelist, Ted Naidish.
Some of the more interesting anecdotes in "Just Lucky I Guess" include how Channing dealt with a co-star who kept distracting the audience during her laughs: "Well I warned 'Yenta' and I warned her . . . when she finally succeeded in killing the bit dead, I brought my wrist down on her head with the weight of one of those huge brass bracelets. As I say, I warned her."; her thoughts about drag queen impersonations of her: "There were seven boys doing me in Vegas at the time, all acting exactly alike, with not one tiny thing that resembled me, I felt. However, George Burns laughed his head off at them. All I could see on a couple of them was five o'clock shadow, but how come they all assumed exactly the same weird mannerisms?"; and her feelings about losing the film role of "Hello, Dolly!" to Barbra Streisand: "My opinion of Streisand is completely warped. What opinion would you have if someone got together with the agent Sue Mengers and kidnapped your baby? . . . Every time I went by the Harmonia Gardens [movie set] to do an episode of 'Love Boat,' I did a Dance of Death."
Channing, who will be presented with a star on the new Broadway Walk of Stars, will also take part in several book signings around the country. The schedule follows: Oct. 9 at 5 PM at the Drama Book Shop in New York, NY
Oct. 14 at noon at Roundtable West event at La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, CA
Oct. 17 at 6:30 PM at the Commonwealth Club at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, CA
Oct. 18 at 7:30 PM at Books Inc. in the Disney Store, Market Street in San Francisco, CA
Oct. 26 at 2 PM at Brentano's Century City in Los Angeles, CA
Carol Channing's "Just Lucky I Guess: A Memoir of Sorts" is 272 pages in length, with a suggested retail price of $24.95. For more information, go to www.simonsays.com.
—By Andrew Gans