Musical theatre legend Carol Channing will receive the Actors' Fund Julie Harris Award June 2 at the group's 6th Annual Tony Party. Legendary TV anchorman Walter Cronkite will present the honor, given for lifetime achievement in theatre.
Channing is synonymous with the role of Dolly Levi in Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly, a part she played three times on Broadway, first in the original cast in 1964, in 1978 and then again in 1995. Both times she made recordings of the score and, for Dolly's debut, won a Tony Award for Best Actress. Channing made her first big splash as Lorelei in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" became her signature tune. The comedianne's other roles include Muzzy in the film version of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and TV guest spots on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In," "The Love Boat" and "Touched By an Angel."
Past winners of Julie Harris Award include Lauren Bacall, Charles Durning, Tyne Daly and Gwen Verdon. Five-time Tony winner Harris, set to receive her sixth for Lifetime Achievement in 2002, was given her own Julie Harris Award in 1997.
Tickets are $185. The evening at the Jim Henson Studios includes cocktails and dinner and a live telecast of the Tony Awards, beginning at 6 PM. For reservations, call (323) 933-9266 ext. 54.
— By Christine Ehren