Broadway legend Carol Channing died of natural causes January 15, 2019. The Tony-winning actor was 97.
Best known as the original Dolly Gallagher Levi, Channing played the role numerous times over a 30-year period beginning in 1964 when she received the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She returned to the role twice on Broadway—in 1978 and 1995—and also played the part over the years in a variety of national tours. Channing, however, first became a star in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which contained songs that would become two of her signature tunes, “A Little Girl from Little Rock” and “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”
The theatre community has taken to social media to share their memories, gratitude, and thoughts.
“When the whistles blow
And the cymbals crash
And the sparklers light the sky
I'm gonna raise the roof
I'm gonna carry on
Give me an old trombone
Give me an old baton
Before the parade passes by!”
She was show business and love personified ❤️❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/isNzReB733
RIP dear wondrous legendary lady. You were one of a kind.❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/Me7yB96ciO
Now the angels sing “Hello Dolly��”
What a life lived�� https://t.co/78cA7AiI17
Dazzling. Priceless. Durable. Flawless. A diamond.
Carol Channing, 1921-2019.
Rest in peace.
— The Tony Awards (@TheTonyAwards) January 15, 2019
Goodbye Dolly. �� https://t.co/00Wz6nMsTp
Rest In Peace, #CarolChanning. You’ve spent your life giving so much joy to so many - and you have no idea how you influenced a 17 year old “me” to pursue a career in the theater one… https://t.co/mfajWz0wYr
— Christina Bianco (@XtinaBianco1) January 15, 2019
And thanks for it all.
"Laughter is much more important than applause. Applause is almost a duty. Laughter is a reward."
- Carol Channing
— Annoying Actor Friend (@Actor_Friend) January 15, 2019
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. https://t.co/0u2zLcAnff
We are deeply saddened to hear the news that Broadway Legend Carol Channing died early this morning at the age of 97. She created the roles of Dolly Levi in #HelloDolly and Lorelei Lee in #GentlemenPreferBlondes. pic.twitter.com/2ywYehf5bw
— NYPL Performing Arts (@nypl_lpa) January 15, 2019
So long, Dolly. Thank you for inspiring SEVERAL generations with your talent, your perseverance and your unadulterated joy. Boy are they in for a show in heaven tonight. #carolchanning #rip https://t.co/g4oeQGOXiW
“You're still glowin', you're still crowin'
You're still goin' strong
I feel the room swayin'
For the band's playin'
One of my old favorite songs from way back when
So bridge that gap, fellas
Find me an empty lap, fellas
Dolly'll never go away again!”
Thanks for a Lifetime Carol
— E R I C U L L O A (@EUlloa03) January 15, 2019
I am so sad just lost my incredible original inspiration #carolchanning I saw her in Hello Dolly when I was 8 and she changed my DNA love you lady forever one of the greatest entertainers of all times
— Sandra Bernhard (@SandraBernhard) January 15, 2019
An icon of the highest order. Rest well Carol Channing https://t.co/E2znKPUE9G
— Julie James (@julie_james) January 15, 2019
RIP Dolly. https://t.co/yE2LgZ4zbH
— Nikki Renee Daniels (@nikkireneesings) January 15, 2019
Rest In Peace������ https://t.co/lslGvaibrm
— Ryan McPhee (@rdmcphee) January 15, 2019
What an absolute legend!! Thank you for all the joy you brought to so many! https://t.co/X6nSgXjpfU
— Bonnie Milligan (@BeltingBonnie) January 15, 2019
We’ll only ever say HELLO, not Goodbye. The legendary #CarolChanning, January 31, 1921 - January 15, 2019. Tomorrow is the 55th anniversary of the original HELLO, DOLLY opening night at the St. James. She will always be Wow Wow Wow, fellas. Forever. pic.twitter.com/OAaskBnkjV
Goodbye, Dolly. What an amazing run you had. ❤��
Carol Channing 1921-2019 ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡ Reposted from @AnikaNoniRose - My Life. Got. I felt so very blessed to be a part of this… https://t.co/ERq4g5v2HS
— Broadway Black (@BroadwayBlack) January 15, 2019
Carol Channing. 1921-2019. We’ll miss you. ��❤️ pic.twitter.com/PPdPACFDDd
— Broadway Buzz (@broadway_buzz) January 15, 2019
Carol Channing was one of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ earliest and longest champions. She was always in our corner, one of our most beloved and best friends. She will always have a special, cherished spot in the heart of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Forever. pic.twitter.com/IyD96kA97C
— Broadway Cares (@BCEFA) January 15, 2019
Our world lost a true legend this morning. We remember Carol Channing for all she gave to our theatre community including defining roles in our sister company @tams_witmark Hello, Dolly as well as Samuel French shows Jerry's Girls, Legends! & Sugar Babies:https://t.co/8nYgZXgq3X
— Samuel French, Inc. (@SamuelFrenchNYC) January 15, 2019
We are deeply saddened by the passing of the one and only Carol Channing. She was a ‘Dolly’ for the ages, and a true icon of the American Theater. Betty Buckley and the cast will dedicate tonight’s performance in San Diego to her memory. #HelloDolly pic.twitter.com/gKh0BNV6px
— Hello, Dolly! (@HelloDollyBway) January 15, 2019
Rip Carol Channing. Your talent and spirit was a gift to us all 🙏🏾🙌🏾
When accepting her 1995 Lifetime Achievement Tony Award #CarolChanning said, "For my particular lifetime, I can't think of anything more soul-fulfilling that I could have done. It was the only thing to do. And 'achievement' apparently is just going exactly what you want to do." pic.twitter.com/vDMZ3ajcTK
— AmericanTheatreWing (@TheWing) January 15, 2019