Carol Channing, the legendary Broadway actress best known for starring in musicals like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Hello, Dolly!, died on Tuesday, January 15. She was 97.
Her publicist, B. Harlan Boll, confirmed her passing to Us Weekly. As for the cause of death, the publicist told the publication that Carol died from natural causes at 12:31 a.m. at her Rancho Mirage home, two weeks before her 98th birthday.
The publicist said in a statement, "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. 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 goodbye 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 first nominated for Tony Award in 1956 for her work on The Vamp, followed by a second nod in 1961 for Show Girl.
She received the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Hello, Dolly! in 1964. Hello, Dolly was her final appearance; she portrayed Dolly Levi in the musical in 1995.
Carol was married four times; to Theodore Naidish (1941-1944), Alexander Carson (1953-1956), Charles Lowe (1956 until his death in 1999), and Harry Kullijian (2003 until his death in 2011).
She is survived by her son, Channing Carson, 66.
Rest in Peace Carol Channing!