Carol Channing, a Broadway dame known for starring in Hello, Dolly! and Thoroughly Modern Millie has died aged 97, her publicist has confirmed. Channing died of natural causes in California having twice suffered strokes over the past year. She would have turned 98 on January 31.
Although she started out in theatre starring in musicals, Channing subsequently took her talents to Hollywood. On both stage and screen, she won awards: picking up a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in Hello, Dolly! in 1964 and earning Oscar and Golden Globe nominations in 1968 for Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Channing’s career lasted decades – she picked up a Grammy Award and a Tony Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002, when she was 80.
Her death has inspired an outpouring of tributes on social media. Channing was known for her vocal prowess – not least her gravelly voice – stage presence, mega-watt smile and sharp wit. On the aftermath of starring in two Broadway hits, one of which subsequently transferred to the West End, in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Hello, Dolly!, she famously said: “You know, if you’re lucky enough to have two smash hit shows, the traffic of the world goes through your dressing room.”