Broadway Legend Carol Channing Dies At 97

Carol Channing - Thoroughly Modern Millie

In a sad turn of events, it was reported this week that Carol Channing, a legendary star of the stage and screen, passed away. She was 97. The news was confirmed by her publicist, Harlan Bell. Channing's cause of death isn't publicly known right now, but it's reportedly believed to be natural causes.

As it was reported by CNN, Carol Channing lived a long and celebrated career on the stage and screen, both big and small. She was still actively working well into her 90's as well, which isn't something many can ultimately say. During the final years of her life, however, she was primarily doing voice work. Her last television credit on her resume can be found in an episode of Family Guy from 2006. She voiced a fictionalized version of herself.

As an actress, Carol Channing is best known and remembered for her iconic performance as Dolly Levi in the Broadway musical, Hello, Dolly! She won a Tony for her stand-out, ticket-selling musical performance, and it helped the rising actress find her way in film and TV as she only continued to excel.

The current touring production of Hello, Dolly! released the following statement after the news of Carol Channing's death was made public.

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.

Beyond her work in Hello, Dolly!, however, Carol Channing is also remembered for her role in the Broadway musical, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and she ultimately lost the role in the film adaptation to Marilyn Monroe. She was also well-known and (rightfully) acclaimed for her work in Thoroughly Modern Millie, the 1967 film adaptation, where she played the role of Muzzy Van Hossmere. She received a Golden Globe award for her performance. She was also nominated for an Academy Award as well. For film lovers, particularly those who might not have seen her role in Hello, Dolly!, there is reason to believe that this performance was her most iconic. Indeed, between her work on the stage and on the screen, everyone can remember a part.

In addition to Family Guy, Carol Channing was known for her work on television through her roles in The Love Boat, Touched By An Angel and Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, to name a mere few. There is no denying that Carol Channing accomplished a lot and achieved a lot in her time on this earth, and the actress will certainly be missed by fans of the stage, the silver screen and the television screen across the world and across many different generations. Feel free to take a moment today to look back on the performance that you enjoyed and remembered the most and pay your dues to the beloved star.

There's not much one can say at this difficult time other than Goodbye, Dolly.

Will Ashton

Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.