Carol Channing turns 97 today! The irrepressible leading lady has starred in some of Tams-Witmark’s most popular shows, from GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES to HELLO, DOLLY! We’ve looked through our archives and selected some of Ms. Channing’s best moments. Happy Birthday, Carol! You’re lookin’ swell.
GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1949)
Carol was a sensation as Southern belle Lorelei Lee in this irreverent and tuneful adaptation of the Anita Loos novel. Carol introduced “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend,” and the song would forever be identified with her.
WONDERFUL TOWN (1954)
Carol replaced Rosalind Russell in the role of Ruth Sherwood, belting out Bernstein/Comden & Green hits like “One Hundred Easy Ways” and “Conga!”
Visiting ON THE TOWN (1954)
Carol’s pals Helen Gallagher and Bill Hayes appeared in a summer stock production of ON THE TOWN at Highland Park Music Theatre, just outside Chicago, IL. Carol couldn’t resist hamming it up with the two stars.
Visiting DO RE MI (1961)
Carol wasn’t in the cast of this Jule Styne musical about an eager but hapless entrepreneur in the record business. Phil Silvers and Nancy Walker headlined the show– but Carol and friends dropped by for a visit.
HELLO, DOLLY! (1964)
Carol made her biggest splash as Dolly Levi Gallagher in Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart’s musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker. Ms. Channing won the 1964 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, and the show shattered box office records, running an astounding 2,844 performances.
HELLO, DOLLY! Recording Session (1964)
The cast album to HELLO, DOLLY! was a smash hit, thanks to Jerry Herman’s ebullient score and Carol’s irrepressible energy. Just look at how Jerry gazes at her!
HELLO, DOLLY! at The White House (1967)
On January 18,1967, Carol and the touring cast of HELLO, DOLLY! paid a visit to the White House, where they performed for President Lyndon B. Johnson and FLOTUS Lady Bird Johnson. The event, which honored Vice President Hubert Humphrey, also commemorated the show’s fourth year on Broadway.
Leading Ladies (1965)
In February of 1965, Carol and some other leading ladies of Broadway gathered at the Rainbow Room for a party celebrating first daughter Lynda Bird Johnson. From left, they are: Beatrice Lillie (HIGH SPIRITS), Sally Ann Howes (WHAT MAKES SAMMY RUN?), Barbra Streisand (FUNNY GIRL), Lynda Bird Johnson, and Ms. Channing (HELLO, DOLLY!).
Carol returned to Broadway as Lorelei Lee in this 1974 musical comedy, subtitled GENTLEMEN STILL PREFER BLONDES. A mix of new and old songs, the show proved an ideal vehicle for Carol to show off her comic chops and vocal charms.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CAROL!
Thank you, Carol Channing, for being an inspiration to generations of theatre audiences and performers! We are all so grateful for your exuberance, your optimism, and your brilliant comic timing. Happy 97th Birthday!