'Hello Dolly!' Broadway Legend Carol Channing Dies At 97

Broadway Actress Carol Channing Dead 97
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Jan. 15 2019, Updated 1:00 p.m. ET

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Carol Channing, the beloved Broadway legend, has died.

As has learned, the beautiful actress better known for her role as Dolly Levi in "Hello Dolly!" passed away this Tuesday, January 15 at 12:31 a.m. inside her Rancho Mirage, California home.

She was 97, and her cause of death is being regarded as natural causes.

"We are deeply saddened to report the passing of the legendary Carol Channing," tweeted Broadway World after hearing the news.

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Throughout her career, Channing appeared in a collection of important Broadway plays such as "So Proudly We Hail," "Let's Face It," "Lend An Ear," "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," "Show Girl," and "Pygmalion," among many others.

In 1964 she received a Tony Award for her portrayal of Dolly Levi, one which she played in 5000 performances, without missing a single one.

"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," B Harlan Boll, Channing's heartbroken publicist said in a statement.

In 1995, Channing received the Lifetime Achievement Tony Award, years after her "Hello Dolly!" performance gathered the attention of Jacqueline Kennedy, whose visit to her Broadway show made her an even bigger star.

"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," Boll continued in his statement.

Carol Channing
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Apart from her theater career, Channing was also a Hollywood actress, who appeared in a variety of films such as Thoroughly Modern Millie, Paid In Full and The First Traveling Saleslady. She even earned an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award.

"Saying good-bye 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," Boll concluded.

R.I.P. Carol Channing.

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