Sunday, January 31, 2016

THE ONE AND ONLY CAROL CHANNING

 
Carol Channing starred as Lorelei Lee in 1949's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and in addition starred in an array of Broadway productions, winning a Tony for her landmark role in Hello, Dolly!  It also happens to be one of our favorites talents here at the Casa du Borghese, and today the fabulous Ms. Channing turns 95!
 

She was born in Seattle, Washington. When she left home to attend Bennington College, her mother informed her that her father, a journalist whom she had believed was born in Rhode Island, was actually a light-complected African-American born in Augusta, Georgia who had passed for white, saying that the only reason she was telling her was so she wouldn't be surprised "if she had a black baby". She kept her heritage secret so she would not be typecast on Broadway and in Hollywood, ultimately revealing it only in her autobiography, Just Lucky I Guess, which was published in 2002, when she was more than 80 years old. As an actress, Channing’s career was built largely on two roles, Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello Dolly!. She is easily recognized by her distinctive voice and wide eyes...and we adore her.

 
"I'm allergic to chemicals in food so I eat only organic foods. I've never missed a show so it must be doing something.”
 
Laughter is much more important than applause. Applause is almost a duty. Laughter is a reward.”
"My mother said to me, "You're revolting. And on top of that, you're not very feminine." Well, that led me to the stage, which is an accepting and comfortable place. So in a way I have my mother to thank."
 
“The First 80 Years Are the Hardest"

 
"I'm terribly shy, but of course no one believes me. Come to think of it, neither would I."
 
 
Carol Channing....January 31, 1921
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

19 comments:

  1. I can hear her voice in my mind...95 and still going!

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  2. I unfortunately can't remember her in Hello Dolly, I would love to see it though. This may be corny but I loved her appearance in the Love Boat along with Ann Miller, Ethel Merman and Della Reese, who all played the moms of the lead characters, where they did a huge musical number. Blew my mind the amount of talent in one scene.

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  3. Good grief - I hope her mother lived long enough to see what a spectacular success she was and beautiful too!

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  4. I never really followed Carol.....but the voice of a cheese grater was most certainly her trademark.

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  5. When I was younger, I remember seeing her in a NBC production of Alice in Wonderland where she played the White Queen. She nailed it. She was more animated then I've ever seen her.

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  6. Carol Channing is just an immense joy to listen to no matter what she may talk about or sing. Such an amazing person! Never mind that she can't sing like a world renowned singer. In truth she never could. As with Merman, it was never ABOUT "singing." It's always been about CHARACTER and LOVE of LIFE.

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  7. I love Carol. Years ago in New York, I and my other half went in to the Algonquin Bar in the Hotel and there was Carol Channing. She was very friendly, and she talked with us for some time... she starts in one place and ends in another... you never know where the conversation would go :) Happy Birthday Ms.Channing.

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  8. Carol Channing is god. Full stop. Jx

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    Replies
    1. I may have to have some Patron Saints myself.

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  9. One of the greats - she's from the old school Hollywood and I hate to see those like her getting older - a national treasure

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  10. I saw her in Hello Dolly in San Francisco in the '80s and although I knew the show inside and out, I laughed like I'd never heard/seen the jokes before. She was wonderful. And I was up in the nose bleed seats- her performance filled the theater

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  11. She's still great even at 95!

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  12. It's the grit, character and inspiration that she put into her work that made her famous.She made music come to life.

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  13. She's incredible...nothing short of incredible!

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  14. Always loved Carol, but never knew about her father. Fascinating.
    And fabulous at 95!

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  15. I'm still laughing about the black baby comment.

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  16. Wasn't really familiar but, thanks to you, now I am. :)

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Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!

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