Carol Channing has worked primarily as a comic stage actress and singer, along with occasional movie and television appearances. A leggy blonde with popping eyes and a voice that ranges from a baby squeal to a baritone growl, she has an oversized style that was best expressed in her two signature roles: as Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and as Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!
Channing performed in several New York clubs before makingRead more her Broadway debut in 1941, in the chorus of the musical No for an Answer. She landed a part in the revue Lend an Ear, which eventually ran for 460 performances. In it, she spoofed a 1920s flapper, which led to her starring role in 1949's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, in which, as gold-digging Lorelei Lee, she became a Broadway star singing "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." The show ran 740 performances, and the cast album was a Top Ten hit in 1950. Channing worked in clubs and on television in the '50s, then toured successfully with Show Girl, a virtual one-woman show. The 1964 Broadway musical Hello, Dolly! was her crowning achievement; she won the Tony Award for her performance, and the cast album was a gold-selling number one hit. In 1967, she earned an Academy Award nomination for the movie musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. Channing appeared on television in the late '60s and '70s, while touring and performing around the world in a series of musicals, plays, and revues. In 1977, she returned to her most popular role with a national tour of Hello, Dolly! She also toured in a 30th anniversary production of Hello, Dolly! in 1994 that brought her back to Broadway in 1995. Read less