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Saturday, January 31, 2015

94 Groovy Things about Carol Channing on her birthday



Today I'm celebrating Carol Channing's 94th birthday by sharing a "few" groovy things about her life and career:

1. Carol Elaine Channing was born on January 31, 1921, in Seattle, Washington.

2. In January 1941, she made her New York stage debut at age 19 in Marc Blitzstein's musical play, No for an Answer, at the Mecca Temple (later New York's City Center).

3. She was Eve Arden's understudy in the 1941 Broadway musical, Let's Face It!, which also starred Danny Kaye, Vivian Vance and Nanette Fabray.

4. She appeared in the 1942 Broadway play, Proof Through the Night, which only ran for 11 performances.

5. She had a featured role in the 1948 Broadway musical revue, Lend an Ear, which led to her being cast as Lorelei Lee in the 1949 Broadway musical, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

6. She made her film debut in the uncredited role of a dress-shop patron in the 1950 drama, Paid in Full, starring Robert Cummings, Lizabeth Scott and Eve Arden.

7. On March 25, 1953, she gave birth to her son, Channing "Chan" Lowe, who became an editorial cartoonist.

8. She toured the U.S. as Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion in 1953.

9. She was a guest on Milton Berle's Texaco Star Theatre on December 8, 1953.



10. In 1954, she replaced Rosalind Russell as Ruth Sherwood in the Broadway musical, Wonderful Town.

11. On January 13, 1956, Edward R. Murrow interviewed her on his CBS series, Person to Person, after her Broadway musical comedy, The Vamp, closed on December 31, 1955, after 60 performances.

12. She received a 1956 Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for The Vamp.

13. She starred with Ginger Rogers in the 1956 film, The First Traveling Saleslady.



14. She was a guest on The Rosemary Clooney Show on March 21, 1957.



15. She appeared with Johnny Carson in Three Men on a Horse on the CBS series, Playhouse 90, on April 18, 1957.

16. She appeared in two episodes of the NBC variety show, The Red Skelton Show, in 1957.



17. She was a guest on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show on December 15, 1957.

18. She was a guest on Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall on April 12, 1958.



19. She appeared in two 1959 episodes of the CBS sitcom, The George Burns Show.

20. On December 17, 1959, she and Peggy Lee were guests on the CBS variety series, The Big Party for Revlon, featuring Eva Gabor as the episode's host.

21. In 1959, she began a 14-month tour in the musical revue, Show Business, which was retitled Show Girl by the time it reached Broadway in January 1961, where it ran for 100 performances. She received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.



22. She and George Burns toured the U.S. in George Burns-Carol Channing Musical Revue in 1962.

23. She was a guest on The Andy Williams Show on February 21, 1963.



24. In 1963, she played the lead in a summer tour of George Bernard Shaw's The Millonairess, which also starred Gene Wilder and Estelle Parsons.

25. She received a 1964 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi in the Jerry Herman musical, Hello, Dolly! She reprised the role on Broadway in 1978 and 1995.



26. She was a panelist on What's My Line? on February 21, 1965.



27. Her record album, Carol Channing Entertains, was released in 1965.

28. She and Ginger Rogers were the Mystery Guests on What's My Line? on July 25, 1965.



29. She promoted her CBS special, An Evening with Carol Channing - which aired on February 18, 1966, with guests George Burns and David McCallum - on What's My Line? on February 6, 1966.



30. In 1966, she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre.

31. She starred in a 1966 TV pilot for her own sitcom, The Carol Channing Show.



32. She, Dean Martin, Wayne Newton and Mickey Rooney were guests on Danny Thomas' NBC special, The Wonderful World of Burlesque II, on December 11, 1966.

33. She received an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Muzzy Van Hossmere in the 1967 musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie.



34. She starred in an ABC special, Carol Channing and 101 Men, on November 16, 1967, with guests Walter Matthau and the rock group, The Association (who sang "Along Comes Carol").



35. She was a guest on the CBS series, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, on April 2, 1968.

36. She received a Special Tony Award in 1968.

37. She played Jackie Gleason's wife in the 1968 comedy, Skidoo.



38. She was a guest on the syndicated series, Playboy After Dark, on February 15, 1969.

39. She and Pearl Bailey starred in their ABC special, Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey on Broadway, on March 16, 1969.




40. On April 14, 1969, she starred in an ABC special, Carol Channing Proudly Presents the Seven Deadly Sins, with her guests Carol Burnett and Danny Thomas.



41. She performed "That's How Young I Feel" and "Softly, as I Leave You" on The Dean Martin Show on October 23, 1969.

42. She became the the first celebrity to perform during a Super Bowl halftime when she and the Southern University Marching Band performed "When the Saints Go Marching In" during Super Bowl IV on January 11, 1970.

43. She, Tim Conway, Bob Hope, Juliet Prowse and Dionne Warwick were guests on the NBC special, Danny Thomas Looks at Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, on January 28, 1970.

44. On September 9, 1970, she starred in the NBC special, Carol Channing's Mad English Tea Party, which was taped in England with guests Art Carney, Sir John Gielgud and Fred MacMurray.

45. She and Teresa Graves performed in a 1970 episode of NBC's Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.



46. She starred in the 1971 Broadway comedy, Four on a Garden, with Sid Caesar and Tommy Lee Jones.

47. She performed on the 25th Annual Tony Awards on March 28, 1971.



48. She provided the voice for Mehitabel the alley cat in the 1971 animated film, Shinbone Alley.

49. She and Steve Lawrence were guests on The Carol Burnett Show on October 6, 1971.

50. She and Dean Martin performed a medley of Broadway tunes, including "Tea for Two" and “I Want to Be Happy”, on The Dean Martin Show on November 25, 1971.

51. She, Ella Fitzgerald, trumpeter Al Hirt and the U.S. Marine Corps Drill Team performed "A Salute to Louis Armstrong" (who died in July 1971) during Super Bowl VI's halftime show on January 16, 1972.

52. on January 25, 1972, she and Dick Van Dyke were the hosts of the CBS variety special, I'm a Fan, featuring guests Karen Morrow, Donna McKechnie and Mary Louise Wilson. The show poked fun at the avid sports aficionado.

53. She performed the song, "Housework", on the 1972 album, Free to Be… You and Me.

54. She and Marty Feldman were guests on The Carol Burnett Show on September 20, 1972.

55. She and Ed Asner were guests on The Flip Wilson Show on October 26, 1972.

56. On January 10, 1974, she and Pearl Bailey starred in the CBS special, One More Time, featuring musical numbers that people would like to hear again.

57. She received a 1974 Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for Lorelei and performed during the ABC broadcast on April 21, 1974.



58. She, Glen Campbell and Jackie Gleason were guests on The Bob Hope Special on September 25, 1974.

59. She talked about her 1955 Broadway musical, The Vamp, in a salute to the Winter Garden Theatre during the 29th Annual Tony Awards on April 20, 1975.



60. She starred in a pre-Broadway tryout of the play, The Bed Before Yesterday, from October 1976 to January 1977, but the show never made it to New York.

61. She received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 30, 1977.

62. She appeared in an American Express commercial in 1977.



63. She was a guest on Captain Kangaroo on September 14, 1979.

64. She performed at The Royal Variety Performance in London on November 10, 1979.



65. She appeared on The Muppet Show on May 10, 1980.



66. She and Robert Morse starred in a National tour of the musical revue, Sugar Babies, in 1980.

67. She played Julie and Judy McCoy's Aunt Sylvia in seven episodes of ABC's The Love Boat, including a two-part episode on February 27, 1982, with Ethel Merman, Ann Miller and Della Reese.




68. She played herself in a cameo appearance in the CBS series, Magnum, P.I., on October 20, 1983.

69. She starred with Andrea McArdle and Leslie Uggams in the musical revue, Jerry's Girls, which premiered on February 28, 1984, at the Royal Poinciana Playhouse in Palm Beach, Florida. An original cast recording was released of the production.

70. She played The White Queen in the 1985 CBS adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.



71. She and Mary Martin starred in a US tour of the play, Legends, from January 1986 to January 1987.

72. She sang "Hello, Sammy!" to Sammy the Snake on Sesame Street on November 18, 1986.



73. She performed on Broadway Sings: The Music of Jule Styne, an episode of PBS's Great Performances, on March 20, 1987.



74. She performed in the CBS special, The 12th Annual Circus of the Stars, on December 15, 1987.

75. She appeared on the British talk show, Wogan, to promote a London concert of Hello, Dolly!, which was performed on June 10, 1990.



76. She provided the voice of a female dog named Canina La Fur in two episodes of the animated series, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, in November 1990.

77. She provided the voice of Grandmama Addams in the 1992-93 ABC animated series, The Addams Family.

78. She played herself in an episode of the CBS sitcom, The Nanny, on November 10, 1993.

79. She was a guest star in an episode of the CBS series, Burke's Law, on January 14, 1994.

80. She received a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 1995.

81. She and the cast of the Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! performed in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 23, 1995.

82. She played herself in an episode of the ABC series, The Dana Carvey Show, on April 2, 1996.

83. She promoted her upcoming tour of Hello, Dolly! on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on August 20, 1996.



84. She made a guest appearance as herself in an episode of the ABC sitcom, The Drew Carey Show, on May 14, 1997.



85. She was a guest star (as herself) in an episode of the CBS drama, Touched by an Angel, on November 23, 1997.

86. She made an uncredited cameo in the 1998 comedy, Homo Heights.

87. She played herself in an episode of the CBS sitcom, Style & Substance, on August 12, 1998.

88. She released her memoir, Just Lucky I Guess: A Memoir of Sorts, in October 2002.

89. On May 10, 2003, she married Harry Kullijian, her junior high-school sweetheart, who reunited with her after she mentioned him in her memoir. They promoted arts education in California schools through their Dr. Carol Channing & Harry Kullijian Foundation for the Arts, and they were together until his death in December 2011.

90. She performed her one-woman show, The First Eighty Years Are the Hardest, at Feinstein's at the Regency in October 2005.




91. She appeared in an episode of the Bravo reality series, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, on August 10, 2009.

92. She released her album, For Heaven's Sake, on September 15, 2009.

93. Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, a documentary about her life and career, was released in January 2012.

94. On January 20, 2014, she celebrated her 93rd birthday and the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Hello, Dolly! at NYC's Town Hall in Gentleman Prefer Blondes: An Intimate Evening With Carol Channing and Justin Vivian Bond.

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