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Broadway Legend Carol Channing Is Dead at 97

Carol Channing has died at 97.

Celebrated actress and Broadway legend Carol Channing died of natural causes Tuesday morning in her Rancho Mirage, California, home. She was 97.

Channing’s publicist, Harlan Boll, confirmed the news to Reuters. She’d suffered “multiple strokes” in the last year, Boll said.

A beloved star of stage and screen, Channing is perhaps best known for originating the roles of Lorelei Lee in 1949’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Dolly Gallagher Levi in 1964’s Hello, Dolly! on Broadway.

Channing’s performance in the original Broadway cast of Hello, Dolly! won her a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, a category for which she was nominated a total of four times throughout her storied career.

The actress also won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie — the George Roy Hill-directed film in which she utters the iconic line, “Raspberries!” — and picked up a Best Supporting Actress Academy Awards nomination for that same role.

Additionally, Channing received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1995 Tonys. She was 74 at the time.

“Thank you to one and all,” she said in her acceptance speech. “For my particular lifetime, I can’t think of anything more soul-fulfilling that I could have done. I mean, it was the only thing to do, and achievement is apparently just doing exactly what you want to do. Well, I want to thank the theater community. My gratitude is unbounded.”

Related | Carol Channing on Gay Men, Drag Queens, and Johnny Depp

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