Broadway star Carol Channing dies aged 97
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Broadway star Carol Channing dies aged 97

Veteran actress who delighted audiences over almost 5,000 performances as the Dolly Levi was descended from German and Russian Jewish immigrants

Carol Channing (Source: Wikipedia. Credit: Allan Warren)
Carol Channing (Source: Wikipedia. Credit: Allan Warren)

Actress Carol Channing, who originated the starring role in “Hello Dolly!” on Broadway and won a Tony Award for her portrayal of the boisterous widow, has died. She was 97.

Channing was the daughter of a Jewish mother and a Christian father and identified as “part Jewish.” At 16, she learned that her father was multi-racial, with an African-American mother and a German father.

She wrote in her memoir of her five-year marriage to her first husband, Theodore Naidish, that she learned to speak fluent Yiddish from his grandfather, Sam Cohen, who lived in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach.

The Seattle native first became a star playing flapper Lorelei Lee in the 1949 production of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” where she sang the iconic “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”

Channing played Dolly Levi in “Hello Dolly!” winning the Tony in 1964. She played the role for the last time in a 1995 revival. Barbra Streisand was Dolly in the 1969 film version and Bette Midler also won a Tony for her portrayal in the 2017 Broadway revival.

Channing was recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 1995 and was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981. She made guest appearances on many television shows including “Sesame Street,” where she performed a parody of “Hello Dolly” called “Hello Sammy,” a love song to the Jim Henson character Sammy the Snake.

She died Tuesday of natural causes just days before her 98th birthday. Channing was married four times and has one son.

 

 

Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.

We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

read more:
comments