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Entertainment legend Carol Channing has died

Carol Channing (L) January 31, 1921 – January 15, 2019
Photo credit:
RuPaul's Drag Race

Legend of both the stage and screen, Carol Channing has died, she was 97. Her publicist B. Harlan Boll, confirmed the news for USA TODAY. 

He said the iconic actress died of natural causes. 

“It is with extreme heartache, that I have to announce the passing of an original industry pioneer, legend and icon: Miss Carol Channing,” Boll said in a statement. “I admired her before I met her, and have loved her since the day she stepped … or fell rather … into my life. It is so very hard to see the final curtain lower on a woman who has been a daily part of my life for more than a third of it. We supported each other, cried with each other, argued with each other, but always ended up laughing with each other.”

With her distinctive voice and her aloof comic charm, the actress was a part of the Broadway stage in some capacity starting in 1941. From there, her career blossomed on the Great White Way and led to her most iconic role to date: Dolly Levi in "Hello, Dolly!" in 1964. That show lasted until 1970 and at the time was the longest running show on Broadway. 

After that, her next biggest role would be in the movie Thoroughly Modern Millie, where she would earn an Oscar nod as Best Supporting Actress. 

Plenty of television appearances would follow including ones on Laugh-In, The Love Boat and in the '90s, The Addams Family.

She also showed up on RuPaul's Drag Race in 2016 to give Bob the Drag Queen accolades for his impersonation of her on the "Snatch Game" segment.

She loved the stage which was clear when she was interviewed during her final appearance in the 1995 revival of “Hello, Dolly!”

“Performing is the only excuse for my existence,” she said. “What can be better than this?”

Carol Channing: January 31, 1921 – January 15, 2019