(*homocinematically inclined)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Women We Love: Carol Channing

Object of our affection: Carol Channing, actress/jazz baby.
- Why we love her: For her oversized personality and truly unique performing style that has proved, time and time again, that bigger is always better.
- Awards on her mantel: Tony Award for her signature role, Dolly Levi, in Hello, Dolly!; Golden Globe award and Oscar nomination for her "raspberry"-spouting Muzzy in Thoroughly Modern Millie. She is also the recipient of two honorary Tony Awards.
- Other choice roles: Onstage, was the original Lorelei Lee in Gentleman Prefer Blondes and its sequel, Lorelei; on film, played gangster Jackie Gleason's wife in the cult comedy Skidoo.
- She was robbed: When it came time to immortalize them onscreen, she was overlooked by the Dolly and Blondes moviemakers in favor of younger actresses.
- What else has she done: Appeared in numerous TV variety series and specials, game shows and Broadway-based programs, including six appearances on The Love Boat as your cruise director Julie's sassy Aunt Sylvia.
- Yes, it's true: She and fellow Broadway legend Ethel Merman (who was one of Carol's replacements as Dolly) loathed each other, but reportedly became friends while filming "The Love Boat Follies".
- Bet you didn't know: Early in her show biz career, was a model in Los Angeles; her trademark blonde bob is actually a wig -- she is allergic to bleach.
- What a trooper: Never missed a performance as Dolly, a role she reprised in two Broadway revivals and several national tours.
- You go girl: An advocate for gay rights, she was the celebrity hostess of Hollywood's Gay Pride Day in 2002.
- Can we quote you on that: "I'm terribly shy, but of course no one believes me. Come to think of it, neither would I."
- Random punchline: "Corn? When did I eat corn?"
- What is she up to now: Most recently appeared in the documentary Show Business: The Road to Broadway.
- Where you can learn more: At "The Official Website of Carol Channing".

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