Actress, Entertainer. Born the only child of Adelaide Glaser and George Channing, an editor for the Seattle Star in Seattle, Washington. The family relocated to San Francisco for her father's work, where he took on the editorial chores for Christian Science publications, and she attended Lowell High School in San Francisco, from which she graduated in 1938. The high school theater is now named for her. She dropped out of Bennington College, to try her luck as an actress in New York and Los Angeles. She made her stage debut as the understudy in the musical, 'Let's Face It' in 1941. While performing in the revue, 'Lend An Ear,' which opened on Broadway in 1948, she was spotted by the author of the novel 'Gentleman Prefer Blondes,' and on her suggestion was cast as Lorelei Lee in the musical adaptation the book. When the show opened in 1949, she immediately and forever became associated with the song 'Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.' She remained with the show for two years. She appeared in 'Wonderful Town' (1953 to 1954), and the short lived, 'The Vamp' (1955) for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance. She also appeared in television programs such as 'Omnibus,' 'Playhouse 90,' and 'The Red Skelton Hour' though the 1950s. She made her feature film debut in 'The First Traveling Saleslady' (1956). In January 1964, she opened on Broadway as Dolly Levi in 'Hello, Dolly!' a role she would ever after be associated with. She remained with the show for six years initially, and would appear in two revivals in 1978 and 1995. In 1964 she won a Tony for Best Actress (Musical) for 'Hello, Dolly!' Hollywood, however, passed her over for the film versions of both roles she had made so famous on Broadway. In 1967, she did appear in the feature film, 'Thoroughly Modern Millie,' winning a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for her performance. Other films included 'Skidoo' (1968), 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band' (1978), and 'Thumbelina' (1994). In 1974, she opened in 'Lorelei,' a sequel to 'Gentleman Prefer Blondes,' and was nominated for a Tony for her performance. From 1986 to 1987, she toured with the play 'Legends' with Mary Martin. The period became the subject of the book by James Kirkwood, 'Diary of a Mad Playwright: Perilous Adventures on the Road with Mary Martin and Carol Channing.' She became familiar to television audiences with appearances in such series as 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In,' 'The Carol Channing Show,' and 'The Love Boat.' She lent her distinctive voice to numerous animated programs including 'Chip 'n' Dale's Rescue Rangers,' 'Where's Waldo,' The Addams Family,' and 'The Magic School Bus.' She was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1981, and wrote her memoir, 'Just Lucky I Guess,' in 2002. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.
Bio by: Iola