Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler Praise Their ‘Dolly’: Carol Channing Remembered – Update


Refresh for updates Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler, two of the most celebrated successors to Carol Channing’s most indelible role – and indeed her legacy – have added their names to the stars praising the late, great Broadway actress.

“Carol was a true life-force…a kind and effervescent woman who never allowed the parade to pass her by!,” tweeted Streisand this afternoon, signing her message, “xo B”. Streisand played the role of matchmaker Dolly Levi in the 1969 film version of Hello, Dolly!

Midler released the following statement:

There was only one Carol Channing, and there will never be another. She was that rarest of stage creatures, an absolute original. From her instantly recognizable voice, to her stature, which was close to 6 feet, with her wide-eyed take on the world she crept into theater-goers hearts and took up permanent residence there.

When Scott Rudin invited me to play Dolly in 2016, I immediately thought of her and went to visit. How could I not? She had played the part over 7,000 times around the world, and to the world, she WAS Dolly. It was one of the great afternoons of my life. She was gracious, and she was generous, sharing with me the legends, the lore and the mechanics of Dolly, much of which had been lost in time. I will forever be grateful to her for lighting my way to one of the most magical experiences of my performing life, and for the hours I spent in her company. I flat-out adored her and send her fans, her friends and her son, Channing Lowe, my condolences, although as far as I am concerned, she will live forever.

Midler, who won a Tony Award for her performance in the 2017 Hello, Dolly! revival, also tweeted, “The great, the legendary #CarolChanning has died at age 97. She was a complete original, and there will never be another. Blonde, 6 ft tall and utterly hilarious, she was a legend. My condolences to the world; to those who knew her or saw her and those who never got the chance.”

Betty Buckley, currently starring in the revival’s national touring company, tweeted, “So very sad to learn that the great Carol Channing has passed away. A true icon! We are dedicating our opening tonight in San Diego to her in the theater where the 1st National Tour of Hello, Dolly! starring Ms. Channing opened. Thank you, Carol, for the legacy of joy!”

See all tweets below.

The one-of-a-kind Channing is being remembered today by friends, colleagues and the Broadway community. “She was show business and love personified,” tweeted Bernadette Peters, who replaced Midler in the recent Dolly production.

Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted the lyrics to Dolly‘s “Before The Parade Passes By”, before adding a simple “Goodbye, Carol.”

Channing, who starred in Broadway’s Hello, Dolly! and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, among many other productions, and became one of the stage’s most familiar faces and voices to generations of TV watchers, died Tuesday at the age of 97.

A three-time Tony Award winner (for Hello, Dolly! in 1964, a special award in 1968 and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995), Channing “was one of the great icons of the American theater, and a beloved ambassador for this art form,” said Heather Hitchens, President & CEO of American Theatre Wing, which sponsors the Tonys. “She possessed a quality so unique and so special that she became her own archetype. Though her loss will be felt deeply by fans and professionals alike, her indomitable spirit lives on in the countless leading ladies who have been – and continue to be – influenced by her greatness.”

Here’s a sampling of tributes from Broadway stars and others. Deadline will update this post as additional tributes arrive…

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