Carol Channing (1921- ), Broadway actress, is renowned for her musical theater performances. Born in Seattle and raised in California, she attended Bennington College before pursuing theater in New York City. After working as an understudy for Let's Face It! on Broadway (1941-43), she played in No For an Answer (1948) and was featured in Lend an Ear (1948-50). She was the first actress to play Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949-51) and Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! (1964-67). Her other appearances on Broadway include roles in Wonderful Town (1953-54), The Vamp (1955), Show Girl (1961), Four on a Garden (1971) and Lorelei (1974). Channing's television work includes six specials as well as the series The Carol Channing Show (1966), The Love Boat (1981-85), and The Addams Family (1992-93); she also acted in the films The First Traveling Saleslady (1956), Skidoo (1968), Alice in Wonderland (1985), and Thumbelina (voice only, 1994).
Channing has received three Tony Awards: Best Actress for Hello, Dolly! (1964), a Special Award (1968), and a Lifetime Achievement Award (1995). She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her work in Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). She has received the Sarah Siddons Award (1966), the Actors' Fund of America Julie Harris Lifetime Achievement Award (2003), and the Oscar Hammerschmidt Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theater (2004). Channing also holds an honorary doctorate from California State University, Stanislaus (2004). She and her husband currently run the Dr. Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian Foundation for the Arts.