She was best known for her Tony Award-winning role as Dolly Levi in the hit Broadway musical “Hello Dolly!” The actress was born in Seattle but she grew up in San Francisco, where her parents were devout members of the Christian Science religion and her father a popular lecturer for the church. After college, Channing moved to New York, where she made her stage debut in “Never Take No for an Answer” and was an understudy in “Let’s Face It.” Her role as the diamond-loving showgirl Lorelei Lee in the Broadway musical “Gentleman Prefer Blondes” in 1949 made her a star.
Dolly Gallagher Levi in “Hello Dolly!”, in 1964, defined her career for decades. She won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award for the role of Muzzy Van Hossmere in the 1967 movie musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” She appeared in TV quiz shows and other programs including “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” “The Love Boat,” “Touched by an Angel” and “Family Guy.” Channing also had success in film, with roles in “Paid In Full,” “The First Traveling Saleslady,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The actress was married four times, including to Canadian football player Alex Carson. Channing continued to work well into her 90s. She received a lifetime achievement award from the Tonys and the Drama Critics Circle in 1995 and 1996.