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Bette Midler on Carol Channing

Showbiz 411
Bette Midler on Carol Channing: “I flat out adored her…as far as I am concerned, she will live forever”
By Roger Friedman
January 15, 2019

Bette Midler Carol Channing

Bette Midler, the most recent Dolly Levi, has sent out a statement about the original Dolly. Carol Channing, who passed away today at age 97. Carol, by the way, was famed for not missing a performance in the four years she starred in “Hello, Dolly!” from 1964 to 1968.

Bette Midler On Carol Channing

“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.

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3 thoughts on “Bette Midler on Carol Channing

  1. One of the greatest regrets of my life was not pursuing a job offer to work for her as a travel companion/chauffeur/bodyguard, in the mid 80’s. She was touring ind a revue with Leslie Uggums and I believe the girl who had played Annie years earlier! I had met her gig who went ahead of her and
    made arrangements for her room, car, food( she prepared most of her meals in her room) and her wardrobe. Imagine walking into a hotel room and finding 4 steamer trunks piled in the middle of the Tulsa hotel room and all stamped with her name! After a night of passion I was offered the job. As much as I would have loved to work for her, I could not imagine traveling with this arrogant asshole on a permanent basis. I never got to meet miss Channing! But I did put on one of her hats!!! Lol

  2. It is terrific that you got to meet her! She is an icon of her generation, and ours! Glad she was part of our universe!!! As an aside, I had the utter delight of seeing you do a one woman show at the Geffen. Man, you were amazing!!! What a treat!

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