Broadway legend Carol Channing died Tuesday at age 97 of natural causes.
The Tony Award-winning actress, who originated the role of Dolly Gallagher Levi in 1964’s Hello, Dolly! on Broadway, was beloved by the LGBTQ community for being a longtime ally.
“The gay community is responsible for so much of my success, and I love them," Channing told dot429. "It's a mutual love affair, really. They make the better audiences too, because they laugh often and loudly."
Many took to social media to honor this "mutual love affair."
"One of Broadway's greatest lights, Carol Channing, has passed on," stated George Takei. "She rejoins the heavens as a new diamond in the night sky, and as she famously sang, they are a girl's best friend. Goodbye and farewell, forever our Dolly."
See more tributes to Channing below.
I am so sad just lost my incredible original inspiration #carolchanning I saw her in Hello Dolly when I was 8 and she changed my DNA love you lady forever one of the greatest entertainers of all times
— Sandra Bernhard (@SandraBernhard) January 15, 2019
Dear Carol, I knew of you as the iconic #DollyLevi. I want to thank you for inspiring me to sink my teeth into the role of the legendary Dolly in high school and celebrate the strong funny vulnerable young woman in me. May you Rest In Peace and Power. #CarolChanning pic.twitter.com/KrhXd9171j
— Sara Ramirez (@SaraRamirez) January 15, 2019
“The gay community is responsible for so much of my success, and I love them. It's a mutual love affair, really. They make the better audiences too, because they laugh often and loudly." Thank you Carol Channing for a brilliant career and for being a friend. https://t.co/XU9tKU92y0
— GLAAD (@glaad) January 15, 2019
Carol Channing was like a Celine Dion: You knew EXACTLY who she was, loved every part of her, and wanted to bask in her incredible joy. You just want certain people to live forever. And because she’s irreplaceable, she will.
— Louis Virtel (@louisvirtel) January 15, 2019
One of Broadway's greatest lights, Carol Channing, has passed on. She rejoins the heavens as a new diamond in the night sky, and as she famously sang, they are a girl's best friend. Goodbye and farewell, forever our Dolly. https://t.co/0u2zLcAnff
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 15, 2019
A star...a legend...an inspiration. You will forever be missed. R.I.P Carol.
"Laughter is much more important than applause. Applause is almost a duty. Laughter is a reward." - Carol Channing pic.twitter.com/GdSmomRSiJ
— Margaret Cho (@margaretcho) January 15, 2019
— Neil Meron (@neilmeron) January 15, 2019
“Jam tomorrow, jam yesterday. But never ever jam today!” R.I.P. to an icon. Carol Channing pic.twitter.com/Z4G6OcCP91
— Jesse Tyler Ferguson (@jessetyler) January 15, 2019
We’ll only ever say HELLO, not Goodbye. The legendary #CarolChanning, January 31, 1921 - January 15, 2019. Tomorrow is the 55th anniversary of the original HELLO, DOLLY opening night at the St. James. She will always be Wow Wow Wow, fellas. Forever. pic.twitter.com/OAaskBnkjV
— Jordan Roth (@Jordan_Roth) January 15, 2019