Blonde, brash, and amusing Carol Channing enchanted Broadway audiences in the musical version of Anita Loos's comedy, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Here, as shown in the play, she, at left, is making a quick review of her scanty French in the Ritz Hotel in Paris; at right, she is singing "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend." Dec. 15, 1949.
Carol Channing certainly ran with the most talented people in show biz. Many of them were LGB like Tallulah Bankhead and Jerry Herman. Others simply had a lifetime of lavender rumors, like Mary Martin and Sandy Dennis. Enjoy this look back at the early days of Carol and friends.
Actor Cyril Ritchard, who slayed as the nelly Captain Hook in "Peter Pan," jumped the birthday gun on Carol Channing, left, and bisexual personality and actress Tallulah Bankhead hugs the actresses at a party he gave in their honor at midnight in New York, Jan. 29, 1959. Both gals were born on January 31. Carol in 1921 in Seattle; Tallulah in 1903 at Huntsville, Ala.
Tony winners, from left, gay actor Sir Alec Guinness, Sandy Dennis, Carol Channing, and Bert Lahr pose with their Antoinette Perry medallions at the 18th Annual Tony Awards ceremony at the New York Hilton in New York City, May 24, 1964. Sir Alec won best actor in a dramatic role for Dylan; Dennis won best actress in a dramatic role for Any Wednesday; Channing won best actress in a musical for Hello, Dolly!; and Lahr won best actor in a musical for Foxy.
Carol is toasted by bisexual choreographer and directer Gower Champion, left, and actor David Burns at an opening night party for Hello Dolly! at the St. James Theater in New York City, Jan. 16, 1964. Champion is director and choreographer of the musical that stars Channing and Burns.
Gay playwright Thornton Wilder, left, calls on Carol Channing in her dressing room following the performance of Hello, Dolly! in New York, May 13, 1965. Wilder is the author of The Matchmaker on which the musical is based. At right is David Merrick, producer of the show.
Carol currently playing in Hello, Dolly!, dines with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne at the Pump Room in Chicago, May 1, 1966. The Lunts had been in Chicago to attend the Diamond Jubilee ball of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Saturday night. Noël Coward based his ménage à trois play Design for Living on his relationship with the Lunts.
Dancing and playing her way through a Gay Twenties number, Carol rehearses a scene for Thoroughly Modern Millie, filmed in Hollywood, Nov. 17, 1966. Carol co-stars in the movie. In the scene, she does a bit on various instruments as she moves through the band. Here Carol dances on the xylophone to wind up the scene. Razzzberries!