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Carol Channing, Actress who was Secretly Black, Dies at 97!

Carol Channing
Carol Channing

Legendary stage and screen star Carol Channing has died. A four time Tony Award winner she was Best known for her starring role in the stage production "Hello Dolly" on Broadway. 

Channing on stage in the Broadway musical 'Hello Dolly'
Channing on stage in the Broadway musical 'Hello Dolly'

Channing won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, she also had numerous television appearances over the years and performed at the 1972 Superbowl Halftime show.

Carol Channing 1960
Channing circa 1960

What you may not know about the effervescent songstress and actress however is that she was secretly of African-American descent. Always perceived as white, it wasn't until she was in her 80's that she revealed her father was African American (colored according to his birth certificate). 

According to Channing's 2003 autobiography, Just Lucky, I Guess: A Memoir of Sorts,  she says her mother informed her of her father's heritage when she was age 16, so she wouldn't be shocked if she gave birth to a black baby. Despite concealing her heritage it wasn't because she was ashamed, in fact, Channing said she was proud, and that she realizes the reason she can sing and dance as well as she does is because of her black roots!

Broadway dimmed their lights in honor of Channing, at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, January 16, 2019 which marks the anniversary of her opening in Hello Dolly, 54 years earlier.

The great Carol Channing was 97.

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