Carol Channing is dead. I confess my first reaction was that of the extra in Sunset Boulevard: “Why, I thought she was dead!” I never met her, obviously. But this is what I remember about her:
Some high school kid on Room 222 imitating her and other popular celebrites of the early 1970s, like Rich Little.
In college, reading the book by the ad director of the “What becomes a legend most?” campaign for ye Blyckglyma mink, which included her. She only wore white, and he had to stop her forcibly from saying on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson that she received a white mink from ye Blyckglyma . . . which, of course, only comes in black.
Someone I used to know in the 1990s constantly saying “Raspberries!”
My shock at learning she was the original Lorelei Lee.
The glee she expressed in an interview (I can no longer remember when or where I saw it) about the failure of the film version of Hello Dolly! since she wasn’t starring in it.
Seeing Forbidden Broadway in the Terrace Room of the Park Plaza Hotel (why a room called the Terrace Room would be in the basement is a subject for another time) with Arthur Friedman and their “Call on Carol/Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend!” number. “Some people sing, some people dance, some people act. I do Hello Dolly!”
I rather wish we could all remember her in her heyday as Lorelei Lee . . . but how can you remember something that happened before you were born?
Rest in peace, dahling.