Broadway legend Carol Channing, whose three decades of performances as the matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly! made her a Broadway legend, joked that day that she was cursed to live to be 100, blaming good genes. “I can’t get out of it no matter what I do,” she said to laughs. Channing made her final bow a little earlier than she expected. She died early today at her home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., at the age of 97.

Channing appeared in Denver several times over her career. She came here in 1973 in the pre-Broadway tryout of Lorelei, Jule Styne’s musical adaptation of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Channing had originated the role of the gold-digging Lorelei Lee back in 1949. Channing returned here in 1994 to launch the 30th anniversary international touring production of Hello, Dolly! And she visited Colorado State University in 2010.

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