Carol Elaine Channing is an American singer and actress. She is the recipient of three Tony Awards, a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination. Channing is best remembered for originating, on Broadway, the musical-comedy roles of bombshell Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and matchmaking widow Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly!.
Channing was born in Seattle, Washington, to George Channing and Adelaide née Glaser, and was their only child. Her father was a city editor at the Seattle Star, whose newspaper career took the family to San Francisco when Channing was only two weeks old. Her father George later became a very successful Christian Science practitioner, editor and teacher. She attended Aptos Middle School and Lowell High School in San Francisco. At Lowell, Channing was a member of its famed Lowell Forensic Society, the nation's oldest high school debate team.
According to Channing's memoirs, when she left home to attend Bennington College in Vermont, her mother informed her that her father, a journalist who Carol had believed was born in Rhode Island, had in fact been born in Augusta, Georgia, to a German-American father and an African-American mother. According to Channing's account, her mother reportedly didn't want to be surprised "if she had a black baby". Channing kept this a secret to avoid any problems on Broadway and in Hollywood, ultimately revealing it only in her autobiography, Just Lucky I Guess, published in 2002 when she was 81