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Bette Midler Pays Tribute to Fellow 'Dolly,' the Late Carol Channing

Bette Midler is speaking out to pay tribute to the late and great Carol Channing following the legendary Broadway star’s death.

Carol originated the role of Dolly in the musical Hello, Dolly and Bette played the role in the most recent Broadway revival. She even won a Tony Award for her performance.

‚ÄúThere was only one Carol Channing, and there will never be another. She was that rarest of stage creatures, an absolute original. From her instantly recognizable voice, to her stature, which was close to 6 feet, with her wide-eyed take on the world she crept into theater-goers hearts and took up permanent residence there,” Bette said in a statement provided to JustJared.com.

“When Scott Rudin invited me to play Dolly in 2016, I immediately thought of her and went to visit. How could I not?” she continued. “She had played the part over 7,000 times around the world, and to the world, she WAS Dolly. It was one of the great afternoons of my life. She was gracious, and she was generous, sharing with me the legends, the lore and the mechanics of Dolly, much of which had been lost in time. I will forever be grateful to her for lighting my way to one of the most magical experiences of my performing life, and for the hours I spent in her company. I flat-out adored her and send her fans, her friends and her son, Channing Lowe, my condolences, although as far as I am concerned, she will live forever.”

You can currently see Hello, Dolly on tour around the United States. The show is playing in San Diego right now and will soon open at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.

Carol Channing Dead - Legendary Broadway Star Dead at 97

Carol Channing, the Broadway star and Oscar nominee, has sadly passed away at the age of 97 from natural causes.

“It is with extreme heartache, that I have to announce the passing of an original Industry Pioneer, Legend and Icon – Miss Carol Channing,” her publicist announced on Facebook. “I admired her before I met her, and have loved her since the day she stepped … or fell rather … into my life. It is so very hard to see the final curtain lower on a woman who has been a daily part of my life for more than a third of it. We supported each other, cried with each other, argued with each other, but always ended up laughing with each other. Saying good-bye is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but I know that when I feel those uncontrollable urges to laugh at everything and/or nothing at all, it will be because she is with me, tickling my funny bone.”

Carol is well known for her work in Broadway’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, as well as the title character in Broadway’s Hello, Dolly!, which earned her a Tony Award. She was nominated for an Oscar for her work in 1967′s Thoroughly Modern Millie.

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