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Broadway legend Carol Channing has died at age 97


 In this Oct. 18, 2005 file photo, Carol Channing performs during her one woman show,"The First 80 Years are the Hardest," at the cabaret Feinstein's at the Regency in New York. - Richard Drew / The Associated Press
In this Oct. 18, 2005 file photo, Carol Channing performs during her one woman show,"The First 80 Years are the Hardest," at the cabaret Feinstein's at the Regency in New York. - Richard Drew / The Associated Press

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Actress Carol Channing, whose career spanned decades on Broadway and on television, has died at age 97.

Publicist B. Harlan Boll says Channing died of natural causes at 12:31 a.m. Tuesday in Rancho Mirage, California. Boll says she had twice suffered strokes in the last year.

The lanky, ebullient musical comedy star delighted American audiences over almost 5,000 performances as the scheming Dolly Levi in "Hello, Dolly" on Broadway and beyond.

Besides "Hello, Dolly," Channing starred in other Broadway shows, but none with equal magnetism. She often appeared on television and in night clubs, for a time partnering with George Burns in Las Vegas and a national tour.

Channing would have turned 98 on Jan. 31.

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