Growing up in an era where a drop of African American blood could ruin your career, Carol kept her heritage a secret until 2002. In her autobiography she wrote that her mother told her when she was 16 that her father was at least half black. The remarkably pale actress gave no hint that she had any African American blood in her and went on to have a very prolific Broadway career.
Carol Channing - (January 31, 1921) Fascinating fact. Carol only wears false eyelashes now for special events. Glueing them on over the years, & ripping them off, caused damage to her eyelids, so today in her 90's she often goes mink-eyelash free. minkshmink.
:: Carol Channing was already making a splash on Broadway in productions like “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “Hello Dolly” when she discovered that her father was a light-skinned black man. Channing did not dwell on race issues, but went on to be a great gay rights activist. She rarely spoke during her life – or in her memoir “Just Lucky I Guess,” – about being of mixed race. However she did recall a time her mother warned her in an argument that her own children might come out black
Carol Elaine Channing (born January 31, 1921) is an American singer, actress, and comedian. She is the recipient of three Tony Awards (including one for lifetime achievement), a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination. Channing is best remembered for originating on Broadway the musical-comedy roles of widowed matchmaker Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! and bombshell Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Carol Channing - 1974 A sketch by Bob Mackie, based on a costume design by Ray Aghayan and Mackie, for Carol Channing in the Broadway production of "Lorelie", felt pen, signed, the design showing Channing wearing a gold fringed shimmy dress with diamonds -- 17x11in. (43.2x28cm.)