San Francisco high school theater program remembers alum Carol Channing

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A Broadway legend has died. Carol Channing, who grew up in San Francisco, engaged audiences with her effervescent voice.

She was 97 years old.

Who hasn't heard the famous Broadway tune "Hello Dolly?"

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"It's so nice to be back home where I belong," words uttered by Channing on February 25, 2002 when the city declared the day Carol Channing Day.

Channing never forgot the first stage where she made her mark, the theater at Lowell High School in San Francisco.

It's now named after her. She graduated in 1938.

Gone, but never forgotten -- especially not by the drama department.

"I had the honor of being in her presence and she lifted the whole room up, she is so bright," expressed Anne Marie Ullman, the drama teacher at Lowell.

"She believed very heavily in promoting the performing arts and that live theater was necessary for education," said Ariel Anderson, a drama student.

As a tribute to Carol Channing students here will be performing a musical review and you know what's on the top of that list.

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"'Hello Dolly,' 'Gentlemen Prefer Blonds,' which I think was the first thing she did on Broadway," told us Emily Sobelman another drama student.

Former ABC7 entertainment reporter Don Sanchez once called her a woman with boundless energy.

"I'm not aware of it. I mean you don't want to fall asleep in front of an audience, you know, ha," said Channing during a sit down interview with Sanchez.

In her obituary, Channing asked that donations be made to the theater and Lowell High School instead of flowers.

"I want my ashes spread over the Golden Gate Bridge when I go." That's what Channing told an audience at City Hall in 2002.
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