Monday, June 4, 2012

Carol Channing: The Greatest Genes in Showbiz

The release of my new novel, Escape: Book One of the Unchained Trilogy, is getting close! My wonderful cover artist, Renae Denbow, is in the process of designing a new cover. 

So now I'm focused on writing Masquerade, which is part two.  Lavinia, the product of a mixed race marriage, is the main character, and she runs away from home to live as an actress and pass as white.

While working on Lavinia's story, I thought about Broadway sensation Carol Channing.  When she was 16, her mother exposed a family secret. Channing’s paternal grandmother was black. Her mother also warned that if Carol had children, it was possible that that part of her ancestry just might show up.

Unfazed by this new knowledge, Channing went on to win accolades for her performances in “Hello Dolly!” and “Gentleman Prefer Blondes.”

Channing didn’t reveal her African American ancestry until 2002, at the age of 81, when she wrote her memoir, Just Lucky I Guess.  Still alive at 91, Channing says she was never ashamed of being part black. Because of the common stereotypes about blacks being naturals at singing and dancing, Channing believed herself to be a better performer.  In her memoir she said, “I thought I had the greatest genes in showbiz."

Did you happen to catch Carol Channing's revelation? Thanks for visiting!


Old Kitty said...

Is she the mum in Thoroughly Modern Millie with the catchphrase "Raspberries!!!"?? LOL!! Awwww she's lovely!! Gorgeous sultry growly-in-a sexy way voice!

All the best with your Escape trilogy!! Take care

Maria McKenzie said...

Thanks, Old Kitty! She is "the mum" indeed! I've always loved Carol Channing! Her personality is larger than life!

Jennette Marie Powell said...

Another one I never knew about - and fun story that she believed her heritage made her a better singer and dancer! Congrats on your upcoming release!

Maria McKenzie said...

Thanks, Jennette!

William Kendall said...

Actually, I had no idea!

Norma Beishir said...

Neither did I--and I've always been a fan!

Maria McKenzie said...

@William: I know-I was really surprised to find out:)!

@Norma: I've always been a fan of hers too! I saw her in Hello, Dolly when I was about 10--she was great!!

The Desert Rocks said...

She's a riot and she lives out here near me in the desert. I think I saw her once too. Still quite a beauty!

Maria McKenzie said...

She is hilarious! It sounds like you live in an exciting place:).