Entertainment One US will release CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE in New York and Los Angeles on January 20, 2012, with additional markets to follow. The film, directed by Dori Berinstein (ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway, Some Assembly Required, Gotta Dance), examines the life and career of Tony Award-winning Broadway legend, Carol Channing – her extraordinary stage life, her offstage struggles and survival and the extraordinary storybook romance that found her reunited with her junior high school sweetheart after over 70 years.
Carol Channing's life is as colorful as the lipstick on her big, bright smile. In CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE, director Berinstein and co-writer and editor Adam Zucker capture the magic and vivacity of the 90-year-old icon – both onstage and of, past and present. The film is both an intimate love story and a rarefied journey inside Broadway's most glamorous era. It is, above all, a look at an inspiring, incomparable and always entertaining American legend.
“My first Broadway show was Hello, Dolly! at the age of five,” commented producer and director Berinstein. “I adored her astonishing brilliance on stage, screen and television, but it is Carol’s life behind-the-curtain that had me completely convinced that hers is a life that must be told.”
Carol Channing has been a Broadway star since stopping the show in the 1948 Broadway revue, Lend an Ear. The following year, she landed on the cover of Time Magazine and won international acclaim her riotous performance as Lorelei Lee in the musical, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Her Broadway appearances included Show Girl, The Vamp, Wonderful Town, The Millionairess and Four on a Garden. In 1964, she created the role of Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly!, winning a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She would play the role of Dolly over 5,000 times throughout the world, without missing a performance. Channing also received a Special Tony Award in 1968 and a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 1995.
Channing received an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award for her performance as Muzzy in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Her other films include Paid in Full, The First Traveling Saleslady, Skidoo, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Her TV specials include “Broadway at the Hollywood Bowl,” “Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey on Broadway” and the White Queen in “Alice Through the Looking Glass”. Other credits include appearances on “What’s My Line?” “I’ve Got a Secret,” “Password,” “Hollywood Squares”; variety shows, including “The Dean Martin Show,” “The Red Skelton Show,” “The Milton Berle Show,” “Rowen & Martin’s Laugh-In,” “The Carol Burnett Show,” “The Muppet Show,” as well as episodes of Playhouse 90, “The Love Boat,” “Magnum P.I.” “The Nanny,” “Touched By an Angel,” “The Drew Carey Show” and “Family Guy”.
Channing made headlines in 2003 when she married her junior high school sweetheart, businessman Harry Kulijian after a 70 year separation. She also released her best selling memoirs, Just Lucky I Guess and has been touring in her one woman show, The First Eighty Years are the Hardest. She released a new CD, For Heaven Sake in 2010, included many of the songs she loved as a child, as well as spirituals taught to her by her father.
Dori Berinstein is a three-time Tony Award-winning Broadway producer and an award-winning directed and producer of film and television. Documentary features directed and produced by Dori include Gotta Dance (2008), which won the Audience Award at the Palm Beach International Film Festival; Some Assembly Required (2007), which won Best Feature Documentary at the International Family Film Festival and ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway (2007), which won Best Feature Documentary from the Florida Film Festival and was one of the International Documentary Association’s Top 5 Films of 2007. As a Broadway producer, her credits include Legally Blonde (Best Musical Olivier Award), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Best Musical Tony Award), The Crucible, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Best Revival of a Play Tony Award), Fool Moon (Special Tony Award), Flower Drum Song, Enchanted April and Golden Child. Dori is the recipient of the 2009 Robert Whitehead Award for “outstanding achievement in commercial theatre producing”. She is currently working with DreamWorks Theatricals and has served as an executive, consultant and/or producer for Walt Disney Imagineering, Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, Sony Pictures, MTV, Vestron Pictures and Paramount Pictures.
In addition to Channing and Kulijian, the film includes interviews with Jerry Herman, Lily Tomlin, Chita Rivera, Barbara Walters, Tommy Tune, Tyne Daly, Debbie Reynolds, Phyllis Diller, Loni Anderson, JoAnne Worley and Bruce Vilanch.
CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE is written and edited by Adam Zucker. Director of Photography is Rob Vanalkemade and music is by Craig Sharmat. The film was co-produced by B. Harlan Boll.
Carol Channing and Harry Kulijian