Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Carol Channing's Husband, Harry Kullijian Passes Night Before 92nd Birthday

I was sad to hear that Carol Channing's husband Harry Kullijian has died. He passed in Rancho Mirage, California just before his 92nd birthday due to an aneurysm. Harry was a successful person in his own right, in his own business and also as a local councilman in Modesto, California.
You may recall my post just last week- when I saw 'The Carol Channing Christmas Show' and took this photo of Harry and Carol together. Harry looked to be in great health, but poor Carol had been in the hospital with knee problems, so she was hobbling around a bit.

Harry and Carol attended school together in San Francisco, and were reunited 70 years later when Harry read the kind words Carol had written about him in her memoirs "Just Lucky I Guess". Delighted to have found each other again, they married in 2004.
photo from carolchanningarts.org
With a mutual passion for arts, together they founded the "Channing-Kullijian Foundation" to promote and support arts programs and education in schools. Harry and Carol firmly believe that any form of arts can help kids develop their minds in math and science to be successful later in life. Many times, Miss Channing has said that the arts become a "fertilizer for the brain" and allow other areas of intelligence to flourish within a person's mind.

Despite their ages, Harry had accompanied Miss Channing as she toured the US in her one woman show, 'The First Eighty Years are the Hardest'. Last year Carol released a new CD, 'For Heaven Sake' which features songs she loved from her childhood, including spiritual songs her father sang to her.  There is no question Harry loved Carol and enjoyed seeing her doing what she loved--perform for fans.

My thoughts and sympathies are with Carol and the family. Carol, you are a treasure. I'm so glad you were able to reunite with your childhood sweetheart and enjoy some wonderful years together. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Channing-Kullijian Foundation, 101 First Street #555, Los Altos, CA 94022. For more information see the foundation website.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Thank you for the beautiful tribute to the love that Harry and Carol shared. I had the good fortune to bring them to New Hampshire twice (2007 and 2008) as part of my ongoing efforts to raise awareness and funds for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. They were tireless and I had a difficult time (in my early 50's) keeping up with them. WE also toured a Music School where they talked about Arts in the Schools and NH's Governor Lynch recognized them publicly for their invaluable contributions. Watching them together made me aspire to have the kind of unconditional love they so obviously shared. Paul E. Brogan, Concord, NH


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