How Carol Channing Reconnected With and Married Her High School Sweetheart 70 Years Later
After marrying three times previously, actress Carol Channing found her last love in her high school sweetheart, whom she hadn't seen in 70 years
After marrying three times previously, Broadway and film star Carol Channing found her last love in her high school sweetheart, whom she hadn't seen in 70 years.
The "Hello, Dolly!" darling reminisced about her childhood relationship with a young Harry Kullijian in her 2002 memoir, "Just Lucky, I Guess." The two met at Aptos Junior High School in California and later began their fateful relationship at Lowell High School, her publicist Harlon Boll told InsideEdition.com.
They performed in band together, and Kullijian helped launch Channing's public service career as well. She ran for vice president at school and he wrote her campaign slogan: “If Carol is your vice, then it’s a virtue."
She ended up winning the election.
Kullijian even helped inspired Channing's love of performing, encouraging her in school to impersonate their teachers.
Channing, who died Tuesday at the age of 97, wrote in her memoir that she was "so in love with Harry" back then that she "couldn't stop hugging him."
They went their separate ways after high school, with Channing following her dreams into the spotlight and Kullijian joining the military and later delving into business and local politics.
It wouldn't be until Channing's book came out that the two would reconnect. A recently widowed Kullijian was encouraged to reach out to his old flame — and he did. Channing and Kullijian eventually reunited after 70 years apart.
The love birds got engaged a mere two weeks later, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
And in 2004, at the age of 82, Channing tied the knot for the fourth — and final — time. Channing and Kullijian remained together for the next seven years until his death in 2011.
Channing died of natural causes at her home in Rancho Mirage, and Broadway is expected to dim its lights Wednesday in honor of the stage legend.
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