Carol Channing Used to Eat Dried Chicken Straight From Her Purse

Carol Channing Used to Eat Dried Chicken Straight From Her Purse
Carol Channing Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images; Brian Chan/Unsplash

Carol Channing reportedly had some strange eating habits. The Broadway legend, who died on Tuesday, January 15, at 97, is said to have eaten dried chicken straight from her purse even when dining at some of the finest restaurants in New York City.

“We’d eat out a lot and mostly at the Russian Tea Room — but Carol never ate a bite off the menu,” Channing’s former publicist Scott Gorenstein told Page Six. “When I would go to pick her up I’d find her pulling apart pieces of chicken, which she’d then carry with her in a fancy silver container.”

Apparently, the Tony Award winner, who starred in musicals such as Hello, Dolly! and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, stuck to bland poultry because she feared an allergic reaction to most other foods. “Carol was convinced she had certain allergies which prevented her from eating much other than the dried chicken she’d carry with her wherever she went,” Gorenstein added.

Despite the Russian Tea Room’s reputation as one of the most lavish restaurants on the world, the opulent eatery had no problem with Channing’s choice to bring her own meals. Gorenstein said: “They would hand me a menu, but only bring Carol a plate [onto] which she would dump her silver tray.”

Channing’s most recent publicist, B. Harlan Boll, confirmed her death to Us Weekly on Tuesday. “It is with extreme heartache, that I have to announce the passing of an original Industry Pioneer, Legend and Icon — Miss Carol Channing,” Boll said in a statement. “I admired her before I met her, and have loved her since the day she stepped … or fell rather … into my life. It is so very hard to see the final curtain lower on a woman who has been a daily part of my life for more than a third of it. We supported each other, cried with each other, argued with each other, but always ended up laughing with each other. Saying goodbye is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but I know that when I feel those uncontrollable urges to laugh at everything and/or nothing at all, it will be because she is with me, tickling my funny bone.”

Stars including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bernadette Peters and Bette Midler took to social media to mourn Channing’s death, with the latter calling her a “legend” and a “complete original.”

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