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Richard “Dickie” Long, a cousin of Carol Channing and a confidant of the actress all through her life, died Thursday night at his home in Palm Springs. He was 99.
Long lived with Channing and her parents George and Adelaide (his mother’s sister) in Seattle and San Francisco as a youngster. He was 7 when Channing was born in 1921.
In her 2002 biography Just Lucky, I Guess, Channing wrote that her mother told Long: “George and I are trying to build a life together, so Carol will have to be your ward. You must help and look after her.”
“He once told me that he hitched my baby carriage onto the back of his tricycle and we went careening around the streets on ‘terror rides,’ ” Channing wrote in the book.
Long served as the best man when Channing — the star of Hello, Dolly! on Broadway and such films as Thoroughly Modern Millie — wed her junior high school sweetheart, Harry Kullijian, in 2003. He died 17 months ago.
Long, a patron of the Palm Springs arts scene, was to turn 100 on Dec. 27, and his wife Sylvia said the family will go on with a planned celebration this year.
“During a recent trip to the hospital, he told Carol that if anything happened, they were not to mourn,” Sylvia said.
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