Harry Kullijian, Carol Channing's Husband, Dies

Carol Channing Harry Kullijian - H 2011
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 Carol Channing Harry Kullijian - H 2011

The actress and former city councilman wed 70 years after going to middle school together.

Harry Kullijian, the husband of Carol Channing who reunited with the actress 70 years after they attended middle school, died Monday at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on the eve of his 92nd birthday.

Kullijian, who married Channing in 2003, died after suffering an aneurism at the couple’s home in the area.

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In her 2002 memoir, Just Lucky, I Guess, Channing reflected on her first love at Aptos Middle School in San Francisco, saying, “I was so in love with Harry I couldn’t stop hugging him.”

A mutual friend who read the book urged the recently widowed Kullijian, a former Modesto city councilman, to call Channing. They got engaged two weeks after their reunion and wed three months later.

Channing, 90, the star of Hello, Dolly! on Broadway and such films as Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), and Kullijian established the Dr. Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian Foundation to support arts education in schools.

In addition to Channing,  Kullijian is survived by son John, daughter Leslee and five grandchildren. No services are planned. Donations can be made to the Channing-Kullijian foundation in Los Altos, Calif.