Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Arts Advocate Harry Kullijian Dead at 91

Harry Kullijian, who co-founded the Carol Channing and Harold Kullijian Foundation for the Arts, died December 26th at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California. The cause was internal bleeding resulting from an aneurysm. He was 91.

Mr. Kullijian was the husband of Ms. Channing, who won a Tony Award in 1964 for her leading performance in the stage version of Hello Dolly! and a Golden Globe for her supporting performance in the 1967 film version of Thoroughly Modern Millie, also receiving an Oscar nomination for that performance in 1967.

Kullijian and Channing were childhood friends who reconnected after more than half a century, when their romance began. Their story is featured in a documentary titled Larger Than Life, which is expected to be released on January 20, 2012, and which is directed by director Dori Berinstein.

Among other things, The Channing/Kullijian Foundation established scholarships, produced a critically acclaimed PSA and inspired a resolution authored by Rep. Jackie Speier, which passed the House and the Senate in December 2010, according to a spokesman.

According to Playbill.com, "After the death of his wife, Gerry in June 2002, he was reunited with his junior high school sweetheart, Carol Channing, the Tony Award-winning star of Hello, Dolly! and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The two were married in May 2003 and in 2005 started the not-for-profit Dr. Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian Foundation for the Arts."

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