Tidbits: Hello, Dolly! (1969)

Readying to see the TCM Big Screen Classics 50th anniversary presentation of Hello, Dolly! (1969). Below are some tidbits related to the lead role of Dolly.

Barbra Streisand as Dolly Levi

Title character Dolly is supposed to be a widow some years older than love interest Horace Vandegelder. However, in the 1969 film the age gap between Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau, who played Dolly Levi and Horace Vandergelder respectively, was 22 years. She was 27 and he 49 when the film was released.

In a 2004 appearance on Inside The Actors Studio, Barbra Streisand acknowledged that she had been far too young for the part of Dolly and stated she should never have accepted the role.

Carol Channing, who was 48 in 1969, originally played Dolly in the Broadway production, winning a Tony award for Best Actress in a Musical. Despite the accolades, Channing was never considered for the movie role.

Elizabeth Taylor, Doris Day, Debbie Reynolds, Carol Burnett, and Shirley MacLaine were all briefly considered to play Dolly. Interesting to ponder what might have been.

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