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Husband of Carol Channing dies

Longtime Modesto-area resident and former City Council member Harry Kullijian died Monday in Southern California with his wife, Broadway star Carol Channing, at his side, according to their foundation.

Kullijian would have celebrated his 92nd birthday on Tuesday.

B. Harlan Boll, head of publicity for the Los Altos-based Channing-Kullijian Foundation, said late Monday that Kullijian was at the couple's Rancho Mirage home last week when he was stricken. His wife was doing a Christmas show in the area Dec. 21.

Kullijian collapsed the next day and was taken to Eisenhower Medical Center, where he was treated for an aneurysm. Boll said he was treated for the same condition two years ago. Kullijian spent Christmas at home with his family, but Monday was rushed back to the hospital, where he died.

Kullijian is perhaps best-known today as the husband of Channing. But he served for eight years on the Modesto City Council, began C.L.E.A.N. (Citizens Leading Effective Action Now) to fight against pornography and has spent the past decade working with Channing to raise funds to keep the arts in public schools.

"We go to these celebrity events and, of course, everyone knows and loves Carol and wants to talk to her," Kullijian said in a interview with The Bee in October. "Then they point to me and ask, 'Who's he?' So I've adopted a new name: Who's he? It doesn't matter who I am; it only matters that I'm helping someone else."

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