Stockard Channing Biography

(Best Known for Her Role as ‘Betty Rizzo’ in the Film ‘Grease’)

Birthday: February 13, 1944 (Aquarius)

Born In: Manhattan, New York City, United States

Stockard Channing is an accomplished American stage, TV, and film actor. She is best known for playing ‘First Lady Abbey Bartlet’ in the ‘NBC’ series ‘The West Wing’ and ‘Betty Rizzo’ in the film ‘Grease.’ Her rich body of work, spanning over 4 decades, includes several power-packed and award-winning performances both on stage and on screen. Over the course of her career, she has bagged 21 awards out of 71 nominations. Her performance as ‘Ouisa Kittredge’ in the on-stage and film versions of ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ fetched her nominations for a ‘Tony Award’ and an ‘Academy Award,’ respectively. She won a ‘Tony Award’ for her performance in the ‘Broadway’ revival of ‘A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.’ She won three ‘Emmy Awards,’ one each for the films ‘Jack’ and ‘The Matthew Shepard Story’ and the TV series ‘The West Wing.’ She has won a ‘Drama Desk Award’ for the play ‘Woman in Mind.’ Some of her other notable works include films such as ‘The Fortune,’ ‘Smoke,’ and ‘Moll Flanders.’ She has also been seen in the TV series ‘Perfect Witness’ and ‘The Baby Dance.’ She has been part of the plays ‘The House of Blue Leaves’ and ‘The Lion in Winter.’ She was inducted into the ‘Theater Hall of Fame.’

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Susan Antonia Williams Stockard

Age: 80 Years, 80 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: David Debin (1976-1980), David Rawle (1980-1988), Paul Schmidt ( 1970-1976), Walter Channing (1963-1967)

father: Lester Napier Stockard

mother: Mary Alice English

Partner: Daniel Gillham (1990–)

Born Country: United States

Actresses American Women

Height: 5'3" (160 cm), 5'3" Females

Ancestry: Irish American

Notable Alumni: Madeira School, Chapin School, Radcliffe College

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: Harvard University, Radcliffe College, Chapin School, Madeira School

Childhood & Early Life
Stockard Channing was born Susan Williams Antonia Stockard, on February 13, 1944, in Manhattan, New York City, US, to Lester Napier Stockard and Mary Alice. Her father was in the shipping business. Her mother hailed from a big Brooklyn-based Irish Catholic family. Stockard was raised on the Upper East Side.
She studied at the ‘Chapin School’ in New York City and then attended the ‘Madeira School’ in McLean, Virginia. She later enrolled at ‘Radcliffe College’ in Massachusetts and studied history and literature, graduating “summa cum laude” in 1965. She also trained in acting at New York City’s ‘HB Studio.’ Her sister, Lesly Stockard Smith, served as the mayor of Palm Beach, Florida.
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Stockard stepped into the entertainment industry with the experimental ‘Theatre Company of Boston’ and performed in the 1969 ‘Off-Broadway’ production of the play ‘Adaptation/Next’ by Elaine May. The Theodore Mann-directed revival of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ staged in 1970, as part of the ‘Circle in the Square’ at ‘Ford's Theatre’ program, also featured her.
She made her ‘Broadway’ debut with a production of playwright John Guare’s rock musical ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ in 1971. Stockard also starred in the Arvin Brown-directed 1985 ‘Broadway’ revival of ‘A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.’ It won the ‘Drama Desk Award’ for ‘Outstanding Revival’ and fetched Stockard a nomination for another ‘Drama Desk Award’ and a ‘Tony Award.’
She played Susan in the Lynne Meadow-directed play ‘Woman in Mind,’ which had its first American production at the ‘Manhattan Theatre Club’ in New York on February 17, 1988. She won the ‘Drama Desk Award’ for ‘Outstanding Actress in a Play’ that year.
In 1991, she received the ‘Drama League Distinguished Performance Award’ (aka the ‘Delia Austrian Medal’) for her remarkable portrayal of ‘Ouisa’ in the ‘Vivian Beaumont Theater’ production of ‘Six Degrees of Separation.’ Some of her other stage performances that earned her ‘Tony Award’ nominations were ‘The House of Blue Leaves’ (April 29, 1986—March 15, 1987), ‘Four Baboons Adoring the Sun’ (March 18, 1992–April 19, 1992), ‘The Lion in Winter’ (March 11, 1999–May 30, 1999), ‘Pal Joey’ (December 8, 2008–March 1, 2009), and ‘Other Desert Cities’ (November 3, 2011–June 17, 2012).
She was inducted into the ‘Theater Hall of Fame’ in 2002.
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Stockard made her TV debut in 1972, featuring as ‘The Number Painter's female victim in the American educational children's series ‘Sesame Street.’ The character of ‘Miriam Knight’ in the 1973-released ‘ABC’ black-comedy TV movie ‘The Girl Most Likely To...’ marked her first starring role on the small screen.
She eventually bolstered her TV career with the ‘CBS’ sitcoms ‘Stockard Channing in Just Friends’ (1979) and ‘The Stockard Channing Show’ (1980). She earned ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ nominations for her performances in the programs ‘Echoes in the Darkness’ (1987), ‘Perfect Witness’ (1989), ‘Road to Avonlea’ (1994), ‘An Unexpected Family’ (1996), ‘The Baby Dance’ (1998), and ‘Out of Practice’ (2005–2006).
One of the most memorable roles of her career was that of ‘First Lady Abbey Bartlet’ in the ‘NBC’-aired political-drama series ‘The West Wing.’ She appeared in the role between 1999 and 2006, first as a recurring character during seasons 1 and 2 and then as a series regular during seasons 3 and 7. It won her several awards, including the ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series’ in 2002.
Some of her other notable TV roles were those of ‘Judy Shepard’ in the 2002 Canadian–American film ‘The Matthew Shepard Story’ (which won her the ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie’) and ‘Anne’ in the 2004 American drama film ‘Jack’ (which helped her earn the ‘Daytime Emmy Award’ for ‘Outstanding Performer in a Children/Youth/Family Special’).
Stockard started her film career with bit roles before landing up with her first major film, the 1975-released American comedy film ‘The Fortune.’ The Mike Nichols-directed film featured her as a wealthy young heiress named ‘Freddie.’ She received a ‘Golden Globe’ award nomination for the ‘Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture – Female’ for the performance.
Her fame reached new heights when at age 33, she played high-school teenager ‘Betty Rizzo’ in the 1978-released American musical romantic-comedy movie ‘Grease,’ co-starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The critically acclaimed film emerged as the highest-grossing musical flick of the time. She also contributed lead vocals to the tracks ‘Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee’ and ‘There Are Worse Things I Could Do’ in the 1978-released soundtrack album titled ‘Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture.’ It earned a nomination for the ‘Album of the Year’ award at the 21st annual ‘Grammy Awards.’
She received several nominations, including one for an ‘Academy Award’ and another for a ‘Golden Globe,’ for her outstanding performance as ‘Louisa "Ouisa" Kittredge’ in the 1993 American comedy–drama film ‘Six Degrees of Separation.’ In the ensuing years, she advanced her film career with films such as ‘Smoke’ (1995), ‘Up Close & Personal’ (1996), ‘Moll Flanders’ (1996), ‘The First Wives Club’ (1996), ‘Practical Magic’ (1998), and ‘The Business of Strangers’ (2001).
Family & Personal Life
Stockard has been married four times. However, all of them have ended in divorce. She was married to Walter Channing from 1964 to 1967, to Paul Schmidt from 1969 to 1976, to David Debin from 1976 to 1980, and to David Rawle from 1982 to 1988.
She is romantically involved with cinematographer Daniel Gillham for over 2 decades and stays with him in Maine when the two are not working.


Primetime Emmy Awards
2002 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series The West Wing (1999)
2002 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie The Matthew Shepard Story (2002)
People's Choice Awards
1979 Favorite Motion Picture Supporting Actress Winner

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