Stockard Channing


1944-02-13 (79 years old) New York, New York, United States

A respected theater, film and TV actress, New York-born Stockard Channing first caught critics' eyes as a ditzy heiress in Mike Nichols' 1975 comedy The Fortune starring opposite screen heavyweights Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty. The film was largely ignored by the public but three years later Channing was fully embraced by audiences when she appeared as tough-talking Betty Rizzo in Grease. Unfortunately, that triumph led to two headlining TV series that failed to click with viewers. Dejected, Channing returned to her theatrical roots appearing on Broadway in Neil Simon's They're Playing Our Song, and she won a Tony award in the pitch-black comedy A Day in the Death of Joe Egg in 1985. She then collaborated with playwright John Guare on two smashes: The House of Blue Leaves and Six Degrees of Separation. The latter was turned into a successful 1993 movie that nabbed Channing her first Oscar nod. More stage and screen roles followed, but she found her biggest success in the early 2000s when she became the first lady on The West Wing. After winning an Emmy for the role, Stockard again tried her hand at sitcoms, with the short-lived Out of Practice. Long admired for her voice-over and narration skills, Channing is the narrator visitors hear at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.