03 May Stockard Channing – Constant Change
Stockard Channing (born Susan Williams Antonia Stockard; February 13, 1944) is an American actress. She is known for playing Betty Rizzo in the film Grease (1978) and First Lady Abbey Bartlet in the NBC television series The West Wing (1999–2006). She is also known for originating the role of Ouisa Kittredge in the stage and film versions of Six Degrees of Separation.
Channing has 13 Emmys and 7 Tony Awards, winning the 1985 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for the Broadway revival of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, and won Emmy Awards for The West Wing and The Matthew Shepard Story, both in 2002. She won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2004 for her role in Jack. Her film appearances include The Fortune (1975), The Big Bus (1976), The Cheap Dective (1978), Heartburn (1986), Up Close & Personal (1996), Practical Magic (1998), and Woody Allen’s Anything Else (2003). She also played the recurring role of Veronica Loy on the CBS drama The Good Wife (2012–16).
Life and education
Channing was born in Manhattan, the daughter of Mary Alice (née English; 1910–2007), who came from a large Brooklyn Irish Catholic family, and Lester Napier Stockard (died 1960), who was in the shipping business. Her sister is Lesly Stockard Smith, former mayor of Palm Beach, Florida. She grew up on the Upper East Side.
Channing is an alumna of the Madeira School in McLean, Virginia, a boarding school for girls, which she attended after starting at the Chapin School in New York City She studied history and literature at Radcliffe College in Massachusetts and graduated summa cum laude in 1965 (Radcliffe merged with Harvard University in 1999). She received her acting training at HB Studio in New York City.
Channing continued her return to the stage by teaming up again with playwright John Guare. She received Tony Award nominations for her performances in his plays, The House of Blue Leaves (1986) and Six Degrees of Separation (1990), for which she also won an Obie Award.The Alan Ayckbourn play Woman in Mind received its American premiere Off-Broadway in February 1988 at the Manhattan Theatre Club. The production was directed by Lynne Meadow and the cast included Channing in the role of Susan, for which she won a Drama Desk Award for Best Actress. When once asked if Susan was Channing’s most fully realized character, the actress replied:
“Well, you like to think that they’re all fully realized because what you’re doing is different from what anyone else is seeing. You do a character but how much of it is on film, or how much of it is seen by an audience, is really up to the director, the piece, or the audience. And so, I just do these people. And flesh them out. I think anything else is not my job.”
Channing made her London theatre debut in 1992 at the Royal Court Theatre in John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation, which then transferred for a season at the Comedy Theatre in the West End. In 2017 she returned to London to appear in Allegria at the Trafalgar Studios.
The West Wing
In 1999, Channing took on the role of First Lady Abbey Bartlet in the NBC television series The West Wing. She was a recurring guest star for the show’s first two seasons; she became a regular cast member in 2001. In the seventh and final season of The West Wing (2005–2006), Channing appeared in only four episodes (including the series finale) because she was co-starring (with Henry Winkler) in the CBS sitcom Out of Practice at the same time. Out of Practice was cancelled by CBS after one season.
Beyond The West Wing
Channing received several awards in 2002. She won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work on The West Wing.That same year, she also won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress in a Television Movie or Miniseries for her portrayal of Judy Shepard in The Matthew Shepard Story, a docudrama about Matthew Shepard’s life and murder.
Channing received the 2002 London Film Critics Circle Award (ALFS) for Best Actress of the Year for her role in the film The Business of Strangers. For The Business of Strangers, she was also nominated for the American Film Institute Best Actress award.In 2003, she was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award.
In 2005, Channing won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children/Youth/Family Special for Jack (2004), a Showtime TV movie.
She was selected for the second narrator of the Animal Planet hit series Meerkat Manor in 2008, replacing Sean Astin, who did the first three seasons. In November 2008 she returned to Broadway as Vera Simpson in the musical Pal Joey and was nominated for the 2009 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical.
From 2012, Channing played a recurring role in The Good Wife. She played the role of the title character’s mother, Veronica Loy until the final season in 2016.
She returned to the stage in June 2010, to Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre to play Lady Bracknell in Rough Magic Theatre Company’s production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Channing appeared in the play Other Desert Cities Off-Broadway at Lincoln Center and then on Broadway, as of October 2011. In 2018 she played the lead in Apologia, which had a limited run in London, and then moved to the Roundabout Theatre Co. in NYC.
Currently, she is in post-production of an unnamed film with no launch date.
Channing has been married and divorced four times; she has no children She married Walter Channing in 1963 and kept the amalgamated name ”Stockard Channing” after they divorced in 1967. Her second husband was Paul Schmidt, a professor of Slavic languages (1970–76), and her third was writer-producer David Debin (1976–80).[ Her fourth husband was businessman David Rawle (1980–88). She has been in a relationship with cinematographer Daniel Gillham for more than 30 years, they met on the set of A Time of Destiny. The couple reside in Maine when not working. Many rumors about Channing having plastic surgery, however, she has not confirmed or denied. Net worth is reportedly $15 million.