Stockard Channing

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Stockard Channing (2011)

Stockard Channing , actually Susan Antonia Williams Stockard (born February 13, 1944 in New York City ), is an American theater and film actress .


Private life

Stockard Channing was born Susan Antonia Williams Stockard in New York. She has an older sister, Leslie Smith, who later made a career in politics and became Mayor of Palm Beach . Her father Lester was a successful businessman who traveled extensively with his family. He died of cancer when his youngest daughter was fifteen. Susan Stockard attended Radcliffe College and Harvard University in Cambridge , where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American history and literature in 1967 . According to her mother's wishes, she married the artist and businessman Walter Channing in 1963, who, in the opinion of Mary Alice Stockard, was an appropriate match for her daughter. After her divorce in 1967, she created the stage name Stockard Channing from her maiden name and her husband's last name . In 1970 she married Paul Schmidt, an actor, playwright and professor, from whom she divorced in 1976. In the same year, the actress married for the third time. Her marriage to screenwriter and producer David Debin ended in 1980. Just months after the divorce, Stockard Channing was married to businessman David Rawle for the fourth time. This marriage also ended in divorce in 1988. Channing has been in a relationship with Daniel Gillham since the early 1990s. She lives with him in Maine , but spends a lot of time in New York and Los Angeles because of her work .



Stockard Channing discovered her passion for acting during her studies and participated in numerous theater productions at the university. After graduating, she played successfully at the theater in Boston for several years . After that, the actress appeared on Broadway and was soon able to establish herself there. One of the most successful roles was the role of Sheila in Joe Egg . Stockard Channing received a Tony Award in 1985 for the personification of the mother of a mentally retarded girl . Her portrayal of the chatty lover Bunny Flingus in The House of Blue Leaves or Susan , who suffers a nervous breakdown in Woman in Mind , was also praised by critics and celebrated by the audience. She played the most important role for the actress herself in the mid-1980s. The character Ouisa Kettridge , who she impersonated in John Guare's play Six Degrees Of Separation in the New York production and in the London production, accompanied Stockard Channing until 1993, when she played the matroness from the wealthy Upper East Side in the film version Life - A Six pack again represents. She herself described the work on the piece in the following words:

"Well, I'd have to say that Six Degrees was probably the most important time for me. [...] That period was one of the best times of my life."

"Well, I have to say that Six Degrees was probably the most important time for me. [...] This period was one of the best times in my life"

- Stockard Channing : InTheater

In addition to her work in film and television productions, the actress is often on stage on Broadway and other theaters. In 1999 she played alongside Laurence Fishburne as Henry II the Eleanor of Aquitaine in the play The Lion in Winter by James Goldman . She was most recently seen in the 2008/2009 season as the rich widow Vera Simpson , who tries to console herself for her loneliness with a young lover, in a new edition of the classic Pal Joey .

Movie and TV

After her first appearances in 1969 on Sesame Street , Stockard Channing got smaller roles in various films. In 1973 she got her first leading role in the TV movie The Girl Most Likely To… . In it, she played alongside Joan Rivers an ugly girl who, after undergoing plastic surgery, takes revenge on anyone who previously made fun of her. However, she only had her breakthrough in 1975. At the side of Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson , she played in Dowry Hunter , a film by Mike Nichols . Stockard Channing received the Golden Globe Award for Best Young Actress for her portrayal of the over-the-top daughter from a rich family who is traveling with two crooks . Another important milestone in her career was the role of Betty Rizzo in the film adaptation of the musical Grease . At the time, Stockard Channing was 34 years old. Nevertheless, she was able to convince as a cool teenager and achieved international fame. After Grease followed two not very successful sitcoms, "Stockard Channing in Just Friends" (1979) and "The Stockard Channing Show" (1980). The producer was her husband Debin, with whom she later founded her own production company Little Bear Production . In 1986 she took over for Mike Nichols a supporting role in heartburn alongside Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson .

The actress was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in 1994 for her performance in the film adaptation of the play Six Degrees of Separation . This was followed by roles in various films, including To Wong Foo , The Devil's Club , Magical Sisters and Where Your Heart Beats .

In 1999 Stockard Channing took on the role of First Lady Abigail 'Abby' Bartlet in the television series The West Wing . Her guest role soon became an integral part of the series, and in 2002 she received an Emmy for her performance. She was awarded another Emmy for portraying Judy Shepard in the miniseries The Matthew Shepard Story . Other roles followed, for example she played Klara Hitler in the international production Hitler - Rise of Evil . Alongside Kate Hudson , Naomi Watts , Sam Waterston and Glenn Close , Channing starred in the 2003 romantic comedy An Affair in Paris by James Ivory . For director Woody Allen , she played the mother of Christina Ricci in Anything Else that same year , who moved in with her and her boyfriend, played by Jason Biggs , and thus further complicated the young couple's lives.

In 2005, Channing took on another lead role in a television series. In the comedy series Out of Practice , she embodies a surgeon and the ex-wife of Henry Winkler . Due to a lack of viewers, the series was discontinued before all episodes were broadcast. For her role, however, Stockard Channing was retrospectively considered with an Emmy nomination. In the same year, the actress played the mother of a porn actor in the AIDS education film 3 Needles . Together with her colleagues Olympia Dukakis , Shawn Ashmore , Lucy Liu , she promoted campaigns against the immune disease at the premiere of the film and at performances.

Filmography (selection)


Web links

Commons : Stockard Channing  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. a b Michael A. Lipton: Lady of the House . In: People weekly . January 14, 2002, ISSN  0093-7673 , p. 64 .
  2. Entry at
  3. Paul Wontorek: Long Live the Queen . In: InTheater . April 12, 1999, ISSN  1095-7332 , p. 17 .
  4. Paul Wontorek: Long Live the Queen . In: InTheater . April 12, 1999, ISSN  1095-7332 , p. 16 .
  5. a b Paul Wontorek: Long Live the Queen . In: InTheater . April 12, 1999, ISSN  1095-7332 , p. 20 .
  6. Paul Wontorek: Long Live the Queen . In: InTheater . April 12, 1999, ISSN  1095-7332 , p. 18 .
  7. Michael A. Lipton: Lady of the House . In: People weekly . January 14, 2002, ISSN  0093-7673 , p. 66 .