Biography

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.

Fast Facts

  • Was 34 when she appeared as teenage Betty Rizzo in 1978's Grease.
  • Won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her role in The Matthew Shepard Story.
  • "I was never a star," she told TV GUIDE in 2002. "I don't worry about being a has-been because I've already been one."
  • Married four times, she has been with companion Daniel Gillham for many years.
  • Her professional name is a combination of her real last name (Stockard) and the name of her first husband (Channing).

Awards

  • 1999, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 1985, Tony — Actress (Play): Winner
  • 2002, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2004, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2004, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1991, Tony — Actress (Play): Nominee
  • 2000, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2001, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1996, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Nominee
  • 2005, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1998, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Nominee
  • 1995, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2001, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 1997, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special: Nominee
  • 2000, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Nominee
  • 1979, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Motion Picture Supporting Actress: Winner
  • 2003, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1988, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special: Nominee
  • 1976, Golden Globe — New Star of the Year - Actress: Nominee
  • 1994, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 2006, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2003, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1994, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1986, Tony — Actress (Featured Role--Play): Nominee
  • 1992, Tony — Actress (Play): Nominee
  • 2002, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Winner
  • 1999, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
  • 2009, Tony — Actress (Musical): Nominee
  • 1999, Tony — Actress (Play): Nominee
  • 2002, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: Winner
  • 2003, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2001, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1990, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Special: Nominee
  • 2002, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2012, Tony — Actress (Play): Nominee
  • 1993, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee

Relationships

  • David Debin — Ex-husband
  • David Rawle — Ex-husband
  • Mary Alice Stockard — Mother
  • Lesly Stockard Smith — Sister
  • Paul Schmidt — Ex-husband
  • Walter Channing — Ex-husband
  • Daniel Gillham — Significant Other
  • Lester Napier Stockard — Father

College

  • Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA (BA in History and Literature)