Stockard Channing (born Susan Williams Antonia Stockard; February 13, 1944) is an American actress. She is best known for playing Betty Rizzo in the musical film Grease (1978), with John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, and Jeff Conway; and First Lady Abbey Bartlet in the NBC television series The West Wing (1999–2006), with Martin Sheen. She is also known for originating the role of Ouisa Kittredge in the stage and film versions of Six Degrees of Separation (1993), with Will Smith, Donald Sutherland, Mary Beth Hurt, Bruce Davison, and Ian McKellen; for which she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play and the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Channing’s first two film appearances were uncredited roles in Arthur Hiller’s The Hospital (1971), with George C. Scott, Diana Rigg, Barnard Hughes, Richard A. Dysart, Stephen Elliott, Donald Harron, and Nancy Marchand; and Irvin Kershner‘s Up the Sandbox (1972), with Barbara Streisand, David Selby, Paul Benedict, George S. Irving, Conrad Bain, Isabel Sanford, Lois Smith, Jacobo Morales. For her first credited role in Mike Nichols’ The Fortune (1975), with Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty; she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture – Female.
Other films in the 1970s Sweet Revenge (1976), with Sam Waterston; James Frawley’s The Big Bus (1976), with Joseph Bologna, John Beck, René Auberjonois, Ned Beatty, José Ferrer, Ruth Gordon, and Lynn Redgrave; The Cheap Detective (1978), with Peter Falk, Madeline Kahn, Louise Fletcher, Ann-Margret, Eileen Brennan, Marsha Mason, Sid Caesar, John Houseman, Dom DeLuise, Abe Vigoda, James Coco, Phil Silvers, Fernando Lamas, Nicol Williamson, Scatman Crothers, Vic Tayback, and Paul Williams; and The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1979), with Julius Erving, Jonathan Winters, Meadowlark Lemon, Jack Kehoe, Michael V. Gazzo, and M. Emmett Walsh.
Films in the 1980s include Safari 3000 (1982), with David Carradine and Christopher Lee; Without a Trace (1983), with Kate Nelligan, Judd Hirsch, and David Dukes; Heartburn (1986), with Meryl Streep, Nicholson, Jeff Daniels, Miloš Forman, and Catherine O’Hara; The Men’s Club (1986), with Roy Scheider, Harvey Keitel, Frank Langella, Treat Williams, Dukes, Richard Jordan, and Jennifer Jason Leigh; A Time of Destiny (1988), with William Hurt, Timothy Hutton, and Melissa Leo; and Staying Together (1989), with Sean Astin, Melinda Dillon, Levon Helm, Dermot Mulroney, Tim Quill, and Daphne Zuniga.
Films in in the 1990s include Meet the Applegates (1990), with Ed Begley Jr. and Dabney Coleman; Married to It (1991), with Beau Bridges, Robert Sean Leonard, Mary Stuart Masterson, Cybill Shepherd, and Ron Silver; Wayne Wang’s Smoke (1995), with Keitel, Hurt, Harold Perrineau Jr., and Forest Whitaker; To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995), with Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, John Leguizamo, Blythe Danner, Arliss Howard, and Chris Penn; Up Close & Personal (1996), with Robert Redford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Joe Mantegna, Kate Nelligan, Glenn Plummer, and James Rebhorn; Edie & Pen (1996), with Jennifer Tilly and Scott Glenn; Moll Flanders (1996), with Robin Wright and Morgan Freeman.
Films in the late 1990s include The First Wives Club (1996), with Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Bette Middleton, Stephen Collins, Victor Garber, Dan Hedaya, Marcia Gay Harden, Elizabeth Berkley, Sarah Jessica Parker, Maggie Smith, Bronson Pinchot, Rob Reiner, Eileen Heckart, and Philip Bosco; Robert Benton’s Twilight (1998), with Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman, Reese Witherspoon, and James Garner; Practical Magic (1998), with Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Dianne Wiest, Aidan Quinn, and Goran Višnjić; and The Venice Project (1999), with Lauren Bacall and Dennis Hopper.
Films in the 2000s include Other Voices (2000), with David Aaron Baker, Peter Gallagher, Mary McCormack, Rob Morrow, and Campbell Scott; Isn’t She Great (2000), with Midler, Nathan Lane, David Hyde Pierce, John Cleese, John Larroquette, Amanda Peet, Christopher McDonald, Debbie Shapiro, and Paul Benedict; Where the Heart Is (2000), with Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, Joan Cusack, James Frain, Dylan Bruno, Keith David, and Sally Field; Life or Something Like It (2003), with Angelina Jolie, Edward Burns, and Tony Shalhoub; Behind the Door (2002), with Kyra Sedgwick and Kiefer Sutherland; Stephen Fry‘s Bright Young Things (2003), with Emily Mortimer, Stephen Campbell Moore, Fenella Woolgar, Michael Sheen, James McAvoy, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Broadbent, and Peter O’Toole; Merchant Ivory‘s Le Divorce (2003), with Kate Hudson, Naomi Watts, Leslie Caron, Glenn Close, Fry, Thierry Lhermitte, Matthew Modine, Bebe Neuwirth, and Waterston; and Anything Else (2003), with Jason Biggs, Christina Ricci, Woody Allen (who also directed), Danny DeVito, Jimmy Fallon, Erica Leerhsen, and KaDee Strickland.
Later films include Red Mercury (2005), with Pete Postlethwaite, Juliet Stevenson, Silver and David Bradley; Must Love Dogs (2005), with Diane Lane, John Cusack, Mulroney, Elizabeth Perkins, and Christopher Plummer; 3 Needles (2005), with Shawn Ashmore, Olympia Dukakis, Lucy Liu, Chloë Sevigny, and Sandra Oh; Sparkle (2007), with Shaun Evans, Anthony Head, and Bob Hoskins; and Multiple Sarcasms (2010), with Hutton, Mira Sorvino, Dana Delany, Chris Sarandon, and Mario Van Peebles.
A 13-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee and seven-time Tony Award nominee, she won 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 (2002), with Waterston. She won a Daytime Emmy Award for her role in Jack (2004), with Anton Yelchin, Silver, Erich Anderson, and Brent Spiner. She also played the recurring role of Veronica Loy on the CBS drama The Good Wife (2012–16), with Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, Christine Baranski, Matt Czuchry, Archie Panjabi, Zach Grenier, Matthew Goode, Cush Jumbo, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Alan Cumming, and Chris Noth.
Other TV movies and miniseries in the 1970s and 1980s included The Girl Most Likely to… (1973), with Ed Asner; Table Settings (1982), with Robert Klein, Monday Cohn, and Peter Riegert; Not My Kid (1985), with George Segal; The Room Upstairs (1987), with Waterston, Joan Allen, Linda Hunt. The young Jerry O’Connell, Devoreaux White, and Parker; Echoes in the Darkness (1987), with Treat Williams, Peter Coyote, Peter Boyle, Gary Cole, and Robert Loggia; Tidy Endings (1988), with Harvey Fierstein; and Perfect Witness (1989), with Brian Dennehy, Aidan Quinn, Laura Harrington, Delroy Lindo, and Joe Grifasi.
TV movies and miniseries in the 1990s and 2000s include David’s Mother (1994), with Kirstie Alley; Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree (1995), with Robert Downey Jr. and Leslie Nielsen; Lily Dale (1996), with Mary Stuart Masterson and Sam Shepard; The Baby Dance (1998), with Laura Dern; A Girl Thing (2001), with Kate Capshaw, Elle Macpherson, Glenne Headly, Rebecca De Mornay, Allison Janney, Mia Farrow, Lynn Whitfield, Linda Hamilton, Camryn Manheim, and S. Epatha Merkerson; and Hitler: The Rise of Evil (2003), with Robert Carlyle, O’Toole, Peter Stormare, Thomas Sangster, and Liev Schreiber.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(*seen rereleased in theaters)
- Comforts of Home (1970) – directed by Jerome Shore – short
- The Hospital (1971) – directed by Arthur Hiller – uncredited
- Up the Sandbox (1972) – directed by Irvin Kershner – uncredited
- The Girl Most Likely to… (1973) – directed by Lee Philips – TV movie
- The Fortune (1975) – directed by Mike Nichols
- Sweet Revenge (1976) – directed by Jerry Schatzberg – aka Dandy, the All American Girl
- The Big Bus (1976) – directed by James Frawley
- The Cheap Detective (1978) – directed by Robert Moore
- Grease (1978)** – directed by Randal Kleiser
- Silent Victory: The Kitty O’Neil Story (1979) – directed by Lou Antonio – TV movie
- The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1979) – directed by Gilbert Moses
- Table Settings (1982) – directed by Trevor Evans – TV movie
- Safari 3000 (1982) – directed by Harry Hurwitz
- Without a Trace (1983) – directed by Stanley R. Jaffe
- Not My Kid (1985) – directed by Michael Tuchner – TV movie
- Heartburn (1986) – directed by Mike Nichols
- The Men’s Club (1986) – directed by Peter Medak
- The Room Upstairs (1987) – directed by Stuart Margolin – TV movie
- Echoes in the Darkness (1987) – directed by Glenn Jordan – miniseries
- A Time of Destiny (1988) – directed by Gregory Nava
- Tidy Endings (1988) – directed by Gavin Millar – TV movie
- Staying Together (1989) – directed by Lee Grant
- Perfect Witness (1989) – directed by Robert Mandel – TV movie
- Meet the Applegates (1990) – directed by Michael Lehmann – aka The Applegates – not released in the US until 1991
- Married to It (1991) – directed by Arthur Hiller
- Bitter Moon (1992) – directed by Roman Polanski – uncredited cameo
- Lincoln (1992) – directed by Peter W. Kunhardt & James A. Edgar – TV movie
- Six Degrees of Separation (1993) – directed by Fred Schepisi
- David’s Mother (1994) – directed by Robert Allan Ackerman – TV movie
- Smoke (1995) – directed by Wayne Wang
- To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995) – directed by Beeban Kidron
- Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree (1995) – directed by Jon Stone – TV short
- Up Close & Personal (1996) – directed by Jon Avnet
- Edie & Pen (1996) – directed by Matthew Irmas – aka Desert Gamble
- Lily Dale (1996) – directed by Peter Masterson – TV movie
- Moll Flanders (1996) – directed by Pen Densham
- The First Wives Club (1996) – directed by Hugh Wilson
- The Prosecutors (1996) – directed by Rod Holcomb – TV movie
- An Unexpected Family (1996) – directed by Larry Elikann – TV movie
- Twilight (1998) – directed by Robert Benton
- An Unexpected Life (1998) – directed by David Hugh Jones – TV movie
- Lulu on the Bridge (1998) – directed by Paul Auster – uncredited
- The Baby Dance (1998) – directed by Jane Anderson – TV movie
- Practical Magic (1998) – directed by Griffin Dunne
- The Venice Project (1999) – directed by Robert Dornhelm
- Other Voices (2000) – directed by Dan McCormack
- Isn’t She Great (2000) – directed by Andrew Bergman
- Where the Heart Is (2000) – directed by Matt Williams
- The Truth About Jane (2000) – directed by Lee Rose – TV movie
- The Business of Strangers (2001) – directed by Patrick Stettner
- A Girl Thing (2001) – directed by Lee Rose – TV movie
- When Billie Beat Bobby (2001) – directed by Jane Anderson – TV movie – uncredited narrator
- Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (2002) – directed by Gavin Millar – TV movie
- The Matthew Shepard Story (2002) – directed by Roger Spottiswoode – TV movie
- Life or Something Like It (2002) – directed by Stephen Herek
- Behind the Red Door (2003) – directed by Matia Karrell
- Bright Young Things (2003) – directed by Stephen Fry
- Hitler: The Rise of Evil (2003) – directed by Christian Duguay – miniseries
- Le Divorce (2003) – directed by James Ivory
- Anything Else (2003) – directed by Woody Allen
- The Piano Man’s Daughter (2003) – directed by Kevin Sullivan – TV movie
- Jack (2004) – directed by Lee Rose – TV movie
- Must Love Dogs (2005) – directed by Gary David Goldberg
- 3 Needles (2005) – directed by Thom Fitzgerald
- Red Mercury (2005) – directed by Roy Battersby
- Sparkle (2007) – directed by Tom Hunsinger & Neil Hunter
- Multiple Sarcasms (2010) – directed by Brooks Branch
- Sundays at Tiffany’s (2010) – directed by Mark Piznarski
- 17th Precinct (2011) – directed by Michael Rymer – TV movie
- Michael the Visitor (2012) – directed by Lindsay Van Blerk – short
- Family Trip (2012) – directed by Shawn Levy – TV movie
- Pulling Strings (2013) – directed by Pitipol Ybarra
- Me & Mean Margaret (2016) – directed by James Burrows – TV movie