Betty Rizzo is a well-known character from Grease. The obnoxious, edgy teenager who would rather to smoke smokes with her Pink Ladies than be named homecoming queen. Stockard Channing, an award-winning actress best known for her roles in The West Wing, Practical Magic, and Six Degrees of Separation, portrays Rizzo, a fan favorite of the film. She and Olivia Newton John’s persona were in stark contrast to one another, having different views and lifestyles. She was everything Olivia Newton John’s character was not. There are worse things I could do, Rizzo’s delicate solo, had more effect because she was darker, meaner, and unquestionably tougher.
Stockard Channing’s career hasn’t slowed down in the years after the release of Grease and the less well-liked Grease 2. Over the years, Channing has performed on Broadway and the big screen, earning several honors in the process. But what has the real Rizzo been doing since Grease? Give you the specifics, please.
She wasn’t a teenager when Stockard Channing portrayed Rizzo in Grease.
Grease is a timeless film that is only made once per generation, yet Stockard Channing said in an interview with Variety that she just had a “summer job” as Rizzo in the film. I needed the job, she said. After making an early break in the business with movies like The Fortune, the actress seemed to be out of work.
The role of 17-year-old Rizzo was reputedly given to Channing by Grease author and co-producer Allan Carr over the phone at “the midnight hour.” I was grateful merely to pay my rent for a few months, she said. I thought that was a little strange given my history, but I said, “Well, it’s a job like any other, and I’m going to do it.”
Channing said that she had only seen the film twice—once at the premiere and once at the 20th anniversary screening—despite the fact that it was very well-liked. She said that she hadn’t watched the movie sequel Grease 2 before delivering her hit. She said, “I’ve hardly watched Grease 1,” in all honesty. She questioned why and laughed, “I have other things to do.”
After playing Rizzo in Grease, Stockard Channing had two of her own programs.
Following his success as Rizzo in Grease, Stockard Channing went on to feature in The Stockard Channing Show and Just Friends. The 1979 film Just Friends, often referred to as Stockard Channing in Just Friends, was released shortly after Grease. It followed Channing’s character Susan as she moved from Boston to Los Angeles to start over after being divorced.
The show’s name was changed to The Stockard Channing Show, and the next season had a new cast, according to an interview with the actress from 2015. There isn’t a lot of information about any of these shows, although Channing did tell her fans that she didn’t want the name to be The Stockard Channing Show. When questioned about the nickname by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, she said that it “embarrassed” her. I was pretty uneasy about that, she said.
The challenges of working on sitcoms like The Stockard Channing Show or Out of Practice, in which she subsequently had a leading part, were also noted by Channing. She added that even though she worked on those programs decades apart, they always faced the same issues when it came to dealing with network executives and business politics. “I appreciate anyone who makes a comedy work because it’s so challenging,” she said in the Q&A.
While a student at Harvard University in the late 1960s, Stockard Channing got her start in theater. The actress focused in Broadway before landing the role of Rizzo in Grease and other roles in the film business. She has roles in many off-Broadway shows before appearing in Two Gentlemen of Verona: The Musical on Broadway.
Channing took a short break from acting to feature in a number of movies, such as Grease, before returning to the stage in 1979 to play the lead in the musical They’re Playing Our Song. During a Q&A session with the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, Channing acknowledged that she had a particular place in her heart for the early musicals she acted in. She continued, “It’s exhilarating and scary.” There is nothing like it.
Once Channing was selected for the Broadway production of Joe Egg in 1985, things looked to be going very well for him. She said that she felt like her life was on track during the Q&A session. It appears that everyone else agreed since she won the Tony Award for Best Actress that year for her performance in the play.
Six Degrees of Separation included Rizzo from Grease many times.
It’s unusual for actors to portray the same role in a play and a film, but seasoned actresses like Stockard Channing, who portrayed Rizzo in Grease, can pull it off without a hitch. Both the Broadway version of Six Degrees of Separation and the film adaptation included Channing in the title role. For her performances, she was nominated for a number of noteworthy awards, including an Oscar.
Channing confessed to Broadway that she gave the play its first performance in England before coming home to finish the movie. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the author would only agree to create the movie provided Channing preserved the role she played in the original play.
Channing kept gushing about how intriguing a project it was to work on to Broadway. And I think that everything that is redone, at least for an actor, is beneficial. What was the finest aspect of her description of the chance to participate in both movies as a really fantastic opportunity? She responded in jokingly, “You know your lines.
Stockard Channing played a “evil lady” in the movie, which was released years after he played Rizzo in Grease.
Stockard Channing played a character alongside Morgan Freeman and Robin Wright in the 1996 movie Moll Flanders. The story follows Moll Flanders, played by Wright, as she looks for a means to survive after her mother is executed. When Wright’s character is seeking for work, she runs with Channing’s Mrs. Allworthy, the headmistress of a brothel.
The wealthy Mrs. Allworthy is one of the story’s most significant female characters, despite not being the finest employer in the whole world. “Some of the first males in London came through my door,” she tells Moll Flanders. Why wouldn’t you want to have control over them? She plays a really sly role in the movie, and Channing does an amazing job creating a villain we want to hate.
In an interview with Rhonda Shear, Channing shared some insight into what it was like to portray a part that was extremely different from Rizzo in Grease, or, as Shear put it, a “evil lady.” It was unpleasant at times, the actress said. She remarked that Mrs. Allworthy is not insane. She is a standard, ordinary, venial human being who is full of greed and annoyance, although on sometimes she can be kind of funny.
You may not have recognized that Rizzo from Grease had a significant role in The First Wives Club since she just made a fleeting appearance in the film. Okay, so she wasn’t playing Rizzo, but Stockard Channing did play Cynthia, a lady that the main protagonists had met in college.
When Channing’s character discovers that her ex-husband Gil has married his mistress, she swiftly hangs herself from her penthouse balcony after giving her costly pearl necklace to her maid (the same necklace that the other “first wives” also possess). She committed herself due of her ex-recent husband’s marriage, although it isn’t explicitly mentioned.
Even though Channing just has a short appearance, her scene is unquestionably one of the most important ones. If Cynthia hadn’t been there, the three friends wouldn’t have felt compelled to work together and get vengeance on their individual ex-husbands.
The Grease star who played Rizzo showed her witchy side in Practical Magic.
Many people first saw Stockard Channing in the 1998 witchy classic Practical Magic, which is renowned for its perfect song selections, iconic 90s attire, and emphasis on the strength of family. While many fans know Stockard Channing as Rizzo from Grease, many more first encountered the actress in that musical. However, the casting for this film is also excellent!
The Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman sisters’ narrative is the main focus of the movie, although Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest’s representations of the sisters’ aunts also steal a few moments.
We definitely think that Carol Channing’s amazing performance as the eccentric Aunt Frances is one of the reasons why the film, which wasn’t a major success when it initially came out, has subsequently attained cult status. Even though the movie received unfavorable reviews at first, Entertainment Weekly reported in 2019 that HBO Max has approved a new prequel series. And what news is more exciting? Despite taking place in the 1960s, Channing’s character will be the focus of the show.
Stockard Channing won multiple Emmys for his role as Rizzo in Grease.
One of Stockard Channing’s best-known roles after portraying Rizzo in Grease was her recurring role as Dr. Abbey Bartlet, the president’s wife, on The West Wing, which ran from 1999 to 2006. The program itself enjoyed enormous popularity. During its seven-season run, it received over 250 award nominations and won 120 of them, according to IMDb. Channing’s performance was responsible for a number of those nominations, and in 2002, it even earned her an Emmy.
Fans of the show know that when The West Wing initially aired in the early 2000s, it was very contemporary. Channing herself said that fans of the show thought it had access to information that the broader public did not. During that time, according to Channing, “it was so parallel to the current administration that people said ‘Oh come on, you must have access to information we don’t have access to because Aaron, Sorkin, the creator, would write these episodes that were so prescient about what happened six weeks later.
Channing also said that she initially didn’t have a substantial role, which almost made her decide against taking the position. However, she and Martin Sheen, who played President Bartlet, had such a fantastic on-screen chemistry that she was periodically inserted to the show.
The 2000s were a terrific decade for Rizzo from Grease.
Stockard Since his portrayal as Rizzo in Grease, Channing has played a variety of fun, imaginary characters. However, in 2002’s The Matthew Shepard Story, she did portray a more solemn Judy Shepard. The prosecution and punishment of Matthew Shepard’s killers, who brutally attacked and murdered him in 1998 because he was homosexual, was the main subject of the movie. Channing depicted his mother’s anguish and sorrow. Channing’s interpretation of the role garnered her two awards: a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Emmy Award. The movie itself had a significant influence.
During a Q&A session with the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, Channing said that making the movie was a difficult undertaking. Even though Goldie Hawn was one of the producers, it seemed that no one was interested in hearing this tale. She acknowledged that “it took a lot of pressure to get it out there and have it funded, etc.” even after we had completed the film. “I think it was a great thing to have been made because it drew attention to what had happened among so many people. It attracted a great deal of criticism and made a lot of waves despite not simply being another television movie.
After playing Rizzo in Grease and her award-winning television appearances, Stockard Channing’s next step was to find a new program for her to demonstrate her acting abilities. With the short but wonderfully funny Out of Practice, that opportunity presented itself.
Ben Barnes, a therapist who struggled to find success in the world while living in the shadow of his wealthy family, was portrayed in the episode by Christopher Gorham. Channing portrayed Dr. Lydia Barnes’ mother, a cardiologist who is status-obsessed and played by Gorham. It’s none other than Henry Winkler, her ex-husband. Ty Burrell, a member of the Modern Family before it, also starred in the show.
Sadly, despite earning favorable reviews from outlets like LA Weekly, the program was only shown for one season.
Since 2008, Rizzo from Grease has made multiple theatrical appearances.
Stockard Channing returned to Broadway in 2008 with the revival of Pal Joey after making appearances in films and television programs. Despite some unfavorable reviews, Stockard Channing commended Vera Simpson for her performance. Along with Pal Joey, Channing also made an appearance in Other Desert Cities in 2011. She then changed to It’s Only A Play, which also included Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, and Rupert Grint, according to the program’s website.
The Grease star compared working with such a renowned cast of performers like being a part of a basketball team. You have to play the game, and you have to play it with each other, she told Broadway World. It really is a team effort.
In the movie Apologia, Channing performed the main role twice—once in London in 2017 and again in New York in 2018. The actress acknowledged to Broadway that she was drawn to the job by Kristin Miller’s complex and somewhat misunderstood demeanor. She asserted that there were none. “And it was amusing, too!”
Stockard Channing’s portrayal as Veronica Loy, the mother of Julianna Margulies’ character, Alicia Florrick, in The Good Wife is probably what The Good Wife fans will remember her for. The performer was a part of the show from 2012 till its termination in 2016, according to IMDb. One of the first reports about Channing’s employment on Entertainment Weekly described her character, Veronica, as “mercurial and inspired by her 1960s counterculture background.” Don’t you think the character has a little bit of Rizzo’s voice from Grease?
The first time Channing’s persona featured on the show was in the episode “A Defense of a Marriage,” in which Veronica flies to the city to ask her daughter for legal advice after the death of her husband, Malcom. Veronica feels betrayed by the sudden removal of her from her late husband’s will since she had cheated on him. Whatever the reason for Channing’s attendance, it was entertaining to see her and fellow Broadway veteran Mary Beth Peil, who portrayed Jackie, Alicia’s mother-in-law, sling insults all the time. This persisted right up to Channing’s last episode.
Stockard Channing grew up in the swinging late 1950s and 1960s, a decade known for hippie culture, rock music, and women’s empowerment, much like Rizzo from Grease. Additionally, this period of freedom contrasted dramatically with her more conventional upbringing since she had grown up as a girl in the 1950s. For someone her age, “you really were raised with an expectation on a very constrained spectrum, particularly as a woman,” she remarked to Broadway. I had a really rigorous upbringing, she said. And anarchy ruled in the early 1960s; some of us took the chance, while others didn’t. Regarding Channing, she “went off and joined the circus,” in essence.
“Channing still views herself as a feminist, despite the fact that much has changed since the 1950s and 1960s. She said that many people believe feminists seek to establish a “we and them” mindset. But I don’t think of it at all in that way.
Stockard Channing met her lifelong husband soon after her performance as Rizzo in Grease.
Because Stockard Channing is not an actress who gets a lot of media exposure, you may not be acquainted with her private life or love relationships. On the other hand, she has been wed to photographer Daniel Gillham for more than three decades. Channing allegedly met his future wife while serving on the A Time of Destiny camera crew in 1988, only a few years after he played Rizzo in Grease, according to IMDb. Despite spending a lot of time together, the pair has never been married or given birth to a child together, unlike many other celebrities.
Prior to meeting Gilham, Channing’s prior relationships weren’t very fruitful, and they dated for a long time. She through four divorces, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, before starting a relationship with the director. “The only one that wasn’t a marriage lasts 15 years,” she said. “There is nothing Hollywood-like about it. Nobody gets married with the purpose to divorce.
However, it’s noteworthy that the actress’ stage name really derives from her first union, which she entered into when she was only 19 years old. She dropped her first name and added the last of her first husband, changing her name from Susan Stockard to Stockard Channing.