HomeTop Headlines"Grease" Actress Dies at 72

“Grease” Actress Dies at 72

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Seattle-born actress Susan Buckner, best known for her role as cheerleader Patty Simcox in the iconic 1978 musical “Grease,” has died at the age of 72. Melissa Berthier, a publicist speaking on behalf of the Buckner family, announced that the actress passed away peacefully on May 2, surrounded by loved ones. No details about the cause of death were shared.

Buckner’s daughter, Samantha Mansfield, in a statement, expressed her profound connection with her mother, describing her as a source of “magic” and her “best friend.” The loss, Mansfield noted, leaves a void not just within the family but among all who experienced Buckner’s vibrant presence.

In 1952, Buckner embarked on a life that would see her achieve early fame on the pageant circuit, claiming the title of Miss Washington in 1971, and subsequently representing the state in the Miss America pageant in 1972. This experience laid the groundwork for a transition into the entertainment industry, where she joined The Golddiggers, a popular all-female singing and dancing ensemble on “The Dean Martin Show.”

Buckner’s television career further expanded with appearances on notable programs including “The Mac Davis Show,” “Sonny and Cher,” and “The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.” Yet, it was her role in “Grease” that solidified her status in American pop culture. As Patty Simcox, Buckner delivered a performance that epitomized high school spirit, inspiring audiences with her character’s infectious enthusiasm.

While her acting career continued into the 1980s with roles in television series like “The Love Boat” and “The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries,” as well as in films such as “Police Academy 6: City Under Siege,” “Grease” remained her most recognized contribution to the industry.

Choosing to focus on family life, Buckner stepped away from the limelight to raise her two children. She later directed children’s theater at a Florida elementary school and shared her passion for dance as an instructor at a gym in Coral Gables.

Buckner’s legacy is survived by her expansive and loving family, including her daughter Samantha Mansfield, son Adam Josephs, grandchildren, and her longtime partner, Al.

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