Friday, January 25, 2013

stockard channing - a formidable talent by karen g.

Surprisingly, the first Stockard Channing film I saw as a little girl was not Grease like most of the kids my age, but rather a made for television film called The Girl Most Likely To.  The movie has the kind of premise that we’ve all fantasized about “Ugly duckling treated badly by others has an accident, emerges from bandages ravishingly beautiful, and now it’s time for revenge”.  This dark comedy from 1973 was written by Joan Rivers and this is where my obsession with Stockard Channing began.

The next Channing film that stands out to me is Sweet Revenge a 1976 film about a woman who steals cars to make ends meet.  She meets a public defender who tries to get her on the straight and narrow but all our “heroine” can think about is stealing enough cars to afford a new Ferrari! (My kinda gal).

Always so powerful in her roles, even in more satirical features, like 1976’s The Big Bus -- a disaster movie parody, Channing has an air about her that I just cannot resist! (I think this movie may have been a prequel to Speed).

In 1991, Channing was nominated for the Tony for Best Actress in the Broadway play Six Degrees of Separation, I truly enjoyed her Oscar-nominated reprised movie performance as Ouisa in 1993’s film version, also starring a young Will Smith.

Channing’s brief, but powerful role in 1996’s First Wives Club still makes me weepy.

Her Broadway performances has left her with 5 Tony nominations and one win in 1985 for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.

But of course, no matter what, she’ll probably always be most remembered as feisty Betty Rizzo in 1978’s Grease.

Timeless, effortless actor, it’s always such a treat for me to catch a glimpse of Stockard, albeit in a movie, TV show or Broadway play, to me, she never fails to impress.

-Karen G.


  1. Timeless and Lovely indeed. She's one of those artists talented enough to be as dynamic on stage and in television as she is in film. Great Feature!

  2. I've long considered Stockard Channing to be a particularly compelling presence, on TV (to absolutely no surprise, I was a West Wing addict back in the day) and in film (Six Degrees of Separation, Smoke and the underrated The Business of Strangers). Excellent post, as always - and thanks for giving one of my likewise favorites some much-deserved blog spotlight!

  3. There's a boatload of us who feel the same! If you fancy joining The Stockard Channing Facebook Group, please do!