Grease Patty Simcox star Susan Buckner has died, aged 72

8 May 2024, 09:25

Susan Buckner played Patty Simcox in Grease
Susan Buckner played Patty Simcox in Grease. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Susan Buckner, the Grease star known for her portrayal of Patty Simcox in the iconic musical, has passed away at the age of 72.

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The actress died peacefully on Thursday, May 2, surrounded by family, according to her publicist Melissa Berthier. No cause of death was specified.

Buckner gained fame for her role in Grease as the cheerleading companion of Sandy, played by Olivia Newton-John.

In a memorable scene, Patty gives everyone a rallying cry for the school when she says: "Do the splits, give a yell, show a little spirit for Old Rydell!"

Bucknell's daughter Samantha Mansfield said after her mother's death: "She was magic. She was my best friend. And I will miss her every day."I was lucky I had such a lighting rod of a mother and now I have her as an angel."

Born in Seattle, she first rose to prominence in the pageant world, securing the title of Miss Washington in 1971 and competing in the Miss America pageant the following year.

Susan Buckner in 2006
Susan Buckner in 2006. Picture: Getty

Her pageant success led her into the entertainment industry, where she became a part of the musical group The Golddiggers on The Dean Martin Show. Her television career also included roles on The Mac Davis Show, Sonny And Cher, and The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.

After her 1978 role in Grease, Buckner appeared in several TV shows, including The Love Boat, BJ And The Bear, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, and When The Whistle Blows.

Susan Bucker (right) has died, aged 72
Susan Bucker (right) has died, aged 72. Picture: Alamy

She also appeared in the 1981 Wes Craven horror film Deadly Blessing with Sharon Stone and the 1989 movie Police Academy 6: City Under Siege.

Later in life, Buckner stepped back from her acting career to focus on her family, raising two children, Adam and Samantha. She leaves behind grandchildren Oliver, Riley, Abigail, and Ruby; her sister Linda; daughter-in-law Noel Josephs; son-in-law Adam Mansfield; and her longtime partner Al.