When I think of Stockard Channing, Rizzo from the hit musical “Grease” instantly comes to mind. However, the first time I saw Channing was in a made-for-television movie back in the ’70s called “The Girl Most Likely To”. I loved her instantly. She’s one of those versatile actresses that can do it all and make it look effortless. A fact that the many awards she has received and been nominated for can attest to. Channing’s first award was a People’s Choice for Favorite Motion Picture Supporting Actress for Grease.
After two failed sitcoms, Channing returned to the stage where she began, and in 1985, won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for the Broadway production of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. The ’80s were good to Channing. She racked up several awards for off-Broadway plays as well as an Emmy nomination for the mini-series, Echoes in the Darkness, and a Cable ACE Award win for HBO’s Tidy Endings.
The ’90s were even better for Channing, earning her an Academy Award and a Golden Globe nom for the film version of Six Degrees of Separation. During this time she was also nominated for three Tony Awards for Best Actress and an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female.
In 1999, Channing joined the cast of The West Wing as a guest star, playing First Lady Abbey Bartlet. In 2001 she was bumped to series regular. The West Wing earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. This was followed by another Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, as well as the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress in a Television Movie or Miniseries for her work on The Matthew Shepard Story.
Channing was nominated for and won many more awards for film and stage work, a true testament to an outstanding career, and one that is far from over. Her latest project, A Fonder Heart, has a release date of November, 2011.