'Grease' Actress Dies at 72

Actress Susan Buckner

Susan Buckner, the actress who starred as Patty Simcox in 1978's hit musical comedy Grease, has died. She was 72.

Buckner died on Thursday, May 2, according to family publicist Melissa Berthier. In a statement made to People, Berthier said Buckner died "peacefully" while "surrounded by loved ones."

"The light she brought into every room will be missed forever," the late star's daughter, Samantha Mansfield, told the publication. "She was magic, and I was very lucky to call her my best friend."

Fans will recognize Buckner most from her role in Grease, in which she played the larger-than-life character Patty Simcox, a cheerleader for the fictional Rydell High and friend to Sandy Olsson, played by Olivia Newton-John, who died in 2022 following a battle with breast cancer.

Before landing her supporting role in Grease, Buckner spent time competing in beauty pageants. A native of Seattle, Buckner was crowned Miss Washington in 1971 and later represented her home state at the Miss America the following year.

She started her career in show business when she became a part of the all-female singing and dancing group The Golddiggers, which featured in The Dean Martin Show. 

Buckner's other TV credits include The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, When the Whistle Blows, The Love Boat and more, though she would retire from acting in the early '80s to raise her two children.

Buckner is survived by Mansfield and her son, Adam Josephs, as well as four grandchildren, her sister, Linda, daughter-in-law, Noel Josephs, son-in-law, Adam Mansfield, and longtime partner, Al.

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