Susan Buckner, “Grease”'s Patty Simcox“, ”dies at 72

The actress also appeared in Wes Craven's "Deadly Blessing" and "Police Academy 6."

Susan Buckner, best known as cheerleader Patty Simcox in Grease, died on May 2, her son, Adam Josephs, tells Entertainment Weekly. She was 72.

She "died peacefully," "surrounded by loved ones," family publicist Melissa Berthier tells EW. No cause of death was provided.

Before she made waves as a bubbly cheerleader at Rydell High, Buckner was Miss Washington in 1971 and represented her home state at the following year's Miss America competition.

That notoriety gave her the opportunity to join The Golddiggers, an all-female singing and dancing group that appeared on The Dean Martin Show. She also appeared on shows like The Mac Davis Show, Sonny and Cher, the Telly Savalas Live Touring Show, and The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, on which she was a dancer and synchronized swimmer in two episodes.

<p>Paramount Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett </p> Susan Buckner in 'Grease'

Paramount Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett

Susan Buckner in 'Grease'

Despite those many performances and appearances, it was her role in the iconic 1978 musical Grease, a film she posted about on social media frequently, that put her in front of millions. The familiar cheer — "Do the splits, give a yell! Show a little spirit for old Rydell! Way to go, red and white! Go Rydell, fight, fight, fight!" — gave her a memorable moment alongside the late Olivia Newton-John.

While Simcox was her most high-profile role, Buckner continued acting into the '80s with appearances on shows like The Love Boat, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, B.J. and the Bear, and 10 episodes of When the Whistle Blows. She also appeared in Wes Craven's Deadly Blessing with Sharon Stone and 1989's Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, which would be her final role.

After that, she stepped away from acting to focus on her family. Nonetheless, Buckner continued her passion for the arts, teaching theater at an elementary school in Florida and working as a dance instructor in Coral Gables.

She is survived by her son Adam, daughter Samantha Mansfield, grandchildren Oliver, Riley, Abigail, and Ruby, sister Linda, daughter-in-law Noel Josephs, son-in-law Adam Mansfield, and longtime partner Al.

In place of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to Miami's Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Buckner's honor.

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