Susan Buckner, who starred as Patty Simcox in Grease, dies age 72

Susan Buckner, best known for playing cheerleader Patty Simcox in the 1978 musical Grease, has died at the age of 72.

The US actress “died peacefully on May 2 surrounded by loved ones”, a statement given to the PA news agency from publicist Melissa Berthier said.

Her daughter Samantha Mansfield said: “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, Buckner made her name on the pageant circuit, being crowned Miss Washington in 1971 before representing the state at the Miss America competition the following year.

She channelled her experience into the entertainment industry, becoming a member of the singing and dancing group The Golddiggers, which featured on The Dean Martin Show.

She also made appearances on The Mac Davis Show, Sonny And Cher, and The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.

Buckner was best known for landing the role of effervescent cheerleader Patty Simcox, opposite the late Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in the hit 1978 musical.

A memorable scene came during a rallying cry for fictional Rydell High School which embodied the pep and school spirit of her character.

“Do the splits, give a yell, show a little spirit for Old Rydell! Way to go, red and white, go Rydell, fight, fight, fight,” Buckner said on screen.

After her performance, Buckner starred in TV shows including The Love Boat, BJ And The Bear, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, and When The Whistle Blows.

She also starred in the 1981 Wes Craven horror film Deadly Blessing alongside Sharon Stone, as well as in Police Academy 6: City Under Siege in 1989.

Buckner later took a step back from Hollywood to become a mother to her two children, Adam Josephs and Samantha Mansfield.

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


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