Grease star who played Patty Simcox dies

By John Mercury May 8, 2024

Grease star Susan Buckner, who played Patty Simcox in the classic musical, has died aged 72.

The American actress died peacefully on Thursday 2 May surrounded by her loved ones, publicist Melissa Berthier has said.

A cause of death has not been given.

Buckner was best known for her role in Grease where she played the Rydell High cheerleading pal of Sandy – played by Olivia Newton-John.

In a memorable scene, Bucknell gives a rallying cry for the school when she says: “Do the splits, give a yell, show a little spirit for Old Rydell! Way to go, red and white, go Rydell, fight, fight, fight.”

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, 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.

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Following her appearance in Grease in 1978, 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 and became a mother to her two children, Adam Josephs and Mrs 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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