Susan Buckner, actor known for role in Grease, dies aged 72

Susan Buckner, actor known for role in Grease, dies aged 72

Susan Buckner, the actor known for her role as Patty Simcox in the 1978 movie musical hit Grease, died on Thursday at the age of 72.

In a statement to the Guardian, Buckner’s publicist confirmed Buckner’s death. A cause of death has not been publicized.

Samantha Mansfield, Buckner’s daughter, described her mother as “magic” and a “lighting rod of a mother”, in a statement.

“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,” she said.

At 25, Buckner was cast as the spirited cheerleader Patty Simcox in Grease, which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

Buckner quickly became an audience favorite given her character’s perky cheers: “Do the splits, give a yell! … Show a little spirit for old Rydell!”

After appearing in Grease, Buckner also acted in several television shows, including The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, The Love Boat, and BJ and the Bear. She also co-starred in the ABC series When the Whistle Blows which ran for one season.

Buckner later stepped away from acting to raise her two children. She directed several theatrical productions at the Pinecrest elementary school in Florida and worked as a fitness instructor for nearly a decade, according to Buckner’s publicist.

Born on 28 January 1952 in Seattle, Washington, Buckner was crowned Miss Washington in 1971, representing the state in the nationwide pageant the following year.

She pursued music and songwriting, performing in Dean Martin’s Golddiggers signing group, the all-girl group Fantasy and the musical duo Buckner and Pratt.

Buckner also performed as a dancer and synchronized swimmer on The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.

Buckner is survived by her two children, Adam Josephs and Samantha; her four grandchildren; her sister Linda; her daughter-in-law Noel Josephs; her son-in-law Adam Mansfield and Buckner’s longtime partner Al.