Susan Buckner, actress known for Grease role, dead at 72

Susan Buckner in Grease
The Late Susan Buckner as Patty Simcox in Grease. Pic credit: Paramount Pictures

Susan Buckner, renowned for her portrayal of cheerleader Patty Simcox in the iconic movie Grease, has died at the age of 72. 

Melissa Berthier, a spokesperson for the family, confirmed that Buckner passed away peacefully on May 2, surrounded by loved ones. 

The cause of her death has not been disclosed.

Buckner’s daughter, Samantha Mansfield, shared with People magazine, “The light she brought into every room will be missed forever. She was magic, and I was very lucky to call her my best friend.”

Born in Seattle, Washington, in 1952, Buckner initially gained attention as a beauty pageant queen, winning the title of Miss Washington in 1971 and placing in the top ten at the Miss America pageant in 1972. 

Her journey into entertainment commenced with appearances on popular variety shows like The Dean Martin Show and The Mac Davis Show.

Susan Buckner starred alongside John Travolta in Grease

In 1977, Buckner landed the role of Patty Simcox in Grease, where she famously led the cheer for Rydell High School. 

The film, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, became a cultural phenomenon, grossing $396.3 million at the box office against a $6 million budget. Buckner’s passing follows that of fellow Grease star Olivia Newton-John in 2022.

Beyond Grease, Buckner appeared in various TV shows and films, including The Love Boat, B.J and the Bear, and Wes Craven’s horror film Deadly Blessing.

In her later years, she ventured into directing children’s theater and teaching dance in Florida.

Tributes pour in for Susan Buckner

Fans of the actress took to social media to pay their respects following her death. 

One fan met the late actress at the Chiller Theatre and shared a photo of the pair, writing, “RIP Susan Buckner AKA Patty Simcox from “Grease.” Let me just say she was a lot more fun than her character. Thank you @ChillerTheatre for again giving me a moment I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

On X, another account paid tribute by sharing several photos of the actress during her career.

Another post shared a photo of Buckner in her younger years. 

Susan Buckner is survived by her children, Samantha Mansfield and Adam Josephs, grandchildren, sister, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, and longtime partner. 

According to Entertainment Weekly, the family has requested donations to Miami’s Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in honor of Buckner’s memory.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments