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Stockard Channing
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Stockard Channing

Stockard Channing (born February 13, 1944) is an American actress.

Channing was born as Susan Antonia Williams Stockard in New York City to Lester and Mary Stockard. Channing attended Radcliffe College and Harvard University and has degrees in history and literature. She decided to pursue an acting career, starting in the Boston theatrical community, but eventually working in New York and Los Angeles.

One of Channing's earliest roles was as The Number Painter's victim, in a series of segments on Sesame Street. Channing's first movie lead was in the 1973 television movie The Girl Most Likely To.... In 1975, she had her first starring role in a feature film in The Fortune. In 1978, Channing played the part of Rizzo in the hit musical Grease. On the basis of this, she was offered the lead in two short lived television sitcom series, Stockard Channing in Just Friends and The Stockard Channing Show.

In the 1980's and 1990's, Channing continued to work in television and film. She also returned to the stage, winning the 1985 Tony Award for A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg.

In 1999, Channing took the role of First Lady Abbey Bartlet in the television series The West Wing. Her part has gradually expanded from a recurring guest star role to a regular part.

Channing has won numerous acting awards for various works including the 1979 People's Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture Supporting Actress, the 1989 CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Dramatic or Theatrical Special (for Tidy Endings), the 2003 London Critics Circle Film ALFS Award for Actress of the Year (for The Business of Strangers), and the 2003 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries (for The Matthew Shepard Story). In 2002, Channing won two Emmy Awards; for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (The West Wing) and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie (The Matthew Shepard Story). Channing has also been nominated for a number of other awards, including the 1994 Academy Award for Best Actress (for Six Degrees of Separation).

Channing has been married and divorced four times, to Walter Channing, Paul Schmidt, David Debin, and David Rawle. She currently lives with cinematographer Daniel Gillham. The couple reside in Maine.