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Stockard Channing From 'Grease' Is 77 & Looks Unrecognizable Decades after the Musical Debuted

Ksenia Novikova
Jul 27, 2021
09:08 A.M.
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Stockard Channing of "Grease" fame is 77 and now looks unrecognizable years after the musical first debuted. Her last appearance was on the show "Lorraine" in October 2017, and fans were torn about her look.

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Stockard Channing is best known for her role on "Grease" and "The West Wing," but she was most recently involved in a theater production in London as she prefers being on stage.

She played rebellious Betty Rizzon in the 1978 musical, and it remains to be one of the most iconic musical films of all time. Although she hasn't appeared in a major motion picture since then, she continued to act in films and stage plays.

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However, in 2017, she made an appearance in a television interview for "Lorraine." She discussed her career and the differences between all the roles she took on over the years.

While she spoke about her then-role in the play "Apologia" alongside "Downton Abbey's" Laura Carmichael, viewers were more interested in her appearance, 40 years after she brought life to the sassy leader of the Pink Ladies.

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Twitter went into overdrive as the fans were left baffled by the then-74-year-old actress' new look. Fans could not believe how much she had changed, and several of them took to social media to express their shock.

Fortunately for Channing, there were also others who came to her rescue, reminding everyone that she isn't exactly young anymore, after all. A surgeon suggested that Channing must have undergone botox on her forehead as it remained smooth, which has also resulted in the arched shape of her eyebrows.

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Aside from "Grease," Channing has also appeared in several smaller films, including "Practical Magic" and "The Business of Strangers." On TV, she appeared on "Avonlea," "Hitler: The Rise of Evil," and "The West Wing."

She is under no illusion that she is most remembered for her portrayal of Rizzo. Channing told the "Lorraine" host that she is the world's "oldest living teenager" as she played the role of the high school graduate when she was already 34.

Stockard Channing and Eileen Atkins attend the press night performance of "Ian McKellen On Stage", a special one man show celebrating his 80th birthday, at Duke Of York's Theatre on March 7, 2019 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

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The 13-time Emmy Award nominee and seven-time Tony Award nominee also admitted that she had watched the movie only twice. She saw it the first time when it originally opened and during a special screening on the 20th anniversary of the film.

The actress attended the second viewing with a friend and her little daughter, who kept wondering how she could be in two places at once. Channing felt that her character Rizzo's appeal was in her vulnerability.

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In 2017, the actress appeared in a play on Broadway. The play had a 16-week run, and she commended the people she was working with during that time.

More recently, she spoke about her appearance on "The West Wing." She starred as first lady Dr. Abigail Barlet, wife of President Josiah Barlet, played by Martin Sheen.

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At that moment, they became one of the most beloved couples on TV. Speaking about their chemistry, she said:

"We had this chemistry from the beginning. I don't know what it was, but we had it and it didn't go away. It was a happy accident."

Of all the roles she's played in her life, playing Rizzo on "Grease" and Dr. Barlet on "The West Wing" top her list as the most memorable. She's kept a low profile in more recent years, with her last appearance being on the press night performance of "Ian McKellen On Stage" at Duke Of York's Theatre on March 7, 2019 in London, England.

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