Gretchen Corbett, better known for her role as attorney Beth Davenport on the NBC series “The Rockford Files,” is the proud mother of a grownup daughter who is now following her steps into the acting industry.
Veteran actress Gretchen Corbett has a long-lasting career that spans over five decades, and even though she’s now in her 70s and retired from the screen, she still takes the stage on local theater in her native Portland, Oregon.
Gretchen Corbett as Beth Davenport | Photo: GettyImages
GRETCHEN CORBETT’S CAREER
Corbett comes from a family that helped develop Oregon back in the 1800s’. Her great-grandfather was Senator Henry Winslow Corbett, who was a crucial figure in the growth of the city with investments in banking, insurance, stage lines, railways, and more.
As a teenager, Gretchen was an apprentice with the Carnival Theatre camp at the University of Oregon. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Tech—now the Carnegie Mellon University—to study drama.
Gretchen Corbett on "Arson and Old Lace," 1975 | Photo: GettyImages
She made her theater debut playing Desdemona in a production of “Othello” in 1966, and afterward, continued doing local plays before she earned the role of Sonya Banks in the Broadway production of “After the Rain.”
Gretchen’s debut on the screen was in the 1967 series “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing,” and two years later, she debuted on film with the comedy “Out of It.” She also appeared in the cult film “Let's Scare Jessica to Death,” and starred as Jeanne d'Arc in a production of “The Survival of St. Joan.”
People still remember Gretchen Corbett’s performance as the villain Erica Belgard in “Wonder Woman,” in 1976.
HER BIG BREAK
In 1974, Corbett joined the cast of NBC's “The Rockford Files” as Beth Davenport, the lawyer and sometimes girlfriend of the main character Jim Rockford, portrayed by James Garner.
The show ran for six seasons from 1974 to 1980, but Corbett left after the fourth season after having a dispute over her contract with the series’ producers.
Corbett kept making small appearances in films through the ‘80s but mainly focused on her theater work. She also reprised her role as Beth Davenport in the “Rockford Files” television films in the ‘90s.
In 2013, she landed a recurring role on the IFC series “Portlandia,” and also directed the play “Bo-Nita” at Portland Center Stage.
Her most recent acting role was in the Hulu series “Shrill” in 2019.
Corbett is also the creative director of the Haven Project, a theater workshop for under-served children in Portland.
James Franciscus and actress Gretchen Corbett on set of the movie "Secrets of Three Hungry Wives" in 1978 | Photo: GettyImages
MEET HER BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER
Although Corbett never got married, she has a beautiful 40-year-old daughter with actor Robin Gammell.
Winslow Corbett, born in 1979, is also an actress. She grew up traveling in between Los Angeles and Portland with her mom and attended The Catlin Gabel School through middle and high school, followed by two years in the acting conservatory at SUNY Purchase.
Winslow, who maintains a strikingly youthful appearance, built a name for herself in the theater community with her performance of Elaine Robinson in several stage versions of “The Graduate.”
She has an impressive resume in theater, with plays like “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “The Foreigner,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Amadeus” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Like her mom, Corbett has also shown her talents on the screen. She appeared in the 1998 film “A Change of Heart,” the series “Submissions Only,” and had recurring roles in “The Digressions” and HBO's “Veep.”
On top of her tight schedule, Winslow also makes time to help her mom run the Haven Project.
Some of her most recent work includes the plays “Gaslight,” “The Deer and the Antelope,” “Three Sisters,” and the reading series of “The Realistic Joneses” at the Harbor Stage Company in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.
According to her page, Winslow is fluent in French and knows how to play the piano and do ballroom dance. She also enjoys drawing, painting, and photography, and sometimes works as a producer behind the cameras.