Stockard Channing: The star from ‘Grease’ is 80 & looks unrecognizable now

After all these years, I don’t think there’s ever been a more charismatic or relatable Rizzo than Stockard Channing.

Channing was a great artist and her singing was just fantastic in Grease – but nowadays, the 80-year-old looks almost unrecognizable.

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The first movie I ever saw Stockard Channing in was called The Big Bus and I thought it was hilarious. But back then, I could never imagine that she would go on and have such a remarkable career.

Today, Stockard Channing is best known for her iconic portrayal of Betty Rizzo in Grease, the 1978 American musical romantic comedy film based on the 1971 musical of the same name. Like many before me have pointed out, Channing was by far the best Rizzo out of all that have played the part.

Many probably also recognize Channing from the series The West Wing, where she starred as First Lady Abbey Bartlet. The experienced actress was praised for her instant chemistry with Martin Sheen, who played President Josiah Barlet.

“It just worked,” she told Entertainment Weekly in 2020.

“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.”

Starring as Beth Rizzo

But let’s take a deeper look at the highlight of Channing’s career. Because in the name of honesty, she hasn’t appeared in any major motion picture since Grease, even though she has continued to act in films and on Broadway.

The 13-time Emmy Award nominee and seven-time Tony Award nominee appears to be totally fine with being most remembered for her portrayal of bad girl Beth Rizzo, one of the Pink Ladies in Grease.

But is that really the whole truth?

Back in 1973, Channing had little breakthrough starring in the TV-movie The Girl Most Likely to…, a black comedy about revenge.

“A lot of people talk about the G-word [Grease] and all of that, but back in the day, I had as many people stop me in the street about that one movie. Because it’s about revenge, and people would sit in their living rooms and go, ‘Oh, I’m the only person watching this’ or ‘this person understands me.’ I’m not kidding. It was a million years ago, and then it was the highest-rated movie of the week. Revenge always works,” she says.

According to Channing, she has only watched Grease only two times.

“I used to be grumpy about Grease because I thought it was a kids’ movie or something. But now it’s sort of amazing. I’m very proud of it,” she told The Times in 2019.

The Manhattan-born actress was 33 years old when she played Rizzo and playing a high school teenager wasn’t so easy for her.

Wikipedia Commons

”I was so much older than she was in life, but I could not think about that so I sort of threw myself back to what I felt when I was her age over, even younger. The complexity of adolescents and hormones and sexuality and all of that other stuff. Seeing that I really was older I think that added to the isolation of Rizzo,” Channing told Broadway World.

Channing, who became interested in acting at an early age, was thrilled when she was offered the role of Rizzo, and her performance made her a top-ranking star in the late 1970s. She earned a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture Supporting Actress, but the New York native had difficulty achieving similar success after Grease.

The beloved actress was handed two sitcoms of her own, Stockard Channing in Just Friends (1979) and The Stockard Channing Show (1980), but neither was successful and her career halted.

But with her look of Elizabeth Taylor and air of calm confidence, Channing didn’t give up and she continued to work as an actress, appearing in many highly-praised movies and stage plays. Her latest appearance on the big screen came was in Angry Neighbors, which premiered in 2022.

Stockard Channing in 2011 / Wikipedia Commons / Sean Koo

A Cat and a Newborn Went Viral for Being Best Friends but People Are Worried, «Please Be Careful»

In the world of pet companionship, dogs often steal the spotlight for their perceived loyalty and affection towards humans, especially babies. Cats, on the other hand, have long been labeled as solitary and indifferent. But a heartening video shared on TikTok challenges this stereotype, showcasing the remarkable bond between a protective feline named Teddy and his human baby brother, William.

A bond that started from day one.

© williamandteddy / TikTok

From the moment William entered the household, Teddy, the family cat, embraced him with open paws, assuming the role of a caring and watchful «big brother.» Contrary to expectations, Teddy didn’t display an ounce of jealousy but instead showered the newborn with affection and protection, much to the delight and surprise of his owners.

Capturing these precious moments on camera, William’s parents shared their growing friendship on TikTok, where it quickly gained attention from viewers worldwide. In the videos, Teddy is seen gently interacting with William, ensuring his safety and even playfully engaging with him in his baby seat. It’s evident that Teddy sees William as his own, forming an inseparable bond that transcends species.

One video went viral.

© williamandteddy / TikTok

William and Teddy’s TikTok videos are a massive hit, with one in particular reaching almost 12 million views. Witnessing the cat’s tender and affectionate behavior towards the baby brings joy to all who watch their interactions. Whether it’s sleeping next to him, keeping watch over his dreams, or delicately holding him with his paws, the cat’s unwavering commitment to the baby is evident. Refusing to leave his side, the cat seems to intuitively understand the fragility and vulnerability of the little one, embodying a protective presence that touches the hearts of all who witness their bond.

Happy comments flooded in.

© williamandteddy / TikTok

The touching videos shared by William’s parents evoke a range of emotions from viewers, with many expressing admiration for Teddy’s unwavering devotion to his baby brother. Comments flooding the videos reflect the universal appeal of their bond, with some jokingly suggesting that William may have become Teddy’s surrogate. «Could anything be more precious?» one user mentioned. Indeed, Teddy’s nurturing instincts and affectionate behavior have earned him the title of a first-rate babysitter in the eyes of his adoring fans.

While others worried about the cat and baby close together.

© williamandteddy / TikTok

Some people expressed concerns about allowing pets near newborns. In one of the videos, we can see comments saying «Please be careful.» Allowing cats near babies is a matter of personal choice and depends on various factors, including the temperament of the cat, the health and safety concerns of the baby, and the supervision provided by the parents or caregivers.

While many cats can coexist peacefully with newborns and even develop strong bonds with them, it’s essential to exercise caution and take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of both the baby and the cat. However, Teddy and William’s interactions challenge preconceived notions about cats’ personalities and showcase the depth of empathy and compassion these creatures are capable of displaying.

© williamandteddy / TikTok

As Teddy continues to watch over William, offering comfort and companionship in his own feline way, their story serves as a heartening reminder of the transformative power of love, transcending boundaries of species and age. In a world often divided by differences, the pure and unconditional bond between a cat and a baby provides hope and warmth, reminding us of the inherent goodness that exists within us all.

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