Betty Lynn Buckley (born July 3, 1947) is an American stage, film and television actress, and singer. She starred from 1977 to 1981 on the ABC series Eight is Enough, before going on to win the 1983 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as Grizabella in the original Broadway production of Cats. Her other musical roles include playing Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard from 1994 to 1996, in both London and New York, receiving an Olivier Award nomination. She is a 2012 American Theater Hall of Fame inductee. Buckley made her Broadway debut in 1969 playing Martha Jefferson in the original production of the musical 1776. Other Broadway musical credits include Pippin (1973) and Drood (1985). She played gym teacher Ms. Collins in the 1976 Brian de Palma film Carrie and went on to star in the short-lived Broadway musical version of Carrie in 1988, this time playing Carrie's mother, Margaret White. She received a Tony Award nomination for the 1997 musical Triumph of Love, and Grammy Award nominations for The Diaries of Adam and Eve (1999) and Stars and the Moon: Live at the Donmar (2001). Her other film roles include Dixie Scott in Tender Mercies (1983), Sondra Walker in Frantic (1988), Kathy in Another Woman (1988) and Mrs. Jones in The Happening (2008). She also had a recurring role in the HBO series Oz (2001–03). In the 2010s, her stage work includes Dear World (2013) in London, and The Old Friends (2013) and Grey Gardens (2015) in New York. Early life Betty Lynn Buckley was born in Big Spring, Texas and raised in Fort Worth, the daughter of Betty Bob (née Diltz), a dancer and journalist, and Ernest Lynn Buckley, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and former dean of engineering at South Dakota State University. She is the oldest of their four children. She has three brothers—Norman Buckley is a film editor and TV director, and Patrick and Michael Buckley are engineers. While a student at Texas Christian University (TCU), she was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha and crowned "Miss Fort Worth" in 1966 and was runner-up in the Miss Texas competition. Buckley was then invited to perform at the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, and it was there that she was spotted by a talent scout. After returning to TCU to earn her college degree, she toured Asia to visit soldiers wounded in the Vietnam War. After this, she worked for a time as a reporter for the Fort Worth Press, but went to New York City in 1969, where she landed the role of Martha Jefferson in 1776 her first day in town. Career Stage and screen career Buckley made her Broadway debut in 1969 in the original production of the musical 1776; she has been called "The Voice of Broadway" by New York magazine. She is perhaps best known for the 1977–81 TV dramedy Eight Is Enough. She joined the show in its second season when the original star, Diana Hyland, died after the first four episodes of season one. Hyland's character (Joan Bradford) died, and Buckley was cast as the widower's new romantic interest, Sandra Sue Abbott (nicknamed Abby), who became stepmother of the eight children to which the series' title refers. Buckley appeared in the original movie version of Carrie in 1976, playing Miss Collins, Carrie's gym teacher. She would go on to appear as Margaret White in the 1987 musical adaptation of the film on Broadway. In 1977, she recorded an uncredited solo on the song "Walking in Space", in the movie Hair. In 1982, Buckley starred as Grizabella in the original Broadway production of the musical Cats, which features the song "Memory". She would stay with the production for eighteen months. For this role, she won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Screen roles during the 1980s include Bruce Beresford's film Tender Mercies, where she played a country singer and sang the Academy Award nominated song "Over You". She also appeared in the Woody Allen film Another Woman (1988), Roman Polanski's Frantic (1988), Lawrence's Kasden's Wyatt Earp (1994) and M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening (2008). On television, she received two Daytime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Program/Special, for NBC Special Treat - Bobby and Sarah (1984) and ABC Afterschool Special - Taking a Stand (1989). Buckley starred in both London (1994) and New York (1995) as Norma Desmond in the musical Sunset Boulevard. For her role in the London production, she received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. In 1997, she starred as Hesione in the Broadway musical Triumph of Love and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. In 2001–03, she played a role in seasons 4–6 of the HBO series Oz. She also has guest-starred in a number of television series, including Without a Trace, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Monk. She guest-starred in a Christmas special of the TV series Remember WENN, in which she sang "You Make It Christmas". Music career Buckley has recorded 16 solo albums, and performs in concert across the U.S. each year. She is also a composer; her first recording contains mostly songs she wrote. She is also featured on many Broadway compilation recordings, and on the original cast recording of 1776, the Original Broadway recording of Cats, the London recording of Promises, Promises, Triumph of Love and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. In 2002, Buckley was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Category, for her album Stars and the Moon: Live at the Donmar, which was recorded at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre in London. This was her second Grammy nomination, she had previously been nominated in 2000, in the Best Spoken Word Album category for The Diaries of Adam and Eve. Personal life Buckley was married to Peter Flood in 1972, divorced in 1979, and has no children. She lives on a ranch in Texas and participates in NCHA cutting horse competitions while continuing to appear in films, television and theater and to sing concerts in a wide variety of venues. Buckley has also taught song interpretation and scene study for over 40 years. She conducts master classes in Fort Worth, New York City, Los Angeles and other cities around the country. Buckley's official website contains her concert and theater schedule, a detailed biography and timeline, and summaries of her singing and acting accomplishments.
[ Wikipedia ]
- Betty Lynn Buckley
July 03, 1947 (age 76)
- Peter Flood (1972–1979; divorced)