Emmy-winning actress Stockard Channing’s name is back in the news, and it has nothing to do with her role in the 1978 musical “Grease”. This time, the focus is squarely on Channing’s 1993 film “Six Degrees of Separation”.
In an advanced excerpt from the autobiography of movie star Will Smith, “Will”, obtained by People magazine, the actor revealed he fell in love with Channing while filming a comedy-tinged mystery drama. In “Six Degrees of Separation,” Smith’s character, Paul Poitier, falls in love with Channing’s character, Louisa “Ouisa” Kittredge. And so, in a little air of “art imitating life”, the actor fell in love with his co-star.
Although Smith said Channing kept the relationship strictly professional, he noted that he was having difficulties outside of work because he and his then-wife, Sheree Zampino, were in the “first months of our marriage to a brand new baby “. The actor also wrote about his perception of Zampino’s perspective in the situation. He explained: “She had married a guy named Will Smith, and now she was living with a guy named Paul Poitier, and, to make matters worse, while filming I fell in love with Stockard Channing.”
Smith previously admitted his infatuation with Channing in a 2015 interview with Squire, recounting how his method of acting on “Six Degrees” played with his psychology. He told the magazine: “So the movie was over, and I came home, and I was dying to see Stockard. I was like, ‘Oh no! What did I do? ‘ This was my last experience with Method, where you reprogram your mind. “
Smith’s revelations are compelling, but the renewed focus on Channing is a reminder that she has slowly moved away from the spotlight in recent years.
Stockard Channing first struck as Rizzo in Grease
Many moviegoers know Stockard Channing for her definitive performance as Rizzo, the Pink Ladies’ lead bad girl in “Grease,” where she starred alongside John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. “Grease” was a pivotal role for Channing, who immediately switched to a pair of his own star vehicles with two CBS shows: “Stockard Channing in Just Friends” in 1979 and “The Stockard Channing Show” in 1980 (via IMDb).
The prolific actor went on to land dozens of roles over the following decades, including her best Oscar nominated actress tour in “Six Degrees of Separation” (via Weekly entertainment) followed by films such as “The First Wives Club” in 1996 and “Practical Magic” in 1998. Channing continued her career in television in 1999. Around this time, she appeared in the recurring role of First Lady Abbey Bartlet opposite President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen) in the Emmy-winning NBC political drama “The West Wing”. She played the character for seven seasons until 2007, according to her IMDb profile, and earned a Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2002, as well as four additional nominations in the category.
While Channing has moved on to a recurring role in CBS legal drama “The Good Wife” from 2012 to 2016, the actor’s resume has been relatively sparse in recent years, asking the question, “What is it? arrived at Stockard Channing? “
Stockard Channing lives in the UK and has returned to the stage
Stockard Channing, alumnus of “Grease” and “The West Wing”, has slowly migrated east in recent years. According to Bangor Daily News in 2012, she made her home in Georgetown, Cumberland County, Maine during the summers. However, she kept her home in Los Angeles when she worked on the West Coast (via Forbes).
According to Sunday Times, Channing moved from Maine to the UK in 2019. She has been living on her own since the death of cinematographer Dan Gillham, her partner of 25 years, five years ago. Having previously worked in London’s West End in 2017 in the play “Apologia” (via Sunday Times), Channing recently returned to the UK stage in “Night, Mother”, where she receives rave reviews (via the Standard Evening). Although Channing still has a few US projects in the works, most notably the comedy feature “Lapham Rising” (via IMDb) facing Bobby Cannavale – his decision to move to the UK seems firm. According to Los Angeles Times, the actor sold his Los Angeles home in June 2020 for $ 2.7 million.