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Can you believe it's been 45 years since the hit movie Grease first premiered in 1978? While it's easy for us to keep up with the big-name stars like John Travolta, who played the hunky Danny Zuko in love with the late Olivia Newton-John's straight-laced Sandy, we often wonder what happened to some of the smaller characters of the film. Case in point: Have you ever thought about what happened to Patty Simcox, Rydell High's super enthusiastic head cheerleader?
We sure have… and discovered that Susan Buckner — the actress who brought the perky Patty to life — is now 70 years old and has had an amazing life. And while she may no longer be taking on movie roles she is still engaging with fans and embracing their love for Patty. Here, we catch up with one of the most memorable back-up characters in Grease … and you won't believe how gorgeous she is!
Patty Simcox, a stand-out character
Amongst the big names of the Grease cast were a handful of lesser known actors and actresses, who, despite their minor roles, shined just as brightly as their widely-recognized counterparts — and Buckner was one of them.
Buckner's character Patty Simcox — best known as the goody two-shoes who asks Sandy to join the cheerleading squad and gets kicked off the bench by Rizzo during the "Summer Nights" dance number — became a fan favorite for her over-the-top enthusiasm and slapstick comic relief.
While she was often the butt of many jokes made by the Pink Ladies and the T-Birds (like when Kenickie pulled up her dress during the taping of the National Dance-Off), no one's laughing at how well she's aged!
Susan Buckner before she was Patty Simcox
Even though the directors of Grease often hid Buckner's beauty behind a large pair of cat-eye glasses and grating personality, there's no denying that even as a youngster, she was quite a looker. In 1971, she was crowned Miss Washington and later qualified for the Miss America pageant in 1972, where she won first in the preliminary swimsuit portion.
Her beauty and pageant participation led her to become one of Dean Martin's Golddiggers, which also contributed to her early interest in music and songwriting.
Buckner was even a part of two music groups — "Fantasy," an all-girl group and "Buckner and Pratt," a musical duo. She also continued working as a dancer, appearing on shows like The Brady Bunch Variety Hour and even became a synchronized swimmer from 1976 to 1977.
What Susan Buckner did after Grease
After Grease wrapped up, so did Buckner's acting career. She appeared in one other film — a 1981 horror movie directed by scream king Wes Craven called Deadly Blessing. She had a few TV roles in shows like The Love Boat in 1979, B.J. and the Bear in 1979 and When the Whistle Blows in 1980, but her acting career ultimately fizzled out.
Susan Buckner today
Over the years Bucker has kept a relatively low profile, but still partakes in events promoting the original Grease and interacting with fans. Such as the 2006 release of the Grease Rockin' Rydell Edition DVD (she looks stunning!)
More recently, she's been out and about alongside some of her Grease co-stars in 2018 at a theatre expo in New Jersey!
Today, Buckner continues to lead a quiet life, and according to her website, SusanBuckner.com, resides in Seattle, Los Angeles, Miami and is a mother to two sons. Here are best scene stealers from Grease… long live the "bad seed of Rydell high", Patty Simcox!
For more stories on 70s stars, keep reading!