Stockard Channing was born in New York City and grew up on the Upper East Side. After attending Radcliffe College to study History and Literature, she joined the experimental Theatre Company of Boston and her acting career took off, making her off-Broadway debut in 1969 with the company's production of Adaptation/Next by Elaine May. Two years later, she made her Broadway debut in the new musical Two Gentlemen of Verona.
With this early success in her career in musical theatre, it is no surprise that Channing is most famously known for her performance in another musical, this time on film - Grease. Released in 1978, Channing's performance as Betty Rizzo is legendary. Channing also returned to the musical stage in 2008 for a revival of Pal Joey on Broadway, singing the iconic song "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" in the role of Vera Simpson.
Other Broadway credits include her Tony Award winning performance in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, as well as starring in The House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation, Four Baboons Adoring the Sun, The Lion in Winter, Other Desert Cities and It's Only A Play.
Channing repeated her Tony Award-nominated performance in Six Degrees of Separation in London's West End in 1991 and on film in 1993, for which she was nominated for best actress at the Oscars. In 2007, she starred in Awake and Sing at the Almeida Theatre, and a decade later was in Apologia at Trafalgar Studios.
Her television work includes her Emmy Award-winning performance as Abbey Bartlett, the First Lady, in the hugely successful series The West Wing, and more recently for guest appearances in The Good Wife.