Date of Birth : Feb 13th 1944
Channing made her television debut on Sesame Street in the role of the The Number Painter’s victim. She landed her first lead role in the 1973 television movie The Girl Most Likely to…, a black comedy written by Joan Rivers.
After a few small parts in feature films, Channing co-starred with Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson in Mike Nichols’ The Fortune (1975). In 1978, at the age of 33, she took on the role of high school teenager Betty Rizzo in the hit musical Grease. Her performance earned her the People’s Choice Awards for Favorite Motion Picture Supporting Actress. That year, she also played Peter Falk’s secretary in Neil Simon’s film The Cheap Detective.
Channing’s film career was re-energized in 1993 when she reprised her lead role as an Upper East Side matron in the film version of Six Degrees of Separation. She was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award for her performance. She then made several films in quick succession: To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar and Smoke (all 1995); a cameo appearance in The First Wives Club, Up Close and Personal, and Moll Flanders (all 1996).
Channing kept busy with film, television and stage roles throughout the late 1990s. She starred in the USA Network film An Unexpected Family in 1996 and in its sequel, An Unexpected Life, in 1998. She was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award as Best Supporting Female for her performance as one-half of an infertile couple in The Baby Dance (also 1998).
Channing was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress three times in the 1990s: in 1991, for Six Degrees of Separation; in 1992, for Four Baboons Adoring the Sun; and in 1999, for The Lion in Winter.
Channing received several awards in 2002. She won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work on The West Wing. That same year, she also won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress in a Television Movie or Miniseries for her portrayal of Judy Shepard in The Matthew Shepard Story, a docudrama about Matthew Shepard’s life and murder. Finally, Channing received the 2002 London Film Critics Circle Award (ALFS) for Best Actress of the Year for her role in the film The Business of Strangers.