Beloved ‘Grease’ Actress Dead at 72

On May 7, news broke that beloved actress Susan Buckner has passed away. She was 72 years old.

Many people will recognize Buckner for her role in the cult classic Grease where she played Patty Simcox, the bubbly do-good cheerleader who was friends with Sandy, played by the late Olivia Newton-John.

According to a statement released by Buckner’s family, the actress passed away five days ago on May 2.

“Susan died peacefully on May 2 surrounded by loved ones,” Melissa Berthier, a publicist for the family, told People.

In an additional statement shared by Buckner’s daughter, Samatha Mansfield, she called her mom her best friend. “The light she brought into every room will be missed forever. She was magic, and I was very lucky to call her my best friend.”

Prior to her life as an actress, Buckner was a successful pageant queen. In 1971, she was crowed Miss Washington and went on to compete at the Miss America pageant, Deadline reports.

After retiring as a pageant queen, Buckner got her start as one of The Golddiggers, an all-female singing and dancing group featured on The Dean Martin Show, according to Deadline.

In her later years, People reports that Buckner would go on to encourage the next generation of actors when she became a director for the children’s theater at a Florida elementary school.

She also taught dance at a gym in Coral Gables.

Her cause of death has not been shared publicly.

She is survived by her two children, Samantha and Adam, four grandchildren, and her longtime partner, Al.