Betty Buckley

    Born on 03 Jul 1947 (Age 73) Fort Worth, Texas

    Betty Buckley Biography

    Betty Lynn Buckley is a Tony Award-winning American theater, film, and television actress and singer.

    Buckley was born in Fort Worth, Texas, the daughter of Betty Bob (née Diltz), a dancer and journalist, and Ernest Buckley, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and former dean of engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is the eldest of their four children. She has three brothers – where her brother Norman Buckley is a movie and television producer.

    While a student at Texas Christian University, she was crowned "Miss Fort Worth" in 1966 and was the runner-up in the Miss Texas competition. Buckley was then invited to perform at the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, and it was there that she was spotted by a talent scout. After returning to T.C.U. to earn her college degree, she toured Asia to visit soldiers wounded in the Vietnam War. After this, she worked for a time as a reporter for the Fort Worth newspaper, but went to New York City in 1969 at the age of 21, where she landed a part in 1776.

    Stage And Screen Career

    Buckley made her Broadway debut in 1969 and has been called "The Voice of Broadway" by New York Magazine. Her rendition of "Memory" in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats established her reputation. Buckley has recorded 13 solo albums and now tours extensively across the U.S. each year. She is also a composer - her first recording contains mostly songs she wrote. She is also featured on many Broadway compilation recordings.

    Buckley has covered many songs by country music singer Mary Chapin Carpenter during her shows. She has professed that the country singer is among her favorite "musical-poet-songwriter-singers." Carpenter once attended one of Buckley's performances and afterwards presented her with a personal letter of thanks. Buckley keeps the note in a frame and has said that receiving it was "one of the highlights of my life."

    Buckley sang "Memory" from Cats at the Kennedy Center Honors in December 2006 as part of the tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber. In 2007, Buckley appeared with Quintessence at Lincoln Center in its Great American Songbook series.

    She is perhaps best known for the 1977-81 TV dramedy Eight is Enough. She joined the show in its second season after the original star, Diana Hyland, died after the first four episodes of season 1. Hyland's character (Joan Bradford) died, and Buckley was cast as Sandra Sue Abbott (nicknamed Abby), who went on to become stepmother to the 'eight' kids to which the series' title refers.

    Buckley also gave a much-remembered performance in the original movie version of Carrie in 1976. She played Miss Collins, Carrie's gym teacher. In 1977, she recorded a solo on the song "Walking in Space," in the movie Hair.

    She played the role of a country singer in Bruce Beresford's film Tender Mercies (1982), in which she sang the awarded song "Over You." In 1987, Buckley appeared on Broadway as Margaret White in the musical adaption of Carrie (she earlier starred in the movie adaption of Carrie as the gym teacher, Miss Collins), she also appeared in the Woody Allen's film Another Woman (1988) and in Roman Polanski's Frantic (1988).

    In 2001-03, she played a role in seasons 4-6 of the HBO series Oz. She also has guest-starred in a number of television series, including Without a Trace, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Monk. She guest-starred in a Christmas Special of the Television Series "Remember Wenn" and sang the memorable Christmas song "You Make It Christmas". In addition, she served as the producer of the PBS series Wishbone.

    She also appeared in the 2008 horror movie The Happening.

    Music Career

    Buckley has made 13 solo albums and now performs extensively across the U.S. each year in venues such as the Cafe Carlyle and The Blue Note in New York City and the Cinegrill in Los Angeles. She frequently performs with her band, Quintessence. One of Quintessence's members is Kenny Werner, well-known jazz pianist - he has played and arranged for her for over 17 years. They continue to work closely together on arrangements for songs they perform.

    A new album with Quintessence was released on February 14, 2008.

    In 2008, Buckley appeared at Feinstein's at The Regency, made a debut at the Birdland Jazz Club (September) and at the Kennedy Center in October for "An Evening with Betty Buckley" curated by Barbara Cook.

    Personal Life

    Buckley was married in 1972 and divorced in 1979, and has never had children. She lives on a ranch in Parker County, Texas, and participates in NCHA cutting horse competitions while continuing to give concerts across the country. Her father is deceased, but her mother lives a short distance away; recently Mrs. Buckley came on stage during a concert in Fort Worth and sang with her daughter.

    Buckley also has been a teacher of song interpretation and communication for over thirty years and teaches at the University of Texas at Arlington. In addition, Betty Buckley conducts master classes at Fort Worth's Casa Mañana playhouse. She has trained investment bankers and business professionals from many fields.

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