Grease star Susan Buckner dead at 72

Susan Buckner has died credit:Bang Showbiz
Susan Buckner has died credit:Bang Showbiz

Susan Buckner has died at the age of 72.

The actress - who was best known for playing cheerleader Patty Simcox in the 1978 musical 'Grease' - passed away last week, but no cause of death has been revealed to the public.

Her publicist Melissa Berthier said in a statement: “Susan died peacefully on May 2 surrounded by loved ones."

Susan's daughter, Samantha Mansfield, paid tribute to her mother and "best friend".

She told People magazine: "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."

Susan was crowned Miss Washington in 1971 before representing the state at Miss America the following year.

She went on to become a member of The Golddiggers, an all-female singing and dancing group that featured on The Dean Martin Show', which led to her becoming part of an all-girl group called Fantasy and one half of a musical duo known as Buckner and Pratt.

'Grease' was her defining acting role, but she also appeared in films including 'Police Academy 6: City Under Siege' and 'Wes Craven's Deadly Blessing', TV shows such as 'The Love Boat', and telefilm 'The Amazing Howard Hughes', but in the 1980s, she stepped back from her career to raise Samantha and her son, Adam Josephs.

Later in life, she taught dance at a local gym and directed children's theatre at an elementary school in Florida.

As well as her children, Susan is also survived by her grandchildren Oliver, Riley, Abigail and Ruby, sister Linda, daughter-in-law Noel and son-in-law Adam, and her longtime partner, Al.

Donations in her memory can be made to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami.