Learn your Defying Gravity concert stars well! Betty Buckley

By Bec Caton
February 10, 2016

If you’re a fan of international musical theatre, you won’t want to miss this exciting musical event! It has a stellar line up of performers – headlined by none other than Tony Award-winning Sutton Foster and Broadway heartthrob Aaron Tveit, and features renowned West End star Joanna Ampil, Broadway and film icon Betty Buckley, and two of Australia’s own talents Helen Dallimore and David Harris.

At the concert you’ll hear Stephen Schwartz classics such as Day by Day, Colors of the Wind, When You Believe, Popular, Corner of the Sky, Beautiful City, Meadowlark and, of course, Defying Gravity.
In the lead up to the concert, we want to make sure you know everything you need to know about these talented stars, and about Stephen Schwartz, the man behind the magic, so we have created a handy series of beginners’ guides to all these big names! Next in the series is legend of stage and screen, Betty Buckley. Put your learning caps on, and make sure to book your tickets now – they’re selling fast!

Betty Buckley 101

Who she is:

Betty Buckley is a theatre legend, whose career has spanned not only across theatre, film and television but also across nations. She has been called ‘The Voice of Broadway’ by New York Magazine, and is a legendary leading lady of stage and screen.

Buckley made her Broadway debut in 1969 in the musical 1776, from there she’s gone on to have a hugely successful career on Broadway. In 1982, Buckley won a Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella in Cats. Buckley starred as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, first in London in 1994, earning an Olivier Award nomination, and then on Broadway in 1995. She received another Tony Award nomination for her performance as Hesione in Triumph of Love in 1997.

Buckley has also had a successful and long lasting career in television and film. Most notably, she starred from 1977-81 in the TV dramedy Eight is Enough, a recurring guest role in Pretty Little Liars and a guest star in Without a Trace, Law & Order and Getting On.

Her film debut was Brian de Palma’s screen version of Stephen King’s Carrie, and since then she has also starred in Bruce Beresford’s Tender Mercies, Roman Polanski’s Frantic, and Woody Allen’s Another Woman, amongst others.

For over forty years, Buckley has been a teacher of scene study and song interpretation, offering workshops in Manhattan and at various universities across the US.


Shows she’s worked on:

1776 (Broadway), Promises, Promises (West End), What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a State Like This (Off-Broadway), Pippin (Broadway), I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road (New York/LA), Cats (Broadway), Song and Dance (Broadway), Drood (Broadway), Carrie (Broadway), Gypsy (Arizona and Paper Mill Playhouse), Sunset Boulevard (West End and Broadway), Triumph of Love (Broadway), Elegies: A Song Cycle (Lincoln Center), The Threepenny Opera (Williamstown), White’s Lies (Off-Broadway), Dear World (West End), The Old Friends (Off-Broadway), Grey Gardens (New York).


Buckley received a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Grizabella in Cats in 1982. She was also nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Sunset Boulevard in 1994, and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in Triumph of Love in 1997.

In 2000, Buckley received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word Album for her album The Diaries of Adam and Eve. In 2002, Buckley was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for her album Stars and the Moon: Live at the Donmar.

In 2004, Buckley received a Legend of Cabaret Award. In 2007, she was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame, and in 2012 was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

Fun Fact:

Buckley has recorded 16 solo albums, and she is also a composer; her first recording contains mostly songs she wrote.