Betty Buckley, who has been called “The Voice of Broadway,” is one of theater’s most respected and legendary leading ladies. She is an actress/singer whose career spans theater, film, television and concert halls around the world. She is a 2012 Theater Hall of Fame inductee and the 2017 recipient of the Julie Harris Award from The Actor’s Fund for Artistic Achievement.
She won a Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella, the Glamour Cat, in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats.” She received her second Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a musical for her performance as Hesione in “Triumph of Love” and an Olivier Award nomination for her critically acclaimed interpretation of Norma Desmond in the London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard,” which she repeated to more rave reviews on Broadway.
Buckley added to her acclaimed work the role of Mama Rose in the great American musical “Gypsy” for the renowned Papermill Playhouse. Her other Broadway credits include Lloyd Webber’s “Song and Dance” and the role of Margaret White in the cult musical “Carrie”, for which she was nominated as Best Actress in a Musical by the Outer Critic’s Circle. She made her Broadway debut creating the role of Martha Jefferson in the musical “1776,” was Catherine in Bob Fosse’s “Pippin” and created the role of Edwin Drood for the New York Shakespeare Festival in “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” In London she starred as Countess Aurelia in Jerry Herman’s UK premiere of “Dear World” in 2013. She also starred as Fran Kubelik in the original London Company of “Promises, Promises,” for which she received a nomination for the Evening Standard Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Off-Broadway she starred in the world premiere of Horton Foote’s “The Old Friends” at The Signature Theatre in 2013 for which she received a Drama Desk Nomination. Other Off-Broadway credits include “White’s Lies” at New World Stages, William Finn’s critically acclaimed “Elegies” at Lincoln Center, The Vineyard Theatre’s production of Nicky Silver’s “The Eros Trilogy”, Second Stage’s production of “Juno’s Swans” and “Getting My Act Together and Taking It On The Road” at Circle in the Square produced by Joe Papp and the NY Public Theatre as well as the Huntington Hartford Theatre in Los Angeles.
In 2015, Buckley received rave reviews as Big Edie in “Grey Gardens” for the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY. She reprised this role at The Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in Summer 2016 for which she received an Ovation Award Nomination. Additional regional theater credits include reprising her role as Gertrude Hayhurst Sylvester Ratliff in “The Old Friends” for the Alley Theatre in Houston and in 2011, Buckley co-starred in “Arsenic and Old Lace” at the Dallas Theatre Center. She reprised the role of Jenny Diver in “Threepenny Opera” at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in the summer of 2003, a role for which she also received rave reviews in 1992.
At Hartford Stage, she played the role of Marguerite Gautier in Tennessee Williams’ “Camino Real,” starred in A.R. Gurney’s “Buffalo Gal” at Buffalo’s Studio Arena Theatre and in the McCarter Theatre’s production of “The Perfectionist” by Joyce Carol Oates.
Ms. Buckley most recently co-starred with James McAvoy in the new M. Night Shyamalan hit film Split released in January, 2017. She received a Saturn Award Nomination for Best Featured Actress for her work in the film. Split is currently one of the top international box office hits for 2017.
Her other films include her debut in Brian de Palma’s screen version of Stephen King’s Carrie, Bruce Beresford’s Tender Mercies, Roman Polanski’s Frantic, Woody Allen’s Another Woman, Lawrence Kasden’s Wyatt Earp and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening.
On television, Ms. Buckley most recently guest stars in a recurring role on the CW hit Supergirl. She was also a guest star on the NBC series Chicago Med and in the HBO series The Leftovers and Getting On. She appeared in The Pacific produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks in 2010 also for HBO. She was on the 2006 Kennedy Center Honors as part of the tribute to honoree Andrew Lloyd Webber. This was her second appearance on the Honors – her first was in 1983. For three seasons she played the role of Suzanne Fitzgerald in the HBO series Oz and starred for four seasons as Abby Bradford in the hit series Eight is Enough. She has guest starred on Pretty Little Liars, Without a Trace and Law & Order: SVU.
Other work on television includes starring roles in the mini-series “Roses for the Rich,” “Evergreen” and the television movie “Vinegar Hill”. She received two Emmy Award nominations for the After-School Specials: Bobby and Sarah and Taking a Stand, which was named outstanding Children’s Special of the Year and features a musical score co-written by Ms. Buckley, which was also nominated for an Emmy.
For PBS, she was the host for a special called The Women of Tin Pan Alley, and also starred in the Holiday Special for American Movie Classics’ Emmy Award-winning series Remember Wenn. The Bravo Cable Network has aired a documentary about her life and work called Betty Buckley in Concert and in Person.
She has recorded 17 CD’s, including her most recent recording “Story Songs” released by Palmetto Records in April, 2017. In 2014, “Ghostlight” was released which was produced by T Bone Burnett and “Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway” was released in August 2012 both on Palmetto Records and the “CD Bootleg: Boardmixes From the Road” consists of eight tracks recorded live straight from the soundboard at various concert halls around the world.
“Quintessence,” released by Playbill Records/Sony BMG in 2008, features her longtime collaboration with her ensemble of musicians. “Betty Buckley 1967,” was recorded by T-Bone Burnett when they were both 19 years old in Fort Worth, TX and was also released by Playbill Records/Sony BMG in October 2007.
Concord Records released her album, “Stars and the Moon, Betty Buckley Live at the Donmar” which received a 2002 Grammy nomination and was recorded live at the Donmar Warehouse in London. Image Entertainment released a video and DVD of the concert as well. In 2002, “The Doorway,” a 9-11 tribute album was released.
She received her second Grammy Nomination for the audio book “The Diaries of Adam and Eve.”
Ms. Buckley tours in concert worldwide with her ensemble of musicians headed by pianist/composer Christian Jacob. In 2015, she was featured in the Royal Albert Hall concert of “Follies” in celebration of Stephen Sondheim’s 85th birthday. Her fourth album, entitled “An Evening at Carnegie Hall”, was recorded live in 1996 at her triumphant sold-out Carnegie Hall debut, a benefit concert on behalf of “Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.”
For over forty years Ms. Buckley has been a teacher of scene study and song interpretation, giving workshops in Manhattan and various universities and performing arts conservatories. She has been a faculty member in the theatre and music departments of the University of Texas at Arlington and continues to teach regularly at Workshops in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Norman, Oklahoma and currently in Texas at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
In 2009, Ms. Buckley received the Texas Medal of the Arts Award in Theater and was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in Austin, TX in 2007. She received two honorary doctorates of fine arts for her contribution to the musical theatre by Marymount College and The Boston Conservatory. Other awards include “Showstopper of the Year” by Lancome of Paris and New York Woman magazine and the 1996 WCC “Civic Spirit” award. In 1999 she received a “Life in the Theatre” Award from the T. Schreiber Studio and in June of 2000 she received a “Last Frontier Award” at the Edward Albee Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre. Ms. Buckley has been honored with three Lifetime Achievement Awards for her contributions to theater from the New England Theater Conference, The Shubert Theater in New Haven and The Terry Schreiber School in NYC.
Solo, Duo, Trio, Band, & Symphony Performance Available
Meditations on Broadway: An Evening with Betty Buckley
Multi-Day Intensive Workshops Available