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Gretchen Corbett

Gretchen Hoyt Corbett is an American actress and theater director. She is primarily known for her roles in television, particularly as attorney Beth Davenport on the NBC series The Rockford Files, but has also had a prolific career as a stage actress on Broadway as well as in regional theater. A native of Oregon and the great-great-granddaughter of Oregon U.S. Senator Henry W. Corbett, she spent her early life in Camp Sherman and Portland, where she graduated from the Catlin Gabel School. Corbett studied drama at Carnegie Mellon University before making her stage debut in a production of Othello at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She subsequently appeared in lead roles on Broadway in After the Rain (1967) and Forty Carats (1968), opposite Julie Harris. She also starred off-Broadway in the title role of Iphigenia in Aulis (1968), and as Joan la Pucelle in Shakespeare's Henry VI, staged at Central Park's Delacorte Theater in 1970. She starred as Jeanne d'Arc in The Survival of St. Joan between 1970 and 1971. She made her feature film debut in the comedy Out of It (1969), followed by a supporting role in the cult horror film Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971). In 1972, Corbett signed a contract with Universal Studios, and appeared in numerous television films and series for the studio, while simultaneously working in summer stock theater on the East Coast. Between 1974 and 1978, she starred as the idealistic attorney Beth Davenport on the NBC series The Rockford Files, opposite James Garner. Corbett subsequently starred in the horror film Jaws of Satan (1981), and the drama Million Dollar Infield (1982), directed by Hal Cooper. For the majority of the 1980s, Corbett appeared in guest-starring roles on numerous television series, including Cheers (1983) and Magnum, P.I. (1981–1983), and starred in the short-lived Otherworld (1985). In 1988, she starred in the original workshop stage production of The Heidi Chronicles for the Seattle Repertory Theatre. She later had minor parts in the films Without Evidence (1995) and A Change of Heart (1998). Since the 2000s, Corbett has served as the artistic director of the Portland-based Haven Project, a theater project serving underprivileged children, and appeared in numerous stage productions at the Portland Center Stage as well as the city's Third Rail Repertory. She returned to television with a recurring character on the IFC series Portlandia in 2013, and had a guest-starring role on the Hulu series Shrill in 2019.
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