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Gretchen Corbett

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Residence  Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Name  Gretchen Corbett
Occupation  Actress
Role  Actress
Years active  1967-present
Children  Winslow Corbett
Partner(s)  Robin Gammell

Gretchen Corbett smiles in gray background wearing a sleeve

Born  August 13, 1947 (age 76) (1947-08-13) Camp Sherman, Oregon, U.S.
Alma mater  Carnegie Mellon University
Parents  Katherine Minahen Corbett, Henry Ladd Corbett, Jr.
Education  Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Known for  The Rockford Files, Let's Scare Jessica to Death
Movies and TV shows  The Rockford Files, Let's Scare Jessica to Death, Jaws of Satan, Otherworld, The Cay
Similar People  Winslow Corbett, Stuart Margolin, Joe Santos, Robin Gammell, Noah Beery - Jr

Gretchen corbett

Gretchen Hoyt Corbett (born August 13, 1945) is an American actress most noted for the role of Beth Davenport on the television series The Rockford Files from 1974 to 1978. Though Corbett has predominantly worked in television, she also gained notoriety for her role in the cult horror film Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971). She has also appeared as a recurring character on the IFC series Portlandia, beginning in 2013.


Gretchen Corbett standing and holding a glass of water while wearing a swimsuit

Interview with Sam Groom and Gretchen Corbett

Early life

Gretchen Corbett in fierce look while wearing a swimsuit

Corbett was born in 1945 in Camp Sherman, Oregon to Henry Ladd Corbett, Jr. and Katherine Minahen (née Coney) "Kay" Corbett. She is a great-great-granddaughter of Oregon pioneer and Senator Henry W. Corbett. She studied drama at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Tech before its merger with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research to form Carnegie Mellon University in 1967.

Film and television

Movie scene of Gretchen Corbett as Christine Richards in Magnum, P.I.
The Curse of the King Kamehameha Club (1981)

One of Corbett's first television roles was on ABC's short-lived police detective show, N.Y.P.D., in 1968. In an episode called The Case of the Shady Lady, Corbett played a dancer who tries to make her husband's suicide into a murder for the insurance money. She had supporting roles in Out of It with Jon Voight (1969), and as a mute in Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971).

Young Gretchen Corbett in black and white

In 1973, Corbett moved to Los Angeles under contract to Universal Studios, as one of the last "contract players" of the studio contract system. Her first role under contract was an episode of the detective series Kojak: Conspiracy of Fear in 1973. She had recurring roles on Marcus Welby, M.D., Otherworld, Ellery Queen, and Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, and guest roles on such series as Wonder Woman, Emergency!, Barnaby Jones, Hawaii Five-O, Columbo: An Exercise in Fatality, Gunsmoke, McMillan & Wife, Barbary Coast, Banacek, One Day at a Time, Family, Otherworld, Murder, She Wrote, Cheers, and Magnum, P.I.

The Rockford Files: 1974-1978

Gretchen Corbett smiles while interviewing

In 1974 Corbett joined the cast NBC's The Rockford Files where she played Beth Davenport, the beleaguered lawyer and sometimes lover of series lead Jim Rockford, a private investigator portrayed by James Garner. Corbett left the series at the end of the fourth season over a dispute between the show's producers and Universal, who owned Corbett's contract as a contract player. Corbett went on to do more TV work, eventually returning to play Davenport again in the Rockford Files TV movies of the 1990s.

Stage work

Some of her stage appearances are After the Rain with Alec McCowen (Broadway), Forty Carats with Julie Harris (Broadway), Shakespeare's Henry VI (New York Shakespeare Festival), Shaw's Arms and the Man (The Sheridan Square), Iphigeneia at Aulis with Irene Papas (Circle in the Square), The Government Inspector with David Dukes and John Glover (The Phoenix Theatre), and The Survival of St. Joan (The Anderson Theatre).

Gretchen Corbett smiles while wearing a necklace and a black sleeve in blue and white background

She worked in many regional theatres, including the Long Wharf Theatre, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, the Eugene O'Neill Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and the Repertory Theatre of New Orleans. In 2014, she directed the production "Bo-Nita" at Portland Center Stage.

Personal life

Gretchen Corbett in a fierce look wearing a sleeve

Her daughter Winslow Corbett is a stage actress.

The Haven Project

In the 2000s, Corbett served as Artistic Director of the Haven Project, a theatre project for underprivileged children in Portland, Oregon, a replication of New York's 52nd St. Project.


Television Series

1967 Love Is a Many Splendored Thing Meg Stewart
1968 N.Y.P.D. Darlene Welby
1973 Kojak Jeri
1974 Ironside Gail Portman
1974 Banacek Vicki Merrick
1974 Columbo Jessica Conroy
1974 Gunsmoke Arlene
1974 Sierra Theodora Burke
1974–1976 Marcus Welby, M.D. Hedy Moran/Leah Blakely/Jan Allister
1975 Hawaii Five-0 Glynis
1975 McMillan & Wife Megan McMillan
1975 Ellery Queen Jenny O'Brien
1975 Barbary Coast Lily Colt
1975 Matt Helm Nancy Taylor
1975–1976 Emergency! Mara Lynn Smith/Sue Hickman
1976 Switch Beryl
1976 Wonder Woman Erica Belgard
1976 Kingston Confidential Helen Drew
1974–1978 The Rockford Files Beth Davenport
1977–1978 Family Ellen Rickover
1978 Barnaby Jones Jenny Hastings
1978 W.E.B.
1978 Lucan Bonnie
1981 The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo Kathleen Dixon, Esq.
1981 One Day at a Time Sophie
1982 Trapper John, M.D. Vivian Langtry
1983 Cheers Gretchen Darrow
1983 Tales of the Unexpected Martha Parker
1983 The Mississippi
1981–1983 Magnum, P.I. Holly Hudson/Holly Fox/Christine Richards
1985 Otherworld June Sterling
1985 Simon & Simon Lisa Cambio
1986 Murder, She Wrote Lt. A Caruso
1987 21 Jump Street Jan Prentiss
1989 A Peaceable Kingdom Dr. Amelia Altman
1990 Hunter Mary Reynolds
1991 The Trials of Rosie O'Neill Madeleine
1995 Dead by Sunset Barbara Welch
1995 Medicine Ball Mrs. Scheider
2013–2015 Portlandia Mary Eunice Oliver
2019 Shrill Jenelle

Television Film

1969 Out of It Barbara
1971 Let's Scare Jessica to Death The Girl
1973 The House and the Brain Kate Marsh
1974 The Cay Grace Enright
1976 Farewell to Manzanar Lois
1976 The Savage Bees Jeannie Deveraux
1978 The Other Side of the Mountain: Part II Linda Mae Meyers
1978 Secrets of Three Hungry Wives Karen McClure
1979 Mandrake Jennifer Lindsay
1979 She's Dressed to Kill Jennifer Gooch
1980 High Ice Liz
1980 PSI Factor Lt. Sheila Foster
1981 Jaws of Satan Dr. Maggie Sheridan
1981 Time Warp Ellen Devore
1982 Million Dollar Infield Carole Frische
1984 Things Are Looking Up Joanne Braithwaite
1985 North Beach and Rawhide Rita Aaron
1991 Final Verdict Aunt Blanche
1993 Moment of Truth: Why My Daughter? Mrs. Hill
1995 Without Evidence Mary
1996 If the Frame Fits... Beth (Davenport) Van Zandt
1996 The Rockford Files: Friends and Foul Play Beth (Davenport) Van Zandt
1998 A Change of Heart Gail Stern
1999 The Rockford Files: If It Bleeds... It Leads Beth Davenport
2011 Motor Away Paisley
2011 Bucksville Kathleen French
2012 Evelyn Evelyn
2020 Pig Mac


Gretchen Corbett Wikipedia