What happened to the actors and actresses of 'Grease'?

Farewell to on-screen legend, Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John
More than 40 years ago since 'Grease' hit our screens
Grease
John Travolta
More projects coming up in 2023
Stockard Channing
Best Actress
Didi Conn
Her life took a different path
Jamie Donnelly
Passing her experiences on to the next generation
Lorenzo Lamas
Another change of career
Jeff Conaway
Death at age 60
Barry Pearl
Passing on his expertise and staying in the industry
Michael Tucci
Never straying far from the bizz
Dinah Manoff
Television, documentaries and independent films
Eddie Deezen
A voice-over star
Sid Caesar
The comedian of comedians
Dennis C Stewart
Annette Charles
Kelly Ward
Eve Arden
Frankie Avalon
Farewell to on-screen legend, Olivia Newton-John

Apart from starring as Sandy in 'Grease', the late actress Olivia Newton-John also gained fame as a singer. She even represented the UK at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton.

Olivia Newton-John

After 'Grease,' she made another musical film, 'Xanadu', which was slightly less successful. She battled stage 4 cancer and looked radiant as ever, but the disease took her life in August 2022 and the world lost a much-loved star.

More than 40 years ago since 'Grease' hit our screens

More than 40 years have passed since  Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta  starred in one of the most famous love stories in cinema. They celebrated summer loving and danced to the sound of songs like 'Greased Lightning', 'Summer Nights' and 'We Go Together'.

Grease

How has the passing of time treated the rest of the cast? Have the years been kind to them? We take a look at all the actors and actresses from the hit film and where they are now.

John Travolta

As much as the years are passing by, John Travolta is still the attractive man he was in 'Grease'. He became a popular figure thanks to 'Grease' and 'Saturday Night Fever'. Then, after a few years of hiatus, he returned in the 1990s with 'Pulp Fiction', which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

More projects coming up in 2023

He has never strayed far from the screen and has just finished shooting 'Paradise City' in Hawaii with Bruce Willis.

Stockard Channing

Stockard Channing rose to fame as Rizzo from 'Grease' and got nominated for Oscars, Golden Globes, three Emmys and a Tony Award.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Best Actress

Later on, she cemented herself in the film and TV business with her role in 'The West Wing', which also earned her nominations and wins of an array of awards. Her latest award was the London Film Critics Circle Award for best actress of the year with her performance in 'The Business of Strangers'.

Didi Conn

Didi Conn began her career in the 1970s when she appeared in a few television series. Her career reached its peak when she played the role of Frenchy in 'Grease'. In the aftermath of the movie, she was never able to replicate its success.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Her life took a different path

She had a few minor roles here and there - and she was also the oldest contestant to appear on Britain's 'Dancing on Ice' - but she's mostly focused on her son, who has autism, and on being a spokesperson for people on the autism spectrum.

Jamie Donnelly

She was Jan in 'Grease.' Apart from that, Jamie Donnelly's professional life as an actress has been faintly marked by several small roles. For example, she appeared in 'The Legend of Lucy Keyes' in 2006 and in 'Guns for Hire' in 2015.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Passing her experiences on to the next generation

Donnelly has mostly dedicated her life to being an acting coach and spending time with her husband and children.

Lorenzo Lamas

The son of Argentinean actor Fernando Lamas had a small role in 'Grease' - the football player who tried to seduce Sandy. Lorenzo Lamas also appeared in all 227 episodes of 'Falcon Crest' and was nominated for a number of awards for his contribution to the series.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Another change of career

However, after a run in some very prominent TV shows, he decided to change his career and become a helicopter tour pilot with HeliNY in New York City.

Jeff Conaway

Did you know that Jeff Conaway played Danny Zuko in the original cast of the musical? When it was adapted to film, John Travolta got the main role thanks to his popularity with 'Saturday Night Fever'. Conaway still had an important part though, as Danny's best friend. And in real life he was Olivia Newton's brother-in-law, as he was married to her sister. Jeff Conaway died at the age of 60 from pneumonia, after a difficult life battling drug addiction and other health problems.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Death at age 60

And in real life he was Olivia Newton's brother-in-law, as he was married to her sister. Jeff Conaway died at the age of 60 from pneumonia, after a difficult life battling drug addiction and other health problems.

Barry Pearl

Little is known about the life of Barry Pearl, who played the role of Doody in 'Grease'. After the great success of the movie, Pearl achieved some fame appearing in a range of television series.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Passing on his expertise and staying in the industry

The actor also had a good stint on Broadway, and he spends all his summers touring with the Inclusion Film Company, teaching the arts to those with special needs.

Michael Tucci

After 'Grease,' Michael Tucci achieved success in films such as 'Blow' and 'Mimic 2', as well as playing the father of Melissa McCarthy's character in 'The Heat' (2013).

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Never straying far from the bizz

Michael Tucci (on the left in the photo) has appeared in several TV series, whilst teaching theatre at a high school in California.

Dinah Manoff

Dinah stepped foot onto the big screen for the first time with her performance as Marty in 'Grease'. She would have a rather successful career, appearing in the comedy 'Soap' and winning a Tony Award for her performance on Broadway.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Television, documentaries and independent films

Manoff (front left in the photo) then spent seven years in the 'Golden Girls' spin-off, 'Empty Nest', and has continued to shine with roles in television, documentaries and independent film.

Eddie Deezen

Eugene wasn't the only nerd Eddie Deezen played in his career. He seemed to be drawn to the nerdy characters in movies such as 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' and Stephen Spielberg’s comedy '1941'.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

A voice-over star

Later on, he decided to focus on voice-acting, and he made his mark on the industry with appearances in 'Kim Possible', 'What’s New Scooby-Doo', 'Dexter’s Laboratory' and 'The Polar Express'.

Sid Caesar

Coach Calhoun was played by sketch comic actor Sid Caesar. The scene in which he was pie'd in the face at the end of the film is unforgettable.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

The comedian of comedians

Caesar (right) became known as the 'comedian of comedians' and was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards over the course of his career. He has hosted 'Saturday Night Live' and is remembered as one of 'the greats'. He passed in 2014 at the age of 91.

Dennis C Stewart

Dancer and actor Dennis Cleveland Stewart appeared in 'Grease' as the leader of the T-Bird’s rival gang, the Scorpions, and in 'Grease 2' as the leader of the Cycle Lords. While filming the first instalment of 'Grease,' he also appeared in the 1978 musical comedy film 'Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band'. Later on, he had a number of roles in both television and film. Stewart died from complications of AIDS in 1994. He was 46 years old.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Annette Charles

No one has forgotten about the flirtatious Cha Cha in 'Grease'. She appeared in a number of other films and TV shows, including 'The Incredible Hulk' in 1980 and 'Magnum P.I.' in 1987, but then she left the big screen to focus on other work. Charles became a speech professor at California State University, but she sadly passed away at the young age of 63.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Kelly Ward

Kelly Ward portrayed Putzie in the 1978 musical. After 'Grease,' he had a few appearances in television shows such as 'M*A*S*H' and 'Magnum, P.I.', but then he moved away from the set and focused more on behind-the-camera work. Ward is now a successful successful voice director for Disney Television Animation and has been behind huge hits such as 'Mickey Mouse Clubhouse' and 'Jake and the Never Land Pirates'. Ward is also a musical theater teacher at the University of Southern California.

Eve Arden

When she appeared in 'Grease' as Principal Greta McGee, Eve Arden had been a prominent actress for a long time already. She began her career in the 1930s, starring in the 1937 drama 'Stage Door' and then won an Academy Award for her role in the 1945 film 'Mildred Pierce'. Arden became the first woman awarded the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. The prestigious actress decided to retire from film after 'Grease' and only appeared in occasional television shows. She died in 1990 at the age of 82.

Frankie Avalon

Frankie Avalon was the heartthrob Teen Angel. His confidence and sparkle came from an already established career in the film industry, with movies like 'Guns of the Timberland', 'The Alamo', and the classic 'Beach Party' films with Annette Funicello. Avalon would continue to perform the hit from 'Grease': "Beauty School Dropout" in many performances in the 1990s and 2000s. Apart from that, Avalon and his wife have had their hands full at home with eight children.

Más para ti