Grease cast: Where are the stars of the 1978 musical now?

8 May 2024, 10:31

The cast of Grease
The cast of Grease. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

It's been over 45 years since Grease took over the world in 1978, cementing it as one of the biggest and most loved musicals of all time.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Wop ba-ba lu-mop and wop bam boom!

But what did the students of Rydell High do next? Grab your T-bird jacket and let's find out...

On Stage with Smooth: Grease The Musical - 'Hopelessly Devoted to You'

  1. John Travolta (Danny)

    John Travolta in Grease
    John Travolta in Grease. Picture: Getty

    Easily the biggest star to come from Grease, John had his breakthrough role with Saturday Night Fever the year before and continued his hot streak with Grease as hunk Danny.

    Since then, he has become one of Hollywood's biggest stars. He had over a decade in the A-list wilderness, before 1994's Pulp Fiction came along. He's had several successes over the last couple of decades, from Wild Hogs, Hairspray, From Paris With Love and Get Shorty.

    More recently, he won acclaim for his role as lawyer Robert Shapiro in the TV drama The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story.

    Before her death, he reunited with Olivia Newton-John for a Christmas album, and they have teamed up for a mini Grease reunion.

    He paid several tributes to his dear friend Olivia upon her death in 2022.

    John Travolta was married to 'the love of his life', actress Kelly Preston, from 1991 until her death in 2020, after a two-year battle with breast cancer.

    John and Kelly had three children together. Their eldest son Jett tragically died aged just 16 after having a seizure while on holiday with his family.

  2. Olivia Newton-John (Sandy)

    Olivia Newton-John in Grease
    Olivia Newton-John in Grease. Picture: Getty

    Already a huge country star, the Australian singer was reluctant to star at first as she was too old to play a high-schooler (she turned 29 while shooting!) but this was easily Olivia's biggest and best career move.

    She went on to have more pop success with songs such as 'Physical', and continued to tour for the next few decades. She played 175 shows as part of her Las Vegas residency from 2014 to 2016.

    Olivia Newton-John married her long-time boyfriend, actor Matt Lattanzi, in December 1984. They met four years earlier while filming Xanadu. Their daughter, Chloe Rose, was born in January 1986. The couple divorced in 1995.

    In June 2008, she secretly married John Easterling, founder and president of natural remedy firm, Amazon Herb Company.

    In May 2017, it was announced that her breast cancer had returned and metastasized to her lower back. In March 2018, she gave an update on her condition, saying she felt "really good".

    Tragically, Olivia passed away at the age of 73, on August 8, 2022. John Travolta led the tributes, saying: "My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much."

  3. Stockard Channing (Rizzo)

    Stockard Channing in Grease
    Stockard Channing in Grease. Picture: Getty

    While Pink Lady Rizzo will forever be her most iconic role, Stockard has had a hugely successful acting career away from Rydell. She's been nominated for an Oscar (for Six Degrees of Separation), various Golden Globes and has won an Emmy and Tony award.

    She famously played First Lady Abbey Bartlet in The West Wing for seven years, and more recently appeared in The Good Wife. She is also a regular on Broadway, and recently hit the West End in Apologia.

    Stockard Channing turned 80 in 2024, and has been married four times.

  4. Jeff Conway (Kenickie)

    Jeff Conaway in Grease
    Jeff Conaway in Grease. Picture: Getty

    Jeff actually played Danny in the original stage version of Grease (his pal John Travolta originally played Doody!), and he later found huge TV successes in shows such as Happy Days and Taxi.

    He was never quite able to sustain success after playing Kenickie in the movie, but kept working in TV and film.

    He suffered from various issues with addiction, and appeared on various reality TV shows. In 2011, he died at the age of 60 after contracting pneumonia.

    At one point, Jeff was married to Olivia Newton-John's older sister, Rona, for five years.

  5. Didi Conn (Frenchy)

    Didi Conn in Grease
    Didi Conn in Grease. Picture: Getty

    Didi is a regular on the Grease convention circuit, and never shies away from donning her Pink Ladies jacket.

    She has continued to act over the years, appearing in around 40 TV and movie projects, including Happy Days, Cagney & Lacey, Grease 2 (where she reprised her role), Transparent and The Wild Thornberrys.

    In 2019, Didi made a surprise appearance as a contestant on ITV's Dancing on Ice.

  6. Barry Pearl (Doody)

    Barry Pearl in Grease
    Barry Pearl in Grease. Picture: Getty/Instagram

    Barry will always be best known for playing T-Bird jokester Doody, and originally played Sonny in the stage version.

    He went on to feature in the likes of Murder She Wrote, Beverly Hills 90210, House, Criminal Minds and ER. He recently popped up alongside Didi in Grease Live.

    Today, he teaches film arts across the US to the special needs community, with Joey Travolta's - John's brother - Inclusion Film Company.

  7. Kelly Ward (Putzie)

    Kelly Ward in Grease
    Kelly Ward in Grease. Picture: Getty/Instagram

    After playing blonde T-Bird Putzie, Kelly went on to have a career behind the camera.

    He has since worked as a voice director for Disney Television Animation, and has directed voice performances in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse among many others.

    He also teaches musical theatre at the University of Southern California.

  8. Michael Tucci (Sonny)

    Michael Tucci in Grease
    Michael Tucci in Grease. Picture: Getty/Instagram

    After playing goofball Sonny in the film, Michael went on to have various TV roles including a regular part alongside Dick Van Dyke in Diagnosis Murder.

    In 2013, he played Melissa McCarthy's dad in The Heat, and has been a teacher at St Francis High School in California.

  9. Jamie Donnelly (Jan)

    Jamie Donnelly in Grease
    Jamie Donnelly in Grease. Picture: Getty/Instagram

    Jamie continues to act after playing dorky Pink Lady Jan. In recent years, she has popped up in Can’t Hardly Wait, Cyrus, Veep and Ray Donovan.

    In 2015, she starred alongside Johnny Depp in the movie Black Mass.

    She is also an acting coach who lives in La Cañada Flintridge, California, with her husband Stephen Foreman, a novelist.

  10. Dinah Manoff (Marty)

    Dinah Manoff in Grease
    Dinah Manoff in Grease. Picture: Getty

    Tony Award-winning Dinah went on to feature in films including Child’s Play, Welcome Home and Ordinary People after Grease.

    While she has appeared at various Grease celebrations, she has not had any acting credits since 2008.

    She is the daughter of actress Lee Grant and screenwriter Arnold Manoff. She married real estate agent Arthur Mortell in 1997, and they had three sons together. Tragically, their son Dashiell was killed in a car accident in 2017.

  11. Susan Buckner (Patty)

    Susan Buckner played Patty Simcox in Grease
    Susan Buckner played Patty Simcox in Grease. Picture: Getty

    Susan Buckner gained fame for her role in Grease as Patty, the cheerleading companion of Sandy.

    She first rose to prominence in the pageant world, securing the title of Miss Washington in 1971 and competing in the Miss America pageant the following year.

    After her role in Grease, Buckner appeared in several TV shows, including The Love Boat, BJ And The Bear, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, and When The Whistle Blows.

    She also appeared in the 1981 Wes Craven horror film Deadly Blessing with Sharon Stone and the 1989 movie Police Academy 6: City Under Siege.

    Later in life, Buckner stepped back from her acting career to focus on her family, raising two children, Adam and Samantha.

    Susan died, aged 72, in 2024.

  12. Lorenzo Lamas (Tom)

    Lorenzo Lamas in Grease
    Lorenzo Lamas in Grease. Picture: Getty

    Lorenzo was just 18 when he played Sandy's love interest Tom (one of the few actually playing his age!).

    Since then, he is best known for his role soaps Falcon Crest and The Bold and the Beautiful. He was also a judge on US show Are You Hot? and even had his own reality series Leave It To Lamas about his family.

    He has been married six times and has six children.

  13. Annette Charles (Cha Cha)

    Annette Charles in Grease
    Annette Charles in Grease. Picture: Getty

    Annette had a few roles after playing the temptress dancer Cha Cha in Grease.

    Sadly, in 2011 (just three months after Jeff Conaway died), she passed away from brain cancer at the age of 63.

  14. Dennis C Stewart (Leo 'Craterface')

    Dennis C Stewart in Grease
    Dennis C Stewart in Grease. Picture: Getty

    Actor and dancer Dennis famously played the ultimate bad boy in Craterface, and he later returned for the sequel in 1982.

    He went on to have various roles on TV and film over the next decade.

    In 1994, he died at the age of 46 due to complications from AIDS.