It has almost been 40 years since one of the greatest movie musicals, Grease, hit theaters. Let’s take a look back to when the film first released in 1978 and see what those Rydell High students have gotten up to these last few decades!
Time has been kind to John Travolta’s career, but not his personal life or looks. Since Grease came out in 1978, Travolta has been insanely busy, some of his most notable works being Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, Sean Archer/Caster Troy in Face/Off, and when he doned a fat suit to play Edna Turnblad in Hairspray!. Most recently, he’s known for an epic mix-up of Idina Menzel's name at the 2014 Oscars and a lot of public speculation into his sexuality. His personal life aside, he’s currently on the new hit show American Crime Story and will voice Gummy Bear in Gummy Bear the Movie.
By the time Grease came out, Olivia Newton-John was already a well know name. Since then, besides playing the most notable goody-goody, her music career blossomed even more, having released 15 albums post-Grease, the most recent being the 2012 This Christmas, which she sang on with John Travolta. In 2014 she had a residency at the Flamingo Las Vegas and in 2015 she was a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Stockard has been putting in work since her days as Queen of the Pink Ladies, Rizzo. She was the First Lady on The West Wing, Aunt Frances in Practical Magic, and Ouisa Kittredge in Six Degrees of Separation (which earned her an Oscar nod). More recently she’s been Veronica Loy on The Good Wife. You can currently find her on the Broadway stage in It’s Only A Play, which opened in the fall of 2014 with her, Rupert Grint, Megan Mullally, Nathan Lane, and Matthew Broderick.
Unlike some of his co-stars, Barry Pearl’s career did not really take off after Grease. However, he did find some success in children’s theater and as a television actor, playing Professor Tinkerputt in Barney’s Imagination Island. He’s had guest spots on Even Stevens, Baywatch, Criminal Minds, and House, M.D. Most recently, he was part of the series Summer with Cimorelli.
Tucci found a lot of work on TV after Grease. He was on Trapper John M.D., The Paper Chase, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, Flying Blind, and had a long stint on Diagnosis Murder as Norman Briggs. He played Dr. Bay in the 2001 film Blow with Johnny Depp. We saw him recently in The Heat and he will appear on the new show The Comedians, starring Josh Gad and Billy Crystal.
Until 2015, Kelly Ward hadn’t been in front of a camera since 1986. But he hasn’t been doing nothing! He’s been working behind the scenes, beginning as a story editor and working his way up to dialogue director on several different productions over the years, such as: Back to the Future the TV series, The Pink Panther the TV series, All Dogs Go To Heaven, and more recently Jake and the Neverland Pirates. This year he was on the show 7D.
She continued acting after Grease, her most notable roles being: Denise Stevens Downey in Benson and Stacy Jones in Shining Time Station. In 2015 she’ll be in the film Paper Dreams, as Marianna. After her son Daniel was diagnosed with Autism, she became a celebrity spokesperson on behalf of raising awareness. In 2008 she was named the national celebrity spokesperson for Autism Speaks and before that she was a spokesperson for National Alliance for Autism Research (now a part of Autism Speaks).
Jan is still doing her thing, you just might not have recognized her! Her biggest roles after Grease are from Can’t Hardly Wait and Cyrus. More recently she’s been on the show Ray Donovan, as Peggy (Catherine’s Mom). In 2015 she’ll be in the film Black Mass, which stars Johnny Depp and on the show Made-Up Again as Dr. Kildare. Since 2008, she’s been popping up at many Rocky Horror Picture Show and Grease conventions, because she’s a fangirl at heart too.
Manoff went on to win her first Tony award after Grease, for her role of Libby Tucker in I Ought To Be In Pictures. She reprised that role for the film version as well. She’s been in the films Child’s Play, Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael, and Ordinary People. She focused on TV work for a while, her best known work being on Empty Nest as Carol Weston (which she also portrayed on the show The Golden Girls and Nurses). Her most recent acting credit is from 2009’s Bart Got A Room.
Directly after Grease, Susan went on to guest star on the shows When the Whistle Blows and The Love Boat. Her last acting credit is from the 1981 horror film Deadly Blessing. She’s appeared in a few things as herself, such as Behind the Music, VH-1 Where Are They Now?, and the last being a 2007 episode of 1 vs. 100.
Lorenzo Lamas looks pretty much unrecognizable these days and not at all in a bad way! He was only 18 when they filmed Grease, so it makes sense that he matured into such a fine specimen. Out of the supporting cast, he’s done the best for himself post-Grease. His best known work since then is as Lance Cumson in Falcon Crest, as Reno Raines in Renegade, and as Hector Ramirez in The Bold and the Beautiful. More recently, he’s voiced Meap on Phineas and Ferb and will appear in Boone: The Bounty Hunter in 2015.
Eddie Deezen pretty much perfected the “nerd” stereotype with his parts in Grease and Grease 2, as well as the films Midnight Madness, 1941, and WarGames. He also did some starring work in independent films, such as I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Beverly Hills Vamp, and Teenage Exorcist. He found a lot of success in the 1990’s with voice work, lending his nasally sound for the shows Dexter’s Laboratory, Grimmy, Duckman, and What’s New, Scooby Doo?. He was the voice of the annoying (Know-it-all) kid in the 2004 film The Polar Express. In 2015’s The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water, he provided the voice of the Seagull. He’s a huge pop culture trivia buff and since 2011 has been a contributing writer to many sites, like mental floss, TodayIFoundOut.com, and Neatorama.com.
As you may know, Jeff Conaway (Kenickie) passed away in 2011 after complications of pneumonia that were heightened from his previous prescription pain medication abuse. That same year Annette Charles (Cha Cha) passed away from complications of cancer, though she too had been initially hospitalized for pneumonia. In 1993, Dennis C. Stewart (Craterface/Leo) contracted HIV and died in 1994 from AIDs complications.