11.12.2010

How Old Was The Cast Of "Grease"?

I caught a little bit of the 1978 musical-movie Grease on television the other day. It's about a bunch of seniors in high school in 1950s California. Since I work with teenagers in my real life, I was surprised at how mature everyone in the cast looked! If you, like I, have ever wondered how old they all were when the movie came out, wonder no more!


In 1978...
T-Birds
Jeff Conaway (Kenickie) was 28
Barry Pearl (Doody) was 28
Michael Tucci (Sonny) was 32
Kelly Ward (Putzie) was 22

Pink Ladies
Stockard Channing (Rizzo) was 34
Didi Conn (Frenchie) was 27
Jaime Donnelly (Jan) was 31
Dinah Manoff (Marty) was 20

Scorpions
Dennis Steward (Leo) was 31
Annette Charles (Cha Cha) was 30

John Travolta (Danny) was 24
Olivia Newton-John (Sandy) was 30
A little far from typical 17-18 year-old seniors in high school. Although, it's not unusual for Hollywood to cast young adults as teenagers (I would imagine it'd be hard to find the talent that young?), but it seems like 1978 standards were a little looser than 2010!

Take, for example, a sampling of the cast of the 2008's High School Musical 3: Senior Year:

In 2008...
Zac Efron (Troy) was 21
Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella) was 20

Lucas Gabreel (Ryan) was 24
Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay) was 23

Corbin Bleu (Chad) was 19
Monique Coleman (Taylor) was 28
I guess the talent's getting younger? Or it could have just been a directorial choice to have such "adult" looking high schoolers for Grease, I suppose!

6 comments:

  1. Back in the day, it could go the other way. In Gone With the Wind (1939), the actress who played Scarlett's mother was only four years older than Vivian Leigh. In Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), George M. Cohan (James Cagney) was 44; his wife Mary (Joan Leslie) was only 18. Amazingly, the actress who played Cohan's mother (Rosemary DeCamp) was actually eleven years younger than her "son"! Perhaps you could get away with a lot more in black and white films.

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  2. I don't ever think they should ever try to remake this movie, they would just mess it up...

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  3. I've never actually watched this movie since i can't stand musicals, but I agree -- the characters look WAY old! I'd say 35-40!!!

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  4. My 12 yr old says it's one of her favorite movies. I always liked it. Even though the actors are all too old to pass for high school the movie still worked. Maybe even better than it would have with different younger actors

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  5. Rizzo LOOKS 34 in that movie.

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