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!
T-BirdsJeff Conaway (Kenickie) was 28Barry Pearl (Doody) was 28Michael Tucci (Sonny) was 32Kelly Ward (Putzie) was 22Pink LadiesStockard Channing (Rizzo) was 34Didi Conn (Frenchie) was 27Jaime Donnelly (Jan) was 31Dinah Manoff (Marty) was 20ScorpionsDennis Steward (Leo) was 31Annette Charles (Cha Cha) was 30John Travolta (Danny) was 24Olivia 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:
Zac Efron (Troy) was 21Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella) was 20Lucas Gabreel (Ryan) was 24Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay) was 23Corbin Bleu (Chad) was 19Monique 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!