The descriptions for the non-film-exclusive characters come directly from their play bios, which can also be found on the official website of the West End (London) production for Grease.
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The T-Birds/Burger Palace Boys
A super-cool, DA-haired, hard-looking group of high school wheeler-dealers... or so they think.
Played by: Doug Stevenson (Kingston Mines, 1971), Barry Bostwick (Broadway, 1972), John Travolta (film, 1978)Danny is the leader of the greaser boys. He is well-built, good-looking, strong and confident, with an air of cool easy-going charm.
"I met a girl, crazy for me!"
- "I Want" Song: "Alone at a Drive-in Movie" and its replacement, "Sandy".
- Arguably his part in the last verse of "Summer Nights" as well - especially the line "Wonder what she's doing now".
- The Leader
- Lovable Jock
- Tall, Dark and Handsome
- Troubled, but Cute
- True Love Is Exceptional: Danny prefers "girls who put out," only to fall for sweet and naive Sandy.
Played by: Bill Cervetti (Kingston Mines, 1971), Timothy Meyers (Broadway, 1972), Jeff Conaway (film, 1978)Kenickie is second in command of the greaser boys. He is tough-looking, tattooed, surly and avoids any show of softness. He has an offbeat sense of humour.
"Go Greased Lightnin', you're burnin' up the quarter mile!"
- Adaptation Name Change: He was originally called "Miller", but after the show went to Broadway, his name was swapped out with another greaser's and it's stuck ever since (while the original Kenickie now has the Miller name when the Chicago version gets performed).
- "I Want" Song: "Greased Lightnin'", especially in the play, where he is the lead singer.
- The Lancer
- Troubled, but Cute
Played by: James Canning (Kingston Mines and Broadway, 1971-1972), Barry Pearl (film, 1978)Doody is the youngest of the guys. He is small, boyish and open, with a disarming smile and a hero-worshipping attitude towards the other guys. Doody also plays the guitar.
"What's that playin' on the radio? Why do I start swayin' to-and-fro?"
Played by: Gerald Bolnick (Kingston Mines, 1971), Jim Borrelli (Broadway, 1972), Michael Tucci (film, 1978)Sonny is an Italian-looking guy, with shiny black hair and dark, oily skin. He is a braggart and wheeler-dealer who thinks he's a real lady-killer.
"I don't take no crap from nobody."
- Casanova Wannabe
- Cool Shades: More prominent in the 1994 Broadway revival◊ and the◊ London◊ productions◊
- Do Not Call Me Paul: Sonny's real name is Dominic LaTierri, but he does not like being referred to as such. Unfortunately for him, Miss Lynch does not take heed of this.
- Nice Hat: Although the script never calls for one, Sonny wears one in some productions, such as the original Broadway◊ show◊ and the 2007 Broadway◊ revival◊.
Played by: Gary Houston (Kingston Mines, 1971), Walter Bobbie (Broadway, 1972), Kelly Ward (film, 1978)Roger is the anything-for-a-laugh stocky type of boy. A clown who enjoys winding people up, he is full of mischief and is always dreaming up half-baked schemes and ideas.
"I spend my days just mooning, so sad and blue..."
- Adaptation Name Change: In the movie, he is named "Putzie". His nickname "Rump" is never mentioned, as well.
- Chivalrous Pervert
- Embarrassing Nickname: "Rump", although he does not seem to particularly mind. Jan is more concerned, however.
- "I Want" Song: "Mooning"
- Odd Name Out: Compare his name to Danny, Kenickie, Doody, and Sonny
The Pink Ladies
This is the club-jacketed, gum-chewing, hip-swinging girls' gang who hang around with the greaser boys.
Played by: Leslie Goto (Kingston Mines, 1971), Carole Demas (Broadway, 1972), Olivia Newton-John (film, 1978)Sandy is Danny's love interest. She is sweet, wholesome, naïve and cute, like Sandra Dee of the Gidget movies.
"I met a boy, cute as can be."
- Adaptation Name Change: Sandy's surname is changed to "Olsen" in the film.
- Betty and Veronica: Betty to Rizzo's and Cha-Cha's Veronicas.
- Foreign Exchange Student: In the movie, so that Olivia Newton-John could keep her native accent.
- The Ingenue
- "I Want" Song: "It's Raining on Prom Night" and "Hopelessly Devoted to You".
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Light to Rizzo's Dark.
- New Transfer Student
- Painted-On Pants: Sandy wears them in the final scene.
- Took a Level in Badass
Played by: Sue Williams (Kingston Mines, 1971), Adrienne Barbeau (Broadway, 1972), Stockard Channing (film, 1978)She is the leader of the Pink Ladies. Rizzo, a thin Italian with unconventional good looks, is tough, sarcastic and outspoken but vulnerable.
"There are worse things I could do..."
- Alpha Bitch: Is this to Sandy, although instead of the typical cheerleader example, she's the leader of a girl gang.
- Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Sandy's Betty.
- Break the Haughty
- Deadpan Snarker
- "I Want" Song: "There Are Worse Things I Could Do"
- Jerkass / Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Zips back and forth between the two like a pinball.
- Last Name Basis
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Dark to Sandy's Light.
Played by: Hedda Lubin (Kingston Mines, 1971), Marya Small (Broadway, 1972), Didi Conn (film, 1978)Frenchy is a dreamer - good-natured but dumb. She is heavily made up, fussy about her appearance, particularly her hair. She can't wait to finish high school so she can be a beautician.
"Was it love at first sight?"
- Bubblegum Popping: In the film, Frenchy blows up an enormous bubble during the "Beauty School Dropout" montage. It promptly gets popped by Teen Angel's finger.
- The Ditz
- Fiery Redhead: Subverted, given that Frenchy is one of the nicer characters to Sandy.
- Not So Above It All: Joins along with the other Pink Ladies in "Sandra Dee" (abeit reluctantly at first)
- Rose-Haired Sweetie: Frenchy is sweet and good-natured even when she does not have pink hair.
- Spell My Namewithan S: "Frenchy" is commonly misspelled as "Frenchie", such as in the end credits of the film
- You Gotta Have Pink Hair: In the film, Frenchy has a dye job accident, which results in her having pink hair. In the London productions◊, Frenchy has pink hair throughout the entire play to homage the dye job accident of the film.
Played by: Marilu Henner (Kingston Mines, 1971), Katie Hanley (Broadway, 1972), Dinah Manoff (film, 1978)Marty is the 'beauty' of the Pink Ladies. She is pretty and looks older than the other girls, but betrays her real age when she opens her mouth. Marty tries to act sophisticated.
"Freddy, my love, I miss you more than words can say..."
- Everyone Loves Blondes: Marty is generally played by a blonde actress.
- "I Want" Song: "Freddy, My Love"
- Gold Digger: Given in the musical number "Freddy, My Love". She's more about dating guys so they'll give her expensive gifts and money, rather than actually being into them.
Played by: Sheila Ray Ceaser (Kingston Mines, 1971), Garn Stephens (Broadway, 1972), Jamie Donnelly (film, 1978)Jan is a chubby, compulsive eater. She is loud and pushy with the girls, but shy with the boys.
"Why must you go on mooning so all alone?"
Played by: Dody Goodman (film, 1978)Principal McGee's faithful assistant. She can be a bit lightheaded at times.
"When I hear music, I just can't make my feet behave."
- Bumbling Sidekick: To Principal McGee.
- The Cameo
- The Ditz: Although less so than Frenchy and Patty Simcox.
Played by: Alice Ghostley (film, 1978)A teacher who has a mutual friendship with the greasers.
"How many days until Christmas vacation?"
Played by: Lorenzo Lamas (film, 1978)Tom is a jock who is fit and well-built.
- Dumb Jock: From Danny's perspective, at least.
- Pair the Spares: At the end of the movie, ends up with Patty Simcox despite very little foreshadowing or build-up of this relationship
- The Voiceless
Played by: Sid Caesar (film, 1978)A coach who is passionate about his field of study.
"When we get out there, we're gonna yank 'em and tear 'em and rip 'em! We're gonna take 'em and roll 'em around and rip 'em up to pieces! And then we're gonna slaughter 'em. And after the slaughter is over, we're gonna come back here and ring that victory bell... like we always wanted to."
- The Cameo
- Cool Old Guy: He goes to considerable lengths to help Danny find a sport that fits him, patient despite his lamentable and repeated failures.
- Rousing Speech: Gives one for the Rydell Rangers' football team
Played by: Joan Blondell (film, 1978)Vi is a waitress at the Frosty Palace who keeps in touch with the greasers.
"You're too young to know."
Played by: Dennis C. Stewart (film, 1978)Leo is the leader of the greasers' rival gang.
"The rules are... there ain't no rules!"
Played by: Judy Brubaker (Kingston Mines, 1971), Dorothy Leon (Broadway, 1972), Eve Arden (film, 1978)Miss Lynch is an old-maid English teacher.
"You're just dawdling, aren't you? That's a fine way to start the new semester, Mr. LaTierri."
- Adaptation Name Change: In the movie, she is no longer an English teacher, and is referred to as "Principal McGee"
- "I Want" Song: "Alma Mater"
- Reasonable Authority Figure
Played by: Steve Munro (Kingston Mines, 1971), Tom Harris (Broadway, 1972), Eddie Deezen (film, 1978)Eugene is the class valedictorian. He is physically awkward, with weak eyes and a high-pitched voice. He's a typical 'apple-polisher' - both smug and pompous, but gullible.
"Miss Lynch, fellow graduates, honored guests, and others. Looking over these familiar faces really takes me back to those wonderful bygone days. Days of working and playing together, days of cheering together for our athletic teams—Yay, Ringtails!—and days of worrying together when examination time rolled around."
- Adaptation Name Change: Eugene's surname is changed to "Felsnic" in the film
- Butt Monkey
- "I Want" Song: "Alma Mater"
Played by: Polly Pen (Kingston Mines, 1971), Ilene Kristen (Broadway, 1972), Susan Buckner (film, 1978)Patty is a typical cheerleader at a middle-class American public high school. She is an attractive, athletic, sure-of-herself type of girl who can be given to bursts of disconcerting enthusiasm. Patty can be catty, but in an All-American Girl sort of way; however, she can also twirl a baton.
"Hit 'em again, Rydell Ringtails..."
- Alpha Bitch
- The Ditz
- Extracurricular Enthusiast
- "I Want" Song: "Rydell Fight Song" and, to a certain extent, "Alma Mater"
Played by: Mike O'Connor (Kingston Mines, 1971), Don Billett (Broadway, 1972), Edd Byrnes (film, 1978)Vince is a typical 'teen audience' disc jockey, who is slick, egotistical and fast-talking. He is also a veteran 'Greaser'.
"Okay, cats! Put your mittens around your kittens, and away we go!"
- Composite Character: In some productions of Grease (such as the 2007 Broadway revival) Vince Fontaine also takes Johnny Casino's role and sings "Born to Hand Jive".
- Dirty Old Man
- Large Ham Radio
Played by: Bob Santelli (Kingston Mines, 1971), Alan Paul (Broadway, 1972), Johnny Contardo (film, 1978)A "greaser" student at Rydell who leads a rock 'n' roll band and likes to think of himself as a real rock 'n' roll idol.
"Before I was born late one night, my papa said everything's alright..."
- The Cast Show Off: In the film, Sha Na Na (which played the role of Johnny Casino and the Gamblers) cover several songs from the 1950's and the original 1972 musical's soundtrack.
- Do Not Call Me Paul: Johnny Casino gets visible enraged when Miss Lynch refers to him by his first name, "Clarence".
- Embarrassing First Name
- "I Want" Song: "Born to Hand Jive"
- The Rock Star
Charlene "Cha-Cha" DiGregorio
Played by: Barbara Munro (Kingston Mines, 1971), Kathi Moss (Broadway, 1972), Annette Charles (film, 1978)Cha-Cha is a blind date. She is slovenly and loud-mouthed but homely. She takes pride in being the best dancer at 'St Bernadette's'.
"They call me Cha-Cha because I'm the best dancer at St. Bernadette's."
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the character bios for the musical (see the description provided for her on this page), Cha-Cha is described as being a plain, slovenly type of girl, and was originally played by plus-size actresses who were otherwise made up to look less attractive. In the film and some stagings of the musical (such as the '94 revival by Tommy Tune), she's made out to be more conventionally beautiful.
- Ascended Extra: Cha-Cha is simply a dancer invited to the school hop in the musical, and has no previous connection to Danny. Her role was expanded quite a bit in the film.
- Evil Counterpart: In the film, she is this to Rizzo
- The Rival: In the film, she is this to Rizzo and Sandy
Played by: Mac Hamilton (Kingston Mines, 1971), Alan Paul (Broadway, 1972), Frankie Avalon (film, 1978)Teen Angel is a good-looking, falsetto-voiced, Fabian lookalike. He is a singer who would have caused girls to scream and riot back in 1958.
"Beauty school dropout, no graduation day for you..."
Played by: Bruce Hickey (Kingston Mines, 1971)A young, kind of awkward and nerdier member of the Burger Palace Boys.
- Adapted Out: For budget and timing purposes, this greaser did not make the cut when the show went to Broadway. He was re-instated in the remake of the original play, though other official productions have not added him back in.
- Adaptation Name Change: He was originally named Kenickie in the Kingston Mines staging. After his name was recycled for Danny's second-in-command (originally "Miller"), the producers for the 2011 Chicago production decided to not confuse the audiences by switching the names back, so this guy was rechristened as "Miller".
A wop ba-ba lu-mop a wop bam boom!