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
"I met a girl, crazy for me!"
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.
Played by: Bill Cervetti (Kingston Mines, 1971), Timothy Meyers (Broadway, 1972), Jeff Conaway (film, 1978)
"Go Greased Lightnin', you're burnin' up the quarter mile!"
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.
- 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)
"What's that playin' on the radio? Why do I start swayin' to-and-fro?"
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.
Played by: Gerald Bolnick (Kingston Mines, 1971), Jim Borrelli (Broadway, 1972), Michael Tucci (film, 1978)
"I don't take no crap from nobody."
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.
Played by: Gary Houston (Kingston Mines, 1971), Walter Bobbie (Broadway, 1972), Kelly Ward (film, 1978)
"I spend my days just mooning, so sad and blue..."
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.
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)
"I met a boy, cute as can be."
Sandy is Danny's love interest. She is sweet, wholesome, naïve and cute, like Sandra Dee of the Gidget movies.
Played by: Sue Williams (Kingston Mines, 1971), Adrienne Barbeau (Broadway, 1972), Stockard Channing (film, 1978)
"There are worse things I could do..."
She is the leader of the Pink Ladies. Rizzo, a thin Italian with unconventional good looks, is tough, sarcastic and outspoken but vulnerable.
Played by: Hedda Lubin (Kingston Mines, 1971), Marya Small (Broadway, 1972), Didi Conn (film, 1978)
"Was it love at first sight?"
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.
- 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)
"Freddy, my love, I miss you more than words can say..."
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.
- 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)
"Why must you go on mooning so all alone?"
Jan is a chubby, compulsive eater. She is loud and pushy with the girls, but shy with the boys.
Played by: Dody Goodman (film, 1978)
"When I hear music, I just can't make my feet behave."
Principal McGee's faithful assistant. She can be a bit lightheaded at times.
Played by: Alice Ghostley (film, 1978)
"How many days until Christmas vacation?"
A teacher who has a mutual friendship with the greasers.
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)
"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."
A coach who is passionate about his field of study.
- 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)
"You're too young to know."
Vi is a waitress at the Frosty Palace who keeps in touch with the greasers.
Played by: Dennis C. Stewart (film, 1978)
"The rules are... there ain't no rules!"
Leo is the leader of the greasers' rival gang.
Played by: Judy Brubaker (Kingston Mines, 1971), Dorothy Leon (Broadway, 1972), Eve Arden (film, 1978)
"You're just dawdling, aren't you? That's a fine way to start the new semester, Mr. LaTierri."
Miss Lynch is an old-maid English teacher.
Played by: Steve Munro (Kingston Mines, 1971), Tom Harris (Broadway, 1972), Eddie Deezen (film, 1978)
"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."
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.
Played by: Polly Pen (Kingston Mines, 1971), Ilene Kristen (Broadway, 1972), Susan Buckner (film, 1978)
"Hit 'em again, Rydell Ringtails..."
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.
Played by: Mike O'Connor (Kingston Mines, 1971), Don Billett (Broadway, 1972), Edd Byrnes (film, 1978)
"Okay, cats! Put your mittens around your kittens, and away we go!"
Vince is a typical 'teen audience' disc jockey, who is slick, egotistical and fast-talking. He is also a veteran 'Greaser'.
Played by: Bob Santelli (Kingston Mines, 1971), Alan Paul (Broadway, 1972), Johnny Contardo (film, 1978)
"Before I was born late one night, my papa said everything's alright..."
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.
Charlene "Cha-Cha" DiGregorio
Played by: Barbara Munro (Kingston Mines, 1971), Kathi Moss (Broadway, 1972), Annette Charles (film, 1978)
"They call me Cha-Cha because I'm the best dancer at St. Bernadette's."
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'.
- 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)
"Beauty school dropout, no graduation day for you..."
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.
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!