Grease – the film responsible for catapulting the careers of Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta into superstardom – premiered 44 years ago. A couple of years ago, Didi Conn who played beauty school dropout – and Sandy’s closest ally – Frenchy went into detail about the summer of 1977 and what really went on on the set of the iconic film. As we remember Newton-John today, it seemed fitting to revisit the role that made her world-wide star.
“By staying in character all day that gave us the licence to be silly and goofy and horny and flirty, and just have a wonderful, spontaneous improv going all day long,” Conn told The Sun in 2018. “That had really terrific results because there were some relationships that started and, let’s just say, major flirting was going on. Some of the trailers were rocking! It was hot.”
It’s widely known producers sent Newton-John and Travolta on a blind date to evoke some sort of chemistry prior to filming. They needn’t as according to Conn it was definitely already present. “The chemistry between John and Olivia was real — very, very real… [But] a romance? No, no no. Just on-set.”
It was, however, the late Jeff Conaway, who played Danny Zuko’s right-hand man Kenickie, who was the biggest flirt. “He just oozed sexuality and he was an ever-ready bunny. He was just a very, very sexy guy,” said Conn. “He and [cheerleader] Patty Simcox [actress Susan Buckner] they had a lot of rehearsing, they had fun.”
Along with fellow prized Australian exports Delta Goodrem and Kylie Minogue, Travolta today shared a heartbreaking tribute to his co-star.
“My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible,” he wrote on his Instagram page. “I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!”
Rest in peace, Olivia. And thank you for the memories.