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You’re the one that I want! Or were they? Read below who else could have had the part in 1978’s Grease.
1. Elvis as Danny Zuko?
That’s right. Before the film was ready to start, producer Allan Carr saw Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret as his leads. By the time the project was ready, Carr sought after Henry Winkler, who by now was a star thanks to playing Fonzie on Happy Days. “I turned down the lead role in Grease [because I ] didn’t want to be typecast,” Winkler said. “So I went home and had an orange juice. Travolta went home and bought a plane.” In 1978, Travolta was the youngest of the three at 24, followed by Winkler at 33, and Presley at 43.
2. A Partridge in a Rydell Tree?
Susan Dey, known for The Patridge Family, was the front runner for Sandy. However, Dey was tired of playing a teenager and passed. Carrier Fisher and Marie Osmond were also considered, but when Carr met Olivia Newton-John, he knew she would be the perfect Sandy. However, she was nervous about the part and requested to test for it to make sure that she’d be the right fit. The screen test went well, and Newton-John took the part.
3. I Love Rizzo?
Lucille Ball’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, wanted the part of Rizzo. However, at the advice of her mother, she declined to screen test. As a result, the part went to Stockard Channing. Annette Cardona also wanted the part, but ended up playing Cha Cha instead.
4. An Angel with Swinging Hips?
Originally, the Teen Angel was supposed to be an Elvis-type. Carr envisioned Fabian would play the part well, but he wasn’t offered it. Instead, Frankie Avalon took the role and convinced the team to drop the Presely-personality so he could play it the way he wanted.