Characters in the Movie Grease

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The characters in the movie Grease have created a legacy that many generations have held on to. To fans, Sandy and Danny and the rest of the gang aren't just characters in some movie; instead, they're characters that feel real.

About the Movie Grease

The plot of Grease is one of the best-known movie story lines out there. Boy and girl meet one summer and fall in love. She moves back home (or so he thinks!) and he goes back to his too cool for school life. He finds out that she actually stayed and they try to rekindle their love amidst a social environment that doesn't want them together. She's a nerd and he's in a high school gang. She changes at the end of the movie into someone he can love better--just in time for graduation.

Outside of the popular plot points, the film is well-known for its musical tracks. Hit tracks from the 1978 film like Hopelessly Devoted To You, You're the One That I Want and the movie's theme song, Grease, are popular tracks to this day. Summer Nights, one of the larger tracks in the movie featuring most of the major characters, reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and hit number one on the UK charts. The film also reached both critical and monetary success during its release, earning the title of top grossing film of 1978 and receiving five Golden Globe nominations.

Characters in the Movie Grease

Looking for a little bit more on the characters in the movie Grease? Many of the film's characters identify with the youth of the past and today. Characters in the movie include:

  • Danny Zuko
  • Sandy Olsson
  • Betty Rizzo
  • Kenickie
  • Frenchy

Danny Zuko

As the leading man of the film, Danny Zuko is played by phenomenon John Travolta. In fact, Grease solidified Travolta's stardom. In the movie, Danny falls in love with Sandy one summer. The two part, thinking she'll be returning to her native land. Instead, she stays in town. As the leader of a high school gang, Danny and the T-Birds are too cool for school. He works on cars with the boys in their spare time and like to play pranks. However, Danny tries to change into a jock when he sees that Sandy is attracted to someone of that nature. In the end, Danny reunites with Sandy at the graduation carnival--not before becoming varsity in track.

Sandy Olsson

Sandy is a blonde beauty with an accent, played by Olivia Newton-John. Though she falls in love with Danny one summer at the beach, she is largely innocent. Rizzo mocks Sandy at a sleepover for being too much of a goodie-goodie. Sandy enjoys school and shows interest in one of the school's jocks when Danny is being rude to her. Though Danny is a bad boy, Sandy tries to date him. In the end, she changes her looks to wow Danny. The two ride off into the sky together at the end of the film.

Betty Rizzo

Known as just Rizzo to her friends, Rizzo is played by Stockard Channing. Formerly a lover of Danny, Rizzo doesn't approve of wholesome Sandy dating her ex-flame--even if she isn't interested in him anymore. She and current interest Kenickie have a pregnancy scare in the movie and Rizzo comes down to Earth. She ends the film hand-in-hand with him.


Bad boy Kenickie spends much of his time trying to occupy rival gangs in the area. Played by Jeff Conaway, Kenickie knows that Rizzo is the girl for him but can't let his image show it. After Rizzo goes to the big dance-off with Crater Face, a rival gang member, the two start a hot rod race for the other's car. When Kenickie is injured moments before the race, Danny steps in and wins for him.


Frenchy is a Pink Lady who drops out of high school to pursue beauty school. After she dyes her hair pink, she realizes she should go back to high school with her friends.

Final Thought

The characters in the movie Grease are loveable and real. With multiple tales of romance and plenty of action, the characters in this musical even cross genres. Which famous character is your favorite?

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Characters in the Movie Grease