‘Grease’: Actors Kept Getting Sick and Injured on Set, Including 1 Person Who Landed in the Hospital
Grease is one of the best musical films ever. From the bubbly songs to the unforgettable performances, it’s just an all-around good movie. But behind the scenes, it seems like it was incredibly difficult to pull off.
Many actors notably wound up getting sick or injured on set. Some luckily only seemed to be mild cases, but others found themselves in some pretty serious situations, including one actor who was even rushed into surgery after falling ill. Read on for more about Grease and the actors who got hurt during the filming of the movie.
‘Grease’ is a top musical
Released in 1978, Grease tells the story of high school teenagers Danny Zukko (John Travolta) and Sandy Olsson (Olivia Newton-John). The two fell in love during a summer vacation in Australia. But when it ended, they went their separate ways, believing they would never see each other again.
To their luck, Sandy wound up moving to America and attending Danny’s school. But they struggled to rekindle their relationship after Danny started posing like a tough guy to impress his friends.
With help from their friends and changes on both of their parts, the two reunited at the end of the film, expressing their love for one another in the closing song, “You’re the One That I Want.”
Many people got hurt while filming ‘Grease’
With a film like Grease, where there’s plenty of hip-shaking, hand-jiving, and other dance sequences, injuries are bound to happen. But more people fell ill than you probably realize.
One take that reportedly left cast members sick is the prom scene. Living 101 reports that it was shot in a gym that didn’t have windows, meaning it got really hot. According to Broadway, temperatures reportedly reached 116 degrees, causing some of the cast to come down with heat-related illnesses, including Michael Tucci (Sonny LaTierri), allegedly.
Another dance scene that left someone hurt is the “Greased Lightning” moment. Jeff Conaway (Kenickie Murdoch) had been grooving along to the song when he fell, causing significant damage to his back. To help with the pain, a doctor prescribed him opioids, which he, unfortunately, became addicted to before his death in 2011.
There’s also the racing scene, which we admit looks like a lot of fun. But unfortunately, according to The Sun, the water that Danny and Leo Balmudo splashed through “was stagnant and filled with contaminated bacteria,” allegedly causing more illnesses.
Among those who reportedly got sick was director Randal Kleiser, who told Bustle: “When I was shooting here, it was very hot, so I was barefooted. I cut my foot, and I walked through this river, and the next day I had a fever. We were shooting the Frosty Palace scene and I was completely out of it. I had a 101-degree temperature because of cutting my foot here.”
There was even one actor who had to be hospitalized
According to the Connecticut newspaper The Hartford Courant, Annette Charles (Cha Cha DiGregorio) found herself in pain while shooting the aforementioned racing scene.
She had reportedly been hospitalized days earlier but had checked out to get back to set. It turns out she had suffered an ectopic pregnancy, which required immediate surgery. But luckily, she made a full recovery and quickly resumed her acting career.