Sandy’s Outlook on Grease (1978) Was Inspired by Donna Mills, Reveals the Actress

Donna as Sandy

Olivia Newton-John is famous for playing the role of Sandy in 1978’s Grease. 

The actress from the Dallas spin-off series Knots Landing, Donna Mills shared a video on her Instagram in which she has dressed up as Sandy from the movie musical. In the video, she reveals that Sandy’s character was based on her outlook. 

She wrote in the caption:

“Does the character Sandy from Grease look similar to me? Here’s why!”


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A post shared by Donna Mills (@thedonnamills)

The TikTok video @brettglam shared with Mills fans, here Knots Landing Star says:

“Did you know that I went to school with Jim Jacobs?” referring to the Grease’s co-writer. According to Mills, he “used me as his model for Sandy.”

Here’s how Donna Mills looked back-in-time when Grease was first released:

“I didn’t know it at the time, but I found out years later,” she said. “I was the original Sandy.”

In 2010, Jacob had told The Buffalo News how he and his co-writer came up with the idea for Grease, they called it “one of those pipe dreams you have when you’re half in the bag at a party.” 

He recalled:

“We’re sitting around in my apartment in like ’69, and it was some cast party of a show. Around 1 in the morning, there were still a few old potheads laying around, passed out on the floor, I was sick and tired of listening to Led Zeppelin or whatever the hell I had on the record player, and I dug out some of my old 45s. That’s the humble beginnings of it.”

He also said:

“I was playing Dion and the Belmonts, Little Richard and the Five Satins, and I said to Warren, ‘Man, wouldn’t that be a gas to do a Broadway show using this kind of music instead of that traditional Brigadoon, Oklahoma stuff that we all know?”


Love this li’l #Grease trivia! #donnamills #glam #fyp

♬ Grease – Frankie Valli

Grease is a story about two teens – Sandy and Danny Zuko who fell in love with each other during the summer vacations. When the new year starts at high school, they’re both met with an unexpected surprise as Sandy’s the new transfer student to Rydell High. The film also stars Didi Conn, Jeff Conaway, Barry Pearl, and Stockard Channing. 

Mills is going to make an appearance in Jordan Peele’s upcoming movie Nope. In an interview with PEOPLE, the actress talked about giving up her career for motherhood. She said:

“I was very concentrated on my career, but at a certain point, I realized there was something missing — it was a child. So I went after it. I adopted her when she was four days old. By that time, I was 54 and people said, ‘You’re going to be so old [to] have a little toddler running around.’ I never felt that. I never felt older than the other mothers who were probably in their 20s.”

She also said: 

“If you want to give to your career, I say having a child later in life is better than having a child early.”

The Highest Grossing Movie Musicals of All Time: “Grease” (1978) $396.2 million on Box Office

The box office re-release of Grease has increased its box office total in a way. To this day, “Grease” is one of the best musicals in the last four decades and also the most successful one as proven by its re-release sales. 

This year, Grease completes 44 years since it hit the theaters on 16th June, 1978, @BrotherHQ tweeted:

Actor and comedian John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) also commemorated Grease’s release jokingly:

Jane Davies

Jane Davies

Meet Jane Davies, your friendly guide to all the cool stuff on Paramount Plus. She's got the inside scoop on the best shows, movies, and sports. Watching with Jane means getting the best picks, like having a friend who knows all about what to watch next. She loves hiking, snapping beautiful photos, and trying out new foods. Her adventures off-screen are just as fun as the ones on it. So, if you're looking for what to watch or just want to hear about cool experiences, Jane's got you covered. Let's dive into the fun world of streaming together!

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