I saw the movie Grease 11 times in the movie theater. Eleven. I had never seen a movie that many times before, and I haven't since. I loved the goody-two-shoes-gone-sex-kitten-gets-her-guy love story, the clothes, the fifties-style songs (all of which I committed to memory and sang with my friends in our basements), and the greasers -- especially Kenickie, who was played by Hollywood actor Jeff Conaway.
I went to see Grease time after time to see Jeff Conaway with his greased do and tough guy attitude. He was my first crush. At night I dreamed that one day I'd be lucky enough to get a hickey from Kenickie. I didn't even know what a hickey was (even after my 11th viewing I was still a lot more like the "before" version of Sandy), but I knew a hickey was like a Hallmark card and it came from Kenickie. He was dreamy.
Who, except Olivia Newton-John's character Sandy Olsson didn't want Kenickie? He was hunky and dangerous. I was always far more attracted to him than I was to John Travolta's Danny Zucko, who seemed like kind of a dork just trying to be cool. But Kenickie was cool
Watch and tell me, who stole the scene in Greased Lightning:
See what I'm saying? Hot and dangerous. That leather jacket, that cigarette behind the ear, those Elvis moves. Love. Him.
You've probably heard the news that Conaway, 60, died this weekend. (An autopsy was performed today to determine exactly how he died.) Many speculate that the death was intentional; others, that it simply had to do with his long history of drug and alcohol abuse.
I haven't really kept up with his career. I watched Taxi sometimes, but his character on that show isn't ingrained as permanently in my psyche as Kenickie. Taxi was more my mom's show. Grease was mine. And after Taxi, I didn't hear much about him until his gig on Celebrity Rehab. I never watched. He wasn't the same.
To me, Jeff Conaway will always be Kenickie and I'll always love him.
What's your favorite memory?
Image via YouTube