If you don’t recognize that name, you may know her better as Annette Charles or ‘Cha Cha’ DiGregorio from the 1978 movie Grease.
Annette was born March 5, 1948 and passed away peacefully on August 3, 2011 from non-smokers lung cancer, she was only 63.
Ms. Cordona was a 1965 graduate of John Marshall High School, which was the school I graduated from several years later.
John Marshall’s athletic field was also used for the carnival scene in the movie Grease (See my previous post on Grease).
Amid her acting career, she returned to school and received degrees in both theater and psychology and earned a master’s from NYU School of Social Work to become a mental health clinician. She wanted to use her background in the performing arts to reach and motivate culturally diverse at-risk youth. Ms. Cordona was also a professor at the California State University, Northridge, teaching speech and communication in the Chicano studies department.
Annette Cordona is survived by her mother Mary, her husband Rob, her sister and brother-in-law Benita and Corrie and nephew Luke.