“I think Grease is so popular because it’s about first love, first car, first heartbreak, first career disappointment... failure. I think people just love that innocence.” Didi Conn
Didi Conn, born Edith Bernstein, is an American actress of film, television and stage. She is most known for her role as Pink Lady Frenchy in the popular musical Grease (1978), opposite John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, and its continuation, Grease 2 (1982), with Maxwell Caulfield and Michelle Pfeiffer.
“I could really relate to Frenchy’s chomping at the bit to have a career, that kind of ambition. When I was in high school I would’ve done anything to start my career, I knew I wanted to act, I was in every play so I was never good at hair. I don’t relate to that part, although actually Frenchy wasn’t all that good either.” Didi Conn on her role in Grease
Conn also acted in films like You Light Up My (1977), Almost Summer (1978), Thomas and the Magic Railroad (2000), the Salma Hayek vehicle Frida (2002), and more recently Shooting Vegetarians (2005). A familiar face on the small screen, Conn has starred in a number of television films and has appeared in guest roles in such shows as “Happy Days” (1975), “Highway to Heaven” (1987) and “L.A. Law” (1994). Moreover, she has had regular roles in such shows as “Benson” (1981-1985) and “Shining Time Station” (1990-1993).
Outside the limelight, Conn has been married twice. She once tied the knot with Frankie Conn and after divorcing, she was married to her present husband, composer David Shire. Coon and Shire have a son named Donny.
Childhood and Family:
In Brooklyn, New York, Edith Bernstein, who would later be famous as Didi Conn, was born on July 13, 1951. She attended Midwood High School and later studied mime with Tony Montanaro in the first year of his Celebration Mime Theatre.
Didi was once married to Frankie Conn, but then the nuptials ended in separation. She married her current husband, composer David Shire, in 1984. Their son, Danny, was born eight years later, in 1992. Didi is the older sister of bass-baritone opera star Richard Bernstein.
Brooklynite Didi Conn got her start in showbiz by doing voiceover in the 1960s animated television series “The Jetsons” before debuting on television film with a role as a TV actress in Genesis II (1973). Guest spots on episodes of “Happy Days” and “The Rookies” (both 1975) as well as regular roles on the short-lived television series “Keep on Truckin’” (1975) and “The Practice” (1976) followed. In 1977, she used her voice to bring the character Raggedy Ann to life in the animated feature Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure. The same year, she also found herself headlining her first movie, You Light Up My Life, directed and written by Joseph Brooks. There, she starred as a comedian’s daughter named Laurie.
After supporting roles in television films Three on a Date and Murder at the Mardi Gras (both 1978), Conn’s film career received boost when she won the role of Pink Lady Frenchy on the popular musical Grease (1978), starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. She returned to her role of Frenchy for the installment Grease 2 (1982), this time opposite Maxwell Caulfield and Michelle Pfeiffer.
In between her gigs on the iconic musical, Conn acted in the comedy film Almost Summer (1978), voiced Cupcake in the animated television series “The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang” (1980), starred in the Oscar winner for Best Short Film Violet (1981) and appeared as a receptionist in the made-for-television musical Working (1982). In 1981, she also landed a regular role in the comedy series “Benson,” where she played the role of Denise Florence Stevens until 1985.
Conn next teamed up with Doug Henning for the musical television film The Magic Show (1983), had a voice role as Spice in the cartoon series “Star Fairies” (1986, opposite Drew Barrymore), starred as Stacy Jones in the TV movie Shining Time Station Christmas: ‘Tis a Gift (1990) and in the series “Shining Time Station” (1990-1993), as well as appeared as a guest star in several TV series like “Highway to Heaven” (1987), “Civil Wars” (1992) and “L.A. Law” (1994). In 1996, she lent her voice for the direct-to-video-release The Flintstones Christmas in Bedrock.
After several years break from acting, Conn reprised her role of Stacy Jones, Shining Time Station Manager, for the fantasy movie Thomas and the Magic Railroad (2000). The Britt Allcroft-directed starred Alec Baldwin, Cody McMains, Russell Means and Peter Fonda. Two years later, she was featured as a waitress in the biopic film Frida, which starred Salma Hayek in the title role and also featuring Antonio Banderas and Ashley Judd. Conn’s latest film is Shooting Vegetarians (2005), helmed and written by Mikey Jackson.
More recently, in November 2006, the Grease actress joined many celebrities, including EastEnders Lacey Turner, Gail Porter, Hayley Evetts and Jodie Marsh, at the Rydell High Reunion Party releasing the special edition Grease DVD. At the event, Coon, who portrayed Pink Lady Frenchy, wore her original jacket.
“I have a lot of very good friends, in fact I made a friend 27 years ago in Olivia Newton-John and we’re still friends to this day.” Didi Conn