Knots Landing star Donna Mills may be best known for her role in the Dallas spin-off – but the 81-year-old actress has now claimed she had a hand in creating an even better-known character on screen: Sandy from Grease.
According to the soap opera icon, when looking for inspiration for the famous role – which was played by Olivia Newton-John in the 1978 musical film – one of the film’s screenwriters used her as a muse for the blonde.
Mills made the claim in an Instagram video posted to her account on Monday, as she shared a clip of herself transforming into Sandy, while revealing how she helped inspire the iconic character.
‘Does Grease’s character Sandy look like me? Here’s why!’ she says at the beginning of the video.
I’m Sandra Dee: Soap icon Donna Mills claimed she was the muse for Olivia Newton-John’s Grease character Sandy
Mills (pictured in his senior year of high school in 1985) attended Taft High School with
After posing in Sandy’s iconic black leather jacket, Mills then declared: ‘Did you know I went to school with Jim Jacobs? Jim Jacobs who wrote Grease? Jim Jacobs, who used me as a model for Sandy?
She then continued: ‘I didn’t know it at the time, but I found out years later – I was the original Sandy.’
Jim Jacobs co-wrote the 1972 Broadway musical with his late friend Warren Casey, which spawned Randal Kleisers’ iconic 1978 film starring John Travolta as Danny Zuko opposite Newton-John.
Both Jacobs and Mills grew up in Chicago and attended Taft High School.
The video was originally posted by makeup artist Brett Freedman on TikTok, who captioned the clip: ‘Uh yeah, @thedonnamills and I are now best friends and we do TikToks together…
Tell me more, tell me more: Mills shared the video of her transformation on TikTok and Instagram
Iconic duo: Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta as Sandy Olsson and Danny Zuko in Grease
Pink lady: Mills opened up about finding out she was Sandy’s muse
‘In June ’78, Grease opened in theaters! Sugar and Spices à la Donna Mills.
He continued, “Fun fact: Grease writer Jim Jacobs modeled the Sandy character on Donna Mills. They went to school together at the time and it looks like she left a muse impression!’
In a previous interview with The Buffalo News, Jacobs said he came up with the idea for the musical — based on his own experiences — after becoming involved with the local community theater scene in Chicago.
“We were sitting in my apartment in 1969, and it was a show cast party,” Jacobs explained.
“By one in the morning, there were still some old potheads out there, passed out on the floor. I was tired of listening to Led Zeppelin or whatever I had on the turntable, and I took some of my old 45s.’
He continued: ‘This is the humble beginning of this.
Shining star: Mills (who is portrayed in 1994) attended the same school as Grease playwright Jim Jacobs
Familiar face: Mills played scheming shrew Abby Fairgate in Dallas spin-off Knots Landing
Family Name: She joined the show in 1980 before leaving in 1989
‘I was playing Dion and the Belmonts, Little Richard and the Five Satins, and I said to Warren, ‘Man, wouldn’t it be cool to do a Broadway show using this kind of music instead of that traditional Brigadoon, Oklahoma thing? that we all know?”‘
Set in the fictional Rydell High School, Grease depicts the ups and downs of relationships between Danny and Sandy Olsson and among their friends as they navigate their senior year in the late 1950s.
Along with the success of the Broadway show from 1972 to 1980, the iconic film adaptation became one of the highest-grossing films of the seventies and is widely considered a Hollywood classic.
Mills, who stars in Jordan Peele’s upcoming horror film NOPE, rose to stardom when she played Abby Fairgate in the Dallas spin-off Knots Landing from 1980 to 1989.
Donna, who appeared in television and guest roles following her departure from Knots Landing, explained that she decided to take an 18-year hiatus from full-time acting to focus on raising her daughter Chloe – whom she adopted in 1994 when she was 54. years old. years old.
Motherly love: Mills left acting for over a decade to focus on raising her adopted daughter Chloe (pictured in 2009)
Screen Siren: Mills (seen in 2014) won the award for Outstanding Special Guest Artist in a Drama Series at the 2015 Daytime Emmy Awards
Speaking about her decision to become a first-time mother at age 50, Mills told People earlier this year that she “realized something was missing” in her life, having spent so many years “focusing on her career.”
“I was very focused on my career, but at a certain point I realized that something was missing – it was a child,” she said.
“So I followed. I adopted her when she was four days old.
‘At that time, I was 54 and people were saying, ‘You’re going to be so old [to] having a little kid running around.” I never felt that. I never felt older than other moms who were probably in their 20s.’
The actress returned to daytime television in 2014, when she was cast in a recurring role on the ABC soap opera General Hospital.
She won Outstanding Special Guest Artist in a Drama Series at the 2015 Daytime Emmy Awards for her performance.
Over the past few years, Mills has continued to act in television, film and theater.