Annette Charles

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Annette Charles
Annette Cardona

(1948-03-05)March 5, 1948
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedAugust 3, 2011(2011-08-03) (aged 63)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Actress
  • dancer
  • educator
Years active1968–2009

Annette Charles (née Cardona; March 5, 1948 – August 3, 2011)[1] was an American actress, dancer, and educator best known for her role as Charlene "Cha-Cha" DiGregorio in the 1978 feature film Grease. She made several appearances on television as well.

Early life[edit]

Charles was born Annette Cardona in Los Angeles, California, of Mexican and Italian ancestry.[2]


Charles became an actress, and was best known for her role as Charlene "Cha Cha" DiGregorio in the 1978 feature film Grease. She made several appearances on television as well.

Charles later earned a bachelor's degree from Antioch University Los Angeles in psychology and theater, and a master's degree in social work from New York University before becoming a speech communication professor in the Chicano Studies department at California State University, Northridge.[3][4][5]

Personal life and death[edit]

Charles died on August 3, 2011, in Los Angeles from lung cancer, aged 63.[6] She initially was hospitalized for pneumonia.[7]


Year Title Role Notes
1978 Grease Charlene "Cha-Cha" DiGregorio
1979 In Search of Historic Jesus Mary Magdalene documentary
1985 Latino Marlena as Annette Cardona
2009 Transylmania Administrator
Year Title Role Notes
1968 The High Chaparral Jill episode: "Follow Your Heart"
1970 The Flying Nun Louisa episode: "My Sister, the Doctor" as Annette Cardona
1970 Gunsmoke Rita episode: "The Noonday Devil" as Annette Cardona
1972 The Mod Squad Cory episode: "No More Oak Leaves for Ernie Holland" as Annette Cardona
1972 Bonanza Carmen episode: "The Customs of the Country"
1972 Banacek Cecelia Gomez episode: "No Sign of the Cross" as Annette Cardona
1972-1974 Emergency! Mrs. Harrow / Wife 2 episodes
1974-1977 Barnaby Jones Angela / Lucy Stahl 2 episodes
1976 The Bionic Woman Elora / Emerald 2 episodes
1977 Man from Atlantis Ginny Mendoza episode: "The Death Scouts" as Annette Courset
1978 Centennial Senora Alvarez TV miniseries, episode: "Only the Rocks Live Forever"
1979 Can You Hear the Laughter? The Story of Freddie Prinze Billy TV movie
1980 The Incredible Hulk Rita Montoya episode: "Falling Angels"
1981 Musical Comedy Tonight II TV documentary
1987 Magnum, P.I. Maria Torres episode: "On the Fly"


  1. ^ Barnes, Mike (August 4, 2011). "'Grease' Actress Annette Charles Dies at 63". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 3, 2012.
  2. ^ Godoy, Maria (August 6, 2011). "Remembering Annette Charles, a.k.a. Cha Cha, 'The Best Dancer At St. Bernadette's'". Pop Culture Happy Hour: Pop Culture News and Analysis from NPR. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  3. ^ Morrison, Teresa. "In Memoriam: Annette Cardona". College of Humanities, California State University, Northridge. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  4. ^ "Cha Cha from Grease dead at 63". Access Hollywood. August 4, 2011. Archived from the original on September 9, 2011.
  5. ^ "Annette Cardona". Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
  6. ^ Tata, Samantha (August 26, 2011). "Professor and "Grease" actress Annette Cardona dies". Daily Sundial. Archived from the original on December 29, 2020. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  7. ^ Chaney, Jen (August 4, 2011). "Annette Charles, Cha Cha from 'Grease,' has died". Washington Post. Retrieved December 29, 2020.

External links[edit]