NEW YORK • Former High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens put on a praiseworthy performance in Fox's Grease: Live, a day after her father died.
"I am so sad to say that last night, my daddy, Greg, passed away from stage 4 cancer," she tweeted on Sunday, hours before she was to appear live on TV. "Thank you to everyone who kept him in your prayers. Tonight, I do the show in his honour," the 27-year-old added. Greg Hudgens was 65.
Julianne Hough and Aaron Tveit played lead characters Sandy and Danny in the live musical event on Sunday night. Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta made popular those roles in the 1978 movie musical.
But, with news of her bereavement in viewers' minds, it was Hudgens - playing Betty Rizzo, the leader of the Pink Ladies - who drew the most praise on Twitter, reported People magazine.
The accolades poured in after she gave a moving solo performance of There Are Worse Things I Could Do during the live three-hour broadcast, People said.
Grease: Live, directed by Thomas Kail, follows other TV musical specials, including NBC's The Sound Of Music Live! in 2013 and The Wiz Live! last year.