July 29, 1947 – April 20, 1994
“We’re racing for pinks.”
There is oddly little in cyber land about Dennis C. (which stood for Cleveland) Stewart, with the unfortunate complexion. He was best known as “Crater face” in the movieGrease, though in billing and retrospect he is always referred to as “Leo, Leader of the Scorpions”. The IMDB has very little as well, except for the all too important fact that he was a dancer in one of my favorite (and universally panned) films, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. He was billed as a dancer, which is very uncharacteristic of the Crater face we know, but then I guess that’s why they call it acting.
What prompted my interest in Dennis was Frenchy’s Grease Scrapbook, which I am a proud owner of. Didi Conn (the chick I invited to my prom), wrote her book of memories, and the only mention of Dennis was in the posthumous bit just mentioning that he died.
I met and interviewed Eddie Deezen who played Eugene, and he told me that Dennis would give him a ride to the shoot every day, which I thought was nice. Here is the interesting bit: As I know it, Eddie Deezen is straight (I know) and a super nice guy, and Dennis was gay. I only know this because a friend of his took my tour once, and this guy didn’t know that Dennis was dead. I play a recording that Eddie made for me that states, “Dennis, the guy that played Crater face, is the only one of the kids that’s dead now.” Dennis’ pal got bummed, though he hadn’t heard from him in several years (this is 2006 and Dennis died in 1994). It’s still a bit sad when you hear things like that, about people you liked. Apparently he and Dennis used to cruise for guys together, in building where Jay Sebring used to have his salon.
Another weird facto to fascinate those obsessed with the Tate/LaBianca murders.
Dennis had contracted HIV and in mid 1993 had full blown AIDS. As best as I figure it, he moved in with his sister in Anaheim.
Eventually Dennis succumbed on April 20th of 1994, while in Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
He was only 46.
He was cremated, and scattered at sea. Rest in peace, Dennis.