While visiting The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the late-night host whipped out a clip of a 22-year-old Richard Gere onstage singing “Summer Lovin‘” in 1973’s Grease on the West End. (Watch the video above.)
“Why are you taking me back this far?” grimaced Gere.
“It was one of the first things I did in New York,” Gere said of Broadway’s original Grease. “I started out as an understudy and I was covering five guys and every night; one of the guys didn't show up or there was a problem, and I was doing all the parts. When it came time to do it in London, they asked if I would come in and lead and play Danny. It was the first time I had been out of the country.”
Grease was Gere’s second turn on Broadway, having made his debut in the musical Soon. Gere took Grease across the pond, starting in Chichester before transferring to London’s West End.
Gere only returned two other times to Broadway for plays: Habeas Corpus in 1975 and Bent in 1979. The actor is most famous for big screen roles such as Edward Lewis in Pretty Woman. Gere will star in the upcoming film The Dinner alongside 2017 Tony nominee Laura Linney.