By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The intersection of Avenue 26 and Jeffries Avenue in Cypress Park was dedicated Monday as Annette Cardona Square, honoring the late actress best known for her role as Cha Cha Di Gregorio in “Grease.”

The movie “Grease”, directed by Randal Kleiser. Seen here, Annette Charles as Cha Cha DiGregorio.  (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

“She was a role model at a time when there were few Latinos in substantial roles in mainstream Hollywood movies,” said Councilman Gil Cedillo.

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The square also honors the Cypress Park resident’s work as an instructor at Cal State Northridge’s Department of Chicana/o Studies from 2002 until her death in 2011.

She died from lung cancer at age 63.

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Cardona said she almost turned down the role of the self-proclaimed best dancer at St. Bernadette’s High School.

“I was working really hard to become an actress and didn’t want to be thought of as just a dancer,” Cardona said in a 2010 interview with The Daily Sundial, the CSUN campus newspaper.

Cardona also appeared in the 1979 made-for-television movie, “Can You Hear the Laughter? The Story of Freddie Prinze” and such television series as “Gunsmoke,” “The Flying Nun,” “The Mod Squad,” “Bonanza,” “The Incredible Hulk” and “Magnum, P.I.”

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)