Vanessa Hudgens' Dad Died years Before He Had the Chance to Be a Grandparent

Greg Hudgens died of stage 4 cancer a day before Vanessa was supposed to perform in 'Grease: Live.'


Apr. 18 2024, Published 1:51 p.m. ET

Vanessa Hudgens with her dad Greg.
Source: Getty Images

Because she's been in the public eye since she was a teenager, Vanessa Hudgens has had to grow and change in view of the rest of the world. Now that she's about to be a parent herself, many are looking back at Vanessa's relationship with her own father, who died in 2016.

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Vanessa's mother and father were supportive of her acting career from a young age, even though Greg was skeptical at first.

“I was leery from the beginning,” her father, told The Washington Post in January 2015. “As she got more immersed, we made a pact. As long as she still applied herself to school and kept her head out of the clouds, we would continue to help her.”

Vanessa Hudgens at the Vanity Fair Oscars party.
Source: Getty Images
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What happened to Vanessa Hudgens' father?

Vanessa Hudgens' father died of stage 4 cancer in January of 2016. His death came just a day before Vanessa was set to star in Grease: Live! on FOX. She continued with the show in spite of his death, and dedicated her performance to him.

“Tonight, I do the show in his honor,” she wrote on Twitter at the time. The reception for her performance was overwhelmingly positive, with viewers amazed that she was able to push through.

“It was shocking,” Vanessa said a few months later. “I knew that it was coming, but nothing can prepare you for losing a parent.”

A few years later, Vanessa elaborated to her response even further.

“There was never a moment where I thought that I wouldn’t do [the show] because my dad would want me to do it,” she told Glamour U.K.

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“He gave so much time and energy into me achieving my dreams and for me to have a career where I can do what I love," she continued. "So, I felt like I needed to do it, because that’s what he would’ve wanted.”

She also said her performance helped her grieve. “Knowing that I was kind of doing it in honor of him is what made it really special and made me feel even more connected to him," she explained.

Source: Instagram/@vanessahudgens
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Vanessa said her mom helped her get through her dad's death.

After her father's death, Vanessa said that her mother helped her get through it.

“She’s so strong through the hardest of times,” she said. “But she has this lightheartedness and this light that just beams out of her very being and it’s so special.”

“There are highs and there are lows,” she continued. “It sucks, but death happens. It never makes it easier but it happens to all of us. It’s just something we have to get through until we all meet again in heaven.”

In fact, Vanessa and her mom are so close that they are working on a travel documentary together. Now that she's about to become a parent herself, Vanessa is likely reflecting even more on her own father. She'll likely be grieving him in some form or another for her whole life, but seems to understand that.

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