By Jeff Labrecque
Updated August 04, 2011 at 10:25 PM EDT

Actress Annette Charles, who played Cha Cha, the villain’s feisty girlfriend who famously danced with John Travolta in Grease, died Wednesday, according to California State University – Northridge, where she was a part-time professor. The 63-year-old actress, who also appeared in television shows like Magnum, P.I., The Incredible Hulk, and The Bionic Woman before leaving acting in 1987, had cancer. “She was a very dynamic and inpirational speaker, ” says Dr. David Rodriguez, the chair of the school’s Department of Chicana/o Studies. “She also had such a great sense of social consciousness and social justice, and her students just loved her.”