Vanessa Hudgens Shares Heartbreak Over Loss Of Father To Cancer Just Before Dazzling In 'Grease Live' [Video]

Just one day before Vanessa Hudgens was set to star in the demanding role of Rizzo on Grease Live, her father Greg Hudgens lost his battle with cancer. Despite her sorrow, Vanessa delivered a stunning performance on the show, garnering praise from other celebrities, reviewers and fans over how successfully she portrayed her character despite her sorrow.

Now, as Hudgens reflects on how much she misses her dad, she's ready to share with fans just how much she longs for her dad's presence. Vanessa revealed her heartbreak with a poignant post on Instagram, reported People.

"I wish heaven had visiting hours," read the quote that Vanessa posted.

Fans were quick to respond with consoling messages, just as they did when Hudgens shared the heartbreaking news that her father had been diagnosed with stage four cancer last summer.

Finding comfort together, Vanessa and sister Stella went to Burbank, California, last week to visit the cemetery. Stella also shared her pride in her sister following her performance in Grease Live.

"So so proud of Vanessa. You shine so bright. I know daddy is smiling down on you," wrote the 20-year-old.

Among the challenges that Hudgens faced on the show after her loss was portraying the sassy and brash side of Rizzo, as shown below in her "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee" song.

Greg Hudgens was 65 when he passed away of cancer on January 30, reported ET.

Vanessa, 27, revealed his death on Twitter mere hours prior to her debut in Grease Live. She thanked fans for their prayers and expressed her sorrow.

"I am so sad to say that last night my daddy, Greg passed away from stage 4 cancer," posted Hudgens. "Thank you to everyone who kept him in your prayers."

Celebrities and critics as well as fans, friends and family of Vanessa raved about her Grease Live performance, reported Us Weekly.

In the role of Rizzo, Hudgens caused Twitter to go wild with praise about her courage in performing so well only a day after her father had died.
"I wouldn't expect anything less @VanessaHudgens is killing it! So proud of my girl #GreaseLive," proudly tweeted her friend Ashley Tisdale.

Mario Lopez also starred in the live version of Grease, and he expressed his admiration for how successfully the actress had overcome her sorrow to deliver a compelling performance.

Vanessa Hudgens stunned in the role of Rizzo on
Vanessa Hudgens stunned in the role of Rizzo on 'Grease Live.' [Image via Fox]"Imagine if you had a day like @VanessaHudgens & performed like that. Wow. What a strong woman. My new hero #GreaseLive," wrote Mario.

Of course, her boyfriend Austin Butler proved to be one of Vanessa's biggest fans.

"WOW @VanessaHudgens singing 'Worst Things' had me in tears. Just brilliant #GreaseLive," tweeted Austin.

Also showing her support was TV personality Maria Menounos.

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'Grease Live' earned rave reviews. [Image via Fox]"Just heard about @VanessaHudgens terrible loss-god bless her for showing such strength tonight. v-you gave an incredible performance :)," wrote Maria.

Hudgens made the decision to go on and dedicated her performance to her father, reported ET.

In addition to Vanessa as Betty Rizzo, others who stood out were Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit, Carly Rae Jepsen, Carlos PenaVega and Keke Palmer. But, it was Hudgens who seemed to deserve the title of Most Valuable Player, as she triumphed with the challenging solo of "There Are Worse Things I Could Do," shown below.

From scenes that required her to laugh and deliver a dazzling smile to songs that wove sorrow with sarcasm, Vanessa kept the pace going. And the producers honored Hudgens and her father by including a tribute to him in the credits.

"In loving memory of Greg Hudgens," read the message.

[Image via Fox]