After battling cancer for many years ward winning performer Olivia Newton-John died August 8, 2022 at her Southern California ranch at the age of 73.
After a diagnosis of breast cancer in 1992, she became a big advocate for cancer research; even forming her own foundation to aid in finding a cure. After beating the disease, it returned in 2017.
Although she has appeared in a number of music videos, Newton-John broke onto the scene and became a household name in 1978 when at the age of 29 she took on the role of Sandy playing opposite heart-throb John Travolta in the high school themed musical “Grease”. One of tHe highest grossing musicals of all time, the soundtrack went on to be certified eight times platinum for selling eight million copies.
Her music albums topped charts all over the world and topped 100 million in sales. She has won four Grammy’s. Both of her “Greatest Hits” albums; along with the albums “Physical” and the soundtrack for “Xanadu” have all been certified double platinum in an age when only actual physical sales were counted.
Along with her Grammy Awards, she is an Officer of the Order Australia and was Knighted in 2020 – women are called Dame. She was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2002 ARIA Awards (Australian Grammy’s).
While she is best known for her appearance in “Grease”, Olivia Newton-John appeared in dozens of productions including “Xanadu”, “Two of a Kind”, “A Christmas Romance”, “Snowy River: The McGregor Saga”, “Murphy Brown”, “ Sordid Lives: The Series”, and numerous music videos. Her music appears in over 150 productions.
She was born on September 26, 1948 in Cambridge, England; the youngest of three children to a former MI5 agent and college professor. The family moved to Melbourne, Australia when young Olivia was just six years old. Olivia was just 14 when she formed her first group with some school mates call Sol Four. Local television appearances followed including a talent contest in which she won a trip to England. It was while she was in England that Newton-John recorded her first single – “’Til You Say You’ll Be Mine”. She released her debut album “If Not For You” in 1971.
She is survived by her second husband John Easterling, daughter Chloe Rose, siblings Sarah and Toby, and many nieces and nephews.
feature photo credit: Olivia Newton-John at Viña 2017 (1).png