October 1, 2022

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Olivia Newton-John is dead.  The "Grease" star was 73 years old

Olivia Newton-John is dead. The “Grease” star was 73 years old

Olivia Newton-John is a British-Australian singer, actress and activist, known among others from the films “Xanadu” and “Grease” where she starred opposite John Travolta. Her husband, John Easterling, reported the star’s death on Facebook: Olivia Newton-John died alone this morning on her ranch in Southern California, surrounded by family and friends. The cause of her death was not revealed, but in 2017 she was diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time. She was 73 years old.

Who was Olivia Newton-John?

Getty Images © Ross Gilmore

Olivia Newton-John was born in 1948 in Cambridge, United Kingdom. She was the granddaughter of Nobel laureate Max Born and the daughter of MI5 officer Brinley Newton-John, who worked on the Enigma. When she was six years old, her family moved to Australia. As a teenager, she sang in cafes in Melbourne, eventually starting to appear on Australian TV shows. In 1996, she recorded her first single and began performing in the UK in a duet with Pat Carroll and Tomorrow Band. In 1971, her first solo album “If Not For You” was released. In 1974, she represented Great Britain at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Long Live Love” and took 4th place. In the following years, she continued her musical career, recording a number of hit songs – but her career gained real momentum after appearing in Grease (1978).

In 1980, she starred in the movie “Xanadu” opposite Gene Kelly and Michael Beck. The film received unfavorable reviews and halted her career in cinema, but his voice went double platinum and released five singles (including “Magic” and “Xanadu”). A year later, Newton-John released her most famous album, “Physicist”. She posted an “Olivia Physical” video album with music videos for each song from the album. After the birth of her daughter and a break, she continued her career, recording, among other things, the albums “The Rumor” (1988) and “Back with a Heart” (1998). She was, inter alia, the winner of four Grammy Awards, and in 1979 became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her merits in music and film.

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Her filmography also includes “Sort of” (1983), starring again opposite John Travolta, and “Honey, Meet My Friends” (2011). She appeared as a guest in the series “Glee”. After her performance, the song “Physical” performed by the program’s crew returned to the charts.

“Grease” – the most important role of Olivia Newton-John

However, the most significant film role in Olivia Newton-John’s career remains the character of Sandy Olsen from the Broadway musical Grease (1978). The movie was a huge hit, and the soundtrack featured a number of hit songs, including “You’re the Person I Want” and “Hopelessly Devoted to You”. In 1979, Newton-John won a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical and performed the Academy Award-nominated song “Hopelessly Devoted to You” at the Academy Awards.