Remembering Olivia Newton-John
August 8, 2022
Music and movie fans were saddened to hear about the passing of Olivia Newton-John on Monday, August 8th. The singer/actress was just 73 when her husband John Easterling announced that she died peacefully at her Southern California ranch surrounded by friends and family. Although she will be forever immortalized on screen for her role as Sandra Dee "Sandy" Olsson in the blockbuster 1978 film adaptation of the musical Grease, she had a storied career as both an actress and a pop singer. Even before starring opposite John Travolta in the career-defining musical, Newton-John found early success in 1971 with her first solo album If Not For You, with the titular track being written by Bob Dylan. Her second single "Bank of the Ohio" was a top 10 hit in the UK and Australia.
She even represented the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 and finished fourth behind ABBA's winning Swedish entry "Waterloo." In the following years, Newton-John went on to win 4 Grammy awards and 12 nominations for her signature hits like "Let Me Be There," "I Honestly Love You," "Have You Never Been Mellow," "Hopelessly Devoted To You," "Magic," and "Physical." After Grease she went on to star in films like Xanadu (1980) and Two of a Kind (1983) where she reunited with Travolta.
In 1992 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and inspired fans with her courageous fight. After recovering she went on to become an advocate for breast cancer research and other health issues, however in 2019, she revealed that her cancer returned for a third time. Upon announcing her death, Newton-John's family requested that in lieu of sending flowers they donate to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, which sponsoring global research into plant medicine for cancer.
Celebrities and fans took to social media to mourn the loss of the pop icon. To celebrate her extraordinary seven decades on earth, here is a look at Olivia-Newton John through the years.