From growing up in Melbourne, Australia to top the charts around the world and becoming a pop culture icon thanks to a little movie called Fat, Olivia Newton John did it all. Her legendary life came to an end on August 8 at the age of 73. “Dame Olivia Newton-John, 73, passed away peacefully this morning at her Southern California Ranch, surrounded by family and friends. We ask everyone to respect the privacy of the family at this very difficult time,” a message from her husband, John Easterlingread on her official Facebook page.
“A symbol of triumph and hope for over 30 years, Olivia shares her journey with breast cancer,” the post continued. “Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience in plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, which is dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations in memory of the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund (ONJFoundationFund.org).”
Olivia was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in 2017, marking the third time she had the disease. Stage IV cancer survival rates are small, but Olivia revealed she didn’t view her health problems as a “battle or war.” Instead, as she told 60 Minutes Australia in August 2019, she did her best to maintain a positive mental attitude. “I’m so lucky that I’ve been through this three times and I’m still here,” she said. “I live with it. Every day is a gift, especially now.” Olivia was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. She underwent six months of treatment, including partial mastectomy and chemo, according to The independent. In 2013, the disease returned and she underwent a second round of treatment.
“I see it as something in my body that I get rid of,” she said in her interview. “I’m not talking about a battle or war. I let it go and tell it to leave and talk to my body and tell it to heal itself. She also revealed that despite the bleak prognosis, she didn’t know how much time she had left. “When you get a cancer diagnosis or a scary disease diagnosis, you suddenly get the option of a time limit. If you believe the statistics, you will live up to them. If someone tells you, ‘You have six months to live’, it’s entirely possible that you do – because you believe it.” Instead, she decided to live each day to the fullest and not focus on her. fleeting time.
British-born Olivia moved to Melbourne with her family when she was five, according to her official site. Her natural talents for music developed quickly. She performed in a girl group called Sol 4 and as part of the duo, Pat & Olivia, as a young teenager. She released her first solo single in 1966 and in 1973 she had her first top-10 single, ‘Let Me Be There’. Olivia’s career boomed, and she found early success with songs like “I Honest Love You,” “Have You Never Been Mellow,” and “If You Love ME (Let Me Know).”
If Olivia had stayed with singing, she would still be remembered as a phenomenal music artist. But in 1978 she transformed from singer to icon when she played Sandy in the film adaptation of Fat. Olivia’s chemistry with John Travolta was unmistakable, and her performance as Sandy has carved herself into pop culture history. The film was the biggest blockbuster of the year. The soundtrack spent 12 non-consecutive weeks at #1, yielding three Top 5 singles for Olivia: “You’re The One That I Want,” “Hopelessly Devoted To You” and “Summer Nights.”
While Olivia’s acting career stumbled after the ’80s xanadu, a box-office flop that has since developed a cult following, two tracks from the soundtrack (“Xanadu”, “Magic”) were certified silver and gold respectively. In 1981 she would release a monster hit from the 80s, ‘Physical’. The song was certified platinum and spent 10 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. This would be Olivia’s pinnacle of professional success. She would continue to pursue music after that and release music until her death.
Olivia was married twice. First, she and friend Matt Lattanzi married in 1984. They welcomed a daughter, Chloe Rosein 1986. They were going to divorce in 1995. She dated gaffer/cameraman Patrick McDermott, on and off, nine years after her divorce, before disappearing during a 2005 fishing trip off the coast of California. She married John Easterlingfounder and president of the Amazon Herb Company, in 2008.
Olivia is survived by her husband John, daughter Chloe Lattanzisister Sarah Newton Johnand brother Toby Newton Johnas well as 15 cousins.