In the late '70s and early '80s, Olivia Newton-John personified "perky." Born in Cambridge, England,her family moved to Australia when she was five and it was there that she first began developing the vocal chords that would see her winning a trip to England in a talent contest when she was only 15. That trip was to change her life as she recorded her first record as part of a one-single deal with Decca Records. The single, "Till You Say You'll Be Mine/For Ever" is now extremely rare.
She soon returned to Australia but was back again in swinging England a couple years later being featured on BBC TV shows and taking the first steps in launching her phenomenally successful pop singing career.
For over a dozen years, Newton-John placed at least one of her songs in the Top-10. She moved to the United States in 1974 and continued her success there, eventually showing up in the role of the wanna-be-bad teenager alongside John Travolta in Grease. Her youthful good looks saw her playing that teenage role when she was 30 years old.
Despite the enormous popularity of Grease, a popularity that seems to grow with each passing year, Newton-John's film career was rather short-lived. In 1983, she made headlines again when she sought refuge back in Australia after it was reported she was being stalked by a serial killer who was later apprehended by the FBI. She later launched a chain of US clothing stores featuring Australian merchandise called Koala Blue that went bust in the early '90s. Following that, she was trying to get her singing career back on track when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She went into remission and returned to work, both singing and acting. She also established the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, an independent charity sponsoring global research into plant medicine for cancer.
She played a regular role on the TV series Sordid Lives: The Series in 2008 and returned to the big screen with a role in the Canadian musical film Score: A Hockey Musical, playing the mother of a teenage hockey star. She also appeared in the Australian comedy film A Few Best Men (2011), played Orion in the TV movie Sharknado 5: Global Swarming in 2017 and made a cameo as herself in The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee (2020) starring Paul Hogan.
On August 8, 2022, Newton-John passed away at the age of 73 at her home in Southern California, with her second husband, John Easterling, by her side.
The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee (2020)
Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (TV Movie)
A Few Best Men (2011)
Score: A Hockey Musical (2010)
Sordid Lives (2000)
It's My Party (1995)
Two of a Kind (1983)
Funny Things Happen Down Under (1966)