Olivia Newton-John

Active - 1965 - 2017  |   Born - Sep 26, 1948 in Cambridge, England  |   Genres - Music, Children's/Family, Comedy, Musical, Fantasy

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Olivia Newton-John was an extremely popular country/ pop singer during the seventies whose best known songs include If You Love Me (Let Me know), Have You Never Been Mellow, and I Honestly Love You. Newton-John was born in Cambridge, England but raised in Australia. As a singer she got her start as a teenager performing in England. When she first burst onto the U.S. scene, she was known as a country singer, but soon crossed-over into pop. Newton-John went on to earn numerous gold records and won many awards, including the Grammy. In 1981, she had her biggest hit with Physical. In 1978, she broadened her horizons and became an actress, starring in the smash-hit film adaptation of the Broadway musical Grease. Following the success of that film, she starred in the musical fantasy Xanadu and bombed at the box-office. Still, as did Grease, which provided her with hits such as Hopelessly Devoted to You and the duet with co-star John Travolta You're the One That I Want, the Xanadu soundtrack provided her a hit with the title song, Magic. Her next film Two of a Kind, again co-starring Travolta, also bombed. As an actress she later appeared in a few episodes of Timeless Tales from Hallmark. In 1983, Newton-John returned to Australia because she was being stalked by a killer. Following his arrest, she returned to Hollywood and opened a chain of clothing stores, Koala Blue, in which she served interesting health drinks and Australian clothing. The chain went bankrupt in the early '90s. Newton-John was preparing to jump-start her music career in 1992 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer (her father had died of cancer just two weeks before her own diagnosis).She underwent a partial mastectomy and breast reconstruction. Newton-John returned to film, making a cameo appearance in the 1996 AIDS melodrama It's My Party.

In the years to follow, Newton-John continued to record and release music mostly in her native Australia, and toured all over the world to support her music career. She also endured a difficult public struggle in 2005, when her partner Patrick McDermott went missing following a fishing trip along the California coast. The singer would persevere, however, and continue to act, appearing in projects like the TV series Sordid Lives: The Series and in films like A Few Best Men.

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  • Left high school in her mid-teens when she got her first big break on an Australian TV program called The Tarax Happy Show.
  • Appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1979 for her work in the entertainment industry as well as with charitable organizations.
  • Authored a children's book in 1993, along with Brian Hurst and illustrator Salvatore Murdocca, entitled A Pig Tale.
  • Invited to perform during the opening ceremony at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia; also serenaded the Pope at a charity event in Rome that same year.
  • Appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2006 for her service to the entertainment industry and her fight against breast cancer.
  • Led a three-week walk along the Great Wall of China in April 2008 to raise money to build the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne.
  • Published her first book, LivWise: Easy Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Life, in 2011.