You know her from ‘Grease,’ but Olivia Newton-John’s career is a laundry list of successes. Before Julianne Hough takes over as the new Sandy, here’s everything you need to know about the OG!
Olivia Newton-John, 67, is not only an actor who won us over alongside John Travolta in the 1978 movie adaptation of Grease. She’s much more than that! From Grammy awards, to eleven chart-topping singles, the Australian star has an amazing career. Here’s everything you need to know.
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1. Olivia was part of an all-girl group & a duo
Olivia and three classmates created an all-girl group, Sol Four, when she was 14 — the group would perform at her brother-in-law’s coffee shop. Later in life, Olivia also joined a duo called “Pat and Olivia” with Pat Caroll. They toured nightclubs in Europe.
2. Bob Dylan is kind of responsible for her start
Olivia’s first solo album was released in 1971; the title track, “If Not For You” was written by Bob Dylan, and recorded before her by George Harrison. Basically, he was a hit from the beginning.
3. She was 29 when playing Sandy — and the changed the role for her
Olivia was nervous she was too old to play a high school senior, but after a film test with John Travolta, it was so good they made it work. The film actually recast the character from the play’s original American Sandy to an Australian Sandy to incorporate her accent.
4. Olivia earned a Globes nomination for Grease
First Olivia landed a nomination for Fav. Film Artist at the People’s Choice Awards; it was later followed by more a prestigious recognition — a nomination for Best Actress in a Musical at the Golden Globes. She also performed “Hoplessly Devoted to You” at the Oscars.
5. She did a Christmas album with John Travolta in 2012
This Christmas reunited the Grease costars for a Christmas album; all funds went to Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre (she raised over $200 million to help build it) as well as the Jett Travolta Foundation. Since then, she hasn’t stopped. She began her sold-out Las Vegas residency, Olivia Newton-John: Summer Nights at the Flamingo Las Vegas in 2014 and is there through the end of 2016. A portion of every ticket sold to her Vegas show benefits the Wellness Centre.