The Ups & Downs Of Olivia Newton-John’s Life

(remove) Noelle Talmon | September 18, 2018 5:20 pm

Most people know Olivia Newton-John from the musical film Grease and for her hit singles, such as “Physical.” While Olivia has had many career and personal highs, she has also experienced a lot of pain in her life. She has dealt with significant medical problems and has also watched her loved ones cope with their own health struggles. But throughout it all, she has maintained a positive attitude and has never given up on herself or those around her.

Olivia Was A Member Of A Girl Group & Released Her First Music Single In 1966


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Olivia loved music and started singing at a young age. When she was just 14 years old, she and three school pals formed the girl group Sol Four and she was called Lovely Livvy. She was later in the short-lived group Toomorrow. Olivia appeared on local Australian radio and TV shows, including The Go!! Show where she met singer Pat Carroll and music producer John Farrar.

In the 60s, she won a talent contest on the TV program Sing, Sing, Sing and was awarded a trip to Britain. In 1966, she recorded her first single, “Till You Say You’ll Be Mine,” in the United Kingdom.

She Is A Huge Animal Lover

She Is A Huge Animal Lover

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Olivia is a big animal lover. When she was growing up in England she had dogs. Before she started her own family she had seven horses, nine dogs, and several cats and chickens. As of 2016 she had a dog, a cat, 13 chickens, and two miniature horses.

Following the death of her sister, Olivia worked on the album Live On, which tackles the theme of loss. The song “Stone in My Pocket” talks about how people carry grief with them, whether it be the size of a pebble or a boulder. It applied to the loss of friends, family, and animals.

She Nearly Turned Down The Role Of Sandy


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In 2017, Olivia revealed that she hesitated to accept the role of Sandy in Grease for several reasons. First, she was nervous because she was Australian. But producers told her it was okay if she had an Australian accent. Second, she feared she was too old.

“I worried that at 29 I was too old to play a high-school girl,” She told the Telegraph. “But John was charming and really wanted me to do it, and that was one of the deciding factors. He’s a lovely man – we became great friends and he was very helpful to me on set, as I was not an experienced actress.”

Olivia & John Travolta Shared A Secret


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In 2012, John Travolta confessed he had the hots for Olivia before they even met. “I had known Olivia prior to Grease,” he told TheFIX. “Because she was the biggest recording artist in the world at the time. But I also had a tremendous crush on her!”

Olivia said she felt the same way: “We both had a crush on each other. It created great chemistry.” When the pair met, she was captivated by him: “John walked up my driveway in Malibu and he was gorgeous, and he had these bright blue eyes, which he still has, and I was captured by him.”

She Had A Wardrobe Malfunction While Filming Grease


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Remember the school carnival scene in Grease where everyone is dancing? Olivia actually had quite the mishap behind-the-scenes! Apparently, while she was dancing during a take, the zipper broke on her black pants.

Wardrobe wasn’t sure how to fix it quickly, so they just sewed them up. Olivia was stuck in the pants until they got the scene right. It might have been embarrassing for the young actress, but she managed it like a pro.

She Sued For Unpaid Royalties Over The Grease Soundtrack


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Olivia was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Grease and sang the Oscar-nominated “Hopelessly Devoted to You” at the Academy Awards in 1979. She did not receive any awards for the beloved role. However, the Grease album is one of the biggest selling soundtracks of all time, and 28 million copies of it have been sold.

However, Olivia didn’t believe she was properly compensated for her work on the soundtrack. As a result, in 2006, her company filed a lawsuit against Universal Music Group for $1 million in unpaid royalties from the soundtrack. They reached an undisclosed settlement in 2007.

She Was A Music Video Pioneer With 1981’s ‘Physical”

She Was A Music Video Pioneer With 1981’s ‘Physical”

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Olivia dropped her most successful studio album in 1981. The double platinum Physical contained a song of the same name, which was hugely popular. It was on top of the Billboard charts for 10 weeks, tying the record at the time for most weeks at number one with Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life.”

“Physical” was eventually named the biggest song of the decade. Two radio stations in Utah banned the single because of its racy lyrics. Olivia tried to soften its content by filming a music video of “Physical” with an exercise theme. She ended up making videos for all the songs from the album.

The Reason Why She Left The Spotlight


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Olivia and her longtime boyfriend, actor Matt Lattanzi, tied the knot in 1984 after meeting on the set of Xanadu. Two years later they welcomed their only child, a daughter named Chloe Rose. Olivia dropped out of the spotlight for three years in order to raise her child.

In 1988, she got back to work and released the album The Rumour. Unfortunately, it didn’t match her earlier success. While it was praised critically, it failed to resonate with fans. Olivia, who by then was approaching 40, was struggling to compete with younger female artists at the time, including Debbie Gibson and Tiffany.

She Was Diagnosed With Breast Cancer On The Same Weekend That Her Father Died


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Despite the setback of her disappointing 1988 album, Olivia tried to revive interest in her music by releasing the hits compilation, Back to Basics – The Essential Collection 1971–1992. She also planned on launching her first tour in a decade to coincide with the album’s release. Unfortunately, Olivia was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her father died on the same weekend that she received her diagnosis.

Olivia canceled her tour plans and managed to overcome cancer. She also became involved in breast cancer research and worked as an advocate for the breast self-examination product Liv-Kit. Little did she know that her cancer fight was not over or that other life-altering events would soon take place in her life.

She Started A Retail Business, But It Went Bankrupt


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Olivia and one of her best pals, Pat Carroll, went into the retail business in 1983. Koala Blue was located on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles and carried all sorts of Australian imports, including clothing. At one point, there were 12 U.S. stores and high interest in five other countries. Things went downhill once the ’90s hit.

The company filed for bankruptcy in 1991 during the recession. Olivia blamed fast expansion on the store’s failure. She later said of the experience, “It was depressing at the time, but you can’t dwell on the past. I learned a lot of things. Like, don’t do it again!”

She Got Divorced & Then Dated A Man Who Faked His Own Death


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Olivia divorced her husband of over 20 years in 1995 and met someone new, gaffer/cameraman Patrick McDermott, about a year later. The pair were together on-and-off for nearly a decade before McDermott inexplicably disappeared in 2005 during a fishing trip in California.

There was an investigation into McDermott’s disappearance, and eventually, the U.S. Coast Guard concluded in 2008 that he had been lost at sea. Many believed he may have taken his own life. But did he fake it instead? Private detectives allegedly located him in 2010 living in Mexico under his given name, Pat Kim.

She Battled Depression


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When her boyfriend Patrick vanished without a trace in 2005, Olivia had a difficult time coping. Who wouldn’t? She didn’t know if he was dead or alive. Olivia told the Times of London in 2013 that she struggled with depression and was prescribed antidepressants to deal with the incident. She ended up using them for three months before weaning herself off of them.

“I took them until I could see the light again and never did them again,” she explained. “I didn’t want to become dependent on them. That’s why I stopped.” She has also undergone therapy to deal with difficult things in her life.

She Built A Luxury Spa Resort In Australia


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In 2005, Olivia alongside close friend Gregg Cave came upon a beautiful piece of land in Australia while spreading her mother’s ashes. It was initially a health retreat in the ’70s before a meditation guru took it over. Olivia was entranced by the property and decided to purchase it with Gregg and two other partners.

The Gaia Retreat & Spa in the Bunjalung Country of Byron Bay is a luxurious boutique hotel that pampers its guests. Olivia has described it as “a place to surrender, recharge and feel whole again.” She has also referred to it as “barefoot meets Armani, luxurious yet simple and unpretentious.”

Her Daughter Battled Anorexia & A Drug Addiction

Her Daughter Battled Anorexia & A Drug Addiction

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When she was a teenager, Olivia’s daughter Chloe battled anorexia. “I think it’s hard to be the child of a person in the limelight, I really understand that,” the star said in a 2016 interview. “There’s privilege but there’s also other things that come along with that.” When Chloe got older, she became addicted to cocaine and alcohol.

Olivia sent her daughter to a treatment center for her eating disorder when she was 18. Chloe said it didn’t help being near others with eating disorders, but she eventually got better with the help of a martial arts instructor who geared her in a healthier direction.

Olivia Secretly Married A Guy She Had Been Friends With For Years


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Two years after her boyfriend Patrick disappeared, Olivia got back in the dating game. She started a relationship with a man named John Easterling, whom she’d known for 15 years. Just one year after making a romantic connection, they secretly wed. Only Olivia’s daughter Chloe knew about the big event.

The newlyweds finally shared their big news during a fourth of July BBQ at the star’s home in Malibu, California, a couple of weeks later. The two decided they needed a change in pace, and in 2009 Olivia sold her Malibu home. The couple relocated into a $4.1 million estate in Florida.

A Man Killed Himself At Her Florida Home


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On Aug. 19, 2013, police in Jupiter, Florida was called to Olivia and John Easterling’s home around 12 p.m. over a suspected death. When authorities arrived, they found a 42-year-old man who was dead. He had been shot. The police determined that the man was a contractor who was working for the couple.

An autopsy later revealed that the man, Christopher Pariseleti, had killed himself. There were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident, and Olivia and her husband were not in Florida at the time of his death. Olivia’s publicist said she and her husband were “in shock over the tragic event.”

Her Breast Cancer Returned Two More Times & She Started Using Cannabis Oil For Pain

Her Breast Cancer Returned Two More Times & She Started Using Cannabis Oil For Pain

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In 2013, Olivia received news that her breast cancer had returned and spread into her shoulder. It came back once again in 2017 and is once again “metastatic” because it has spread to the base of her spine. “My husband’s always there, and he’s always there to support me, and I believe I will win over it and that’s my goal,” she told Seven.

Now, she’s taking cannabis oil for the pain. “I’m very lucky I live in a (US) state where it’s legal … my dream is that in Australia soon it will be available to all the cancer patients and people going through cancer or any kind of disease that causes pain,” she added.

Her Husband Grows For Her Treatment


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Once Olivia decided to go the natural route to treat her cancer, her husband completely supported her. So much so that he planted and takes care of marijuana crops in California to create the cannabis oil for her treatment.

Open with her journey as a survivor of cancer, Olivia is sharing both her successes and setbacks with the world. “I believe I will win over it,” she said. It’s also possible that having such a well-known celebrity trying alternative medicines will open others’ minds.

She Has Four Grammys


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Olivia has been nominated for 12 Grammy Awards and has won four of them. She won Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Let Me Be There” (1973), Record of the Year for “I Honestly Love You” and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “I Honestly Love You” (1974), and Video of the Year for “Olivia Physical” (1982).

When she won the Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year award in 1974, she beat out country heavyweights (and Nashville stars) Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Tanya Tucker, as well as Canadian singer Anne Murray. Many country fans were upset that an Australian picked up the award.

She Wrote a Recipe Book To Fund A Hospital


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Olivia told Dear Doctor, “People always ask me how I stay so healthy and what I eat.” She said although she’s not a vegetarian, she mostly eats a plant-based diet. “I love greens, and as many organic vegetables as possible.”

She also came up with a great idea to raise funds for a hospital she lent her name to in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Olivia published her first book, Livwise: Easy Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Life and used the proceeds to benefit the hospital.