Olivia Newton-John: a life in pictures

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Olivia Newton-John: a life in pictures

Tributes are being paid to Olivia Newton-John after the award-winning actor, singer and activist died yesterday morning following a long battle with breast cancer. The British-born star’s death at the age of 73 was announced on her Facebook page by her husband, John Easterling. “Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” he wrote. She “passed away peacefully”, said Easterling, “surrounded by family and friends”, at her ranch in Southern California.John Travolta, who starred opposite Newton-John as Danny in hit 1978 musical Grease, described her impact as “incredible”. “My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!”Grease director Randal Kleiser told The Hollywood Reporter that “she was one of a kind, and so very kind”. He added: “For over four decades of our friendship, she exuded nothing but love to everyone she met. Olivia was exactly the way you imagined her. I will miss her forever.”Newton-John was born in Cambridge but moved to Australia with her family in 1954, when her father – a former MI5 agent who was attached to the WWII Enigma project at Bletchley Park – took a job at the University of Melbourne.She was offered her iconic part as Sandy in Grease at the age of 28, but insisted on a screen test with Travolta before accepting, because she was worried that she might be “too old for the teenage role”, said the BBC. Despite her initial concerns, the film became “the biggest box-office hit of 1978”, and  gave Newton-John three hit singles, You’re The One That I Want, Hopelessly Devoted to You and Summer Nights, as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress”.She went on to be honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, in 1981. Just over a decade later, Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer – a disease that she battled for the next 30 years.“Cancer can engulf your mind and engulf your being,” she told NBC’s Today show in 2020. “And I try not to live my life with that in my mind all the time.” Here are some memorable images from both her life and career.Wattie/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesNewton-John with her then singing partner Pat Carroll on the River Thames in London on 1 June 1966. The pair toured European clubs as a pop duo until Carroll’s visa expired and she was forced to return to Australia. Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesPouring a cuppa for her fiance, guitarist Bruce Welch of The Shadows, at their home in Hadley Common, Hertfordshire, in June 1970. She broke off the engagement in 1972.Frank Barrett/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesNewton-John performs Long Live Love during the final dress rehearsal for the Eurovision Song Contest at the Dome, Brighton, on 6 April 1974. She represented the UK and came fourth, losing out to Abba. Paramount Pictures/Fotos International/Getty ImagesDancing with Travolta in a still from Grease, which propelled her to international stardom.Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty ImagesProducer Allan Carr and Newton-John attend the Grease premiere party at Studio 54 in New York City on 13 June 1978.Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty ImagesRehearsing with British disco sensation Andy Gibb for the Music for Unicef Concert: a Gift of Song benefit concert, which was staged at the UN General Assembly Hall in New York City in January 1979.Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty ImagesWith her then-boyfriend Matt Lattanzi in a car outside Le Dome Restaurant in West Hollywood, California, on 31 January 1981. The couple married in 1984 but divorced in 1995.Genaro Molina/Getty ImagesStriking a pose alongside her only child, Chloe Lattanzi, at a party following the opening night of the opera Carmen at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, in 1998.Chris Weeks/LiaisonNewton-John with boyfriend Patrick McDermott and daughter at the Los Angeles opening of Mamma Mia! at the Shubert Theatre in Century City, California, on 26 February 2001.  Cameraman McDermott “mysteriously vanished on an overnight fishing trip off the California coast in 2005 soon after they called it quits”, said the New York Post. Bryan Steffy/WireImageWith daughter Chloe celebrating the 35th anniversary of 1980 musical-fantasy film Xanadu at Share Nightclub, Las Vegas, Nevada, on 9 August 2015.David Livingston/Getty ImagesNewton-John with husband John Easterling at the Steve Irwin Gala Dinner at the JW Marriott at LA Live on 21 May 2016.Read More

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