Olivia Newton-John

Bella DeNicholas, Editor

Early life

Olivia Newton-John was born the 26 of September, 1948 in Cambridge, England. She is the youngest of three children. Her sister Rona, was an actress. And her brother Hugh, was a medical doctor. Her father, Brinley Newton-John, was born in Wales, England. He was born into a middle class family, and fought in World War II. Olivia’s mother was born in Germany, and came to England to get away from the Nazi Regime, which is where the two met. 

Around the time Olivia was born, her father was the headmaster of the Cambridge Highschool for Boys. When Olivia was five, she and her family moved to Australia, where her father later became the masterof Ormond College at the University of Melbourne.



Newton-John went to the University of Highschool in Parkville. At age fourteen, she created a band named Sol Four. It was a short lived girls band, made up of three classmates, usually performing at a local coffee shop owned by her brother-in-law. She did well in school, but found it a struggle to pass science exams. Later making her choose a different career path. 

Newton-John enjoyed singing and acting. Her first recognised acting talent was acting as “Lady Mary Lasenby ” in her University. She then became regularly known on Australian TV shows. Some shows she performed in were Time for Terry and HSV-7’s The Happy Show. In 1965 she entered a talent contest on the Sing, Sing, Sing television program, and later won. The prize she won was a trip to Great Britain. She originally was resistant to using her prize, but later traveled because of her encouraging mother. She was still reluctant, but her opinion changed when Pat Carrol moved to the UK. They later formed a duo called “Pat and Olivia”, touring nightclubs in Europe. Newton-John was recognised and recruited to the band Toomorrow, created by Don Kirshner.


She joined the band and wrote many songs, but unfortunately none of these songs ever became a chart success and the group quickly fell apart. Although the group was n

o more, Newton-John stayed in the UK. She continued her passion of singing and songwriting, and released her first solo album If Not For You. After the release, she followed up with her single, “Banks of Ohio”. It ended up being a top 10 in the UK, including Australia. She made many appearances on It’s Cliff Richard, a weekly show. She also starred with him on the television show, The Case.  

Later she came out with her second album, and showed on Eurovision. She then wrote many singles, including “Let Me Be There” and “Angel Eyes”. Newton-John left the UK, and moved to the US. She made her third album, Have You Never Been Mellow. 



Newton-John was a part of the production of Grease, and starred as the main character, Sandy Olsson. She got this role after meeting the producer, Allan Carr at a dinner party. 

After the production of Grease, her career skyrocketed as the movie became the biggest box-office hit of 1978. She sang “Hopelessly Devoted To You” and “You’re The One I Want” with co-star John Travolta. Her songs were in the Billboard Top 5 at the same time, making her the second woman to have two hits on the Billboard at once. Because of this she was nominated for the Golden Globe as Best Actress in a Musical. At the Academy Awards she also performed the song “Hopelessly Devoted To You”, which was Oscar Nominated at the time.

After Grease

In November of 1978, she released her fourth album, Totally Hot.  It then became her first solo that was top 10, since her last album Have You Ever Been Mellow. She wrote many more top 10 solos, and later wrote her fifth album Soul Kiss. She was one of the few women who were known for their amazing musical talent. 

She became very popular in the US as well as the UK and Australia. She was often invited to weekly shows, and talk shows. In 1984 she married Matt Laranzi, and gave birth to her only daughter, Chloe Lattanzi. A few years later in 1992, she released her new album Self Indulgent, and planned her first tour. Shortly after the release of the album, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, making her cancel her tour. She then recovered, and went to write her songs again. She also became an advocate for breast cancer research, and many other diseases. She was an advocate for animals, including dolphins.

Newton-John canceled her tour in Japan, protesting about the slaughter of dolphins who were caught in fishing nets. She continued with her passion of music, and later rescheduled her tour. She went on to write many more songs, and make appearances on television, including the UNICEF concert. 



In 2017, Olivia’s breast cancer had returned, and spread to her back. She later came out to her fans and said in 2013 her cancer had returned for the second time, but tried not making it public. This was her third time having cancer, making it worse. She fought the cancer for five years, and died on August 8, 2022 at the age of 73. Her funeral was held in Australia, where her family and friends mourned her loss. She made an impact on this world that we won’t forget.