Sunday, October 2, 2011

Olivia Newton-John Who played Sandy in the Musical Film Grease

Although Olivia Newton-John lives in Australia, she was born September 26, 1948 in Cambridge, England.  Newton-John was her family name at birth.  She did not acquire this name through marriage.   She has won world wide fame as Sandy Olsen in the musical film Grease.  Although she was a popular singer before hand and after with a total of 28 albums, she actually started her career as an actress in film musicals.

Singer Olivia Newton-John starred in the musical film Grease in 1978

Olivia began her film acting career in 1965 appearing in the Australian musical comedy Funny Things Happen Down Under co-starring Susanne Haworth, Ian Turpie, William Hodge, Bruce Barry, Rodney Pearlman, Melissa Orr, and William Hodge.  Five years later she landed the lead role in the sci-fi musical Toomorrow which featured the band Toomorrow made up of members Ben Thomas, Karl Chambers, and Vic Cooper.  Newton-John also was featured on the soundtrack of the same title.  A year later in 1971, Olivia released her debut album Olivia Newton John, which was quickly followed by If Not For You that same year and Olivia in 1972.

Olivia Newton-John the early years

In 1973, Olivia performed twice on the comedy show Sez Les starring Les Dawson and The Syd Lawrence Orchestra.  That year she also released her fourth and fifth albums Music Makes My Day and Let Me Be There for which see won an award for "Best Female Country Vocal Performance".

Olivia Newton-John then

Olivia performed in the TV movie Sounds Like Les Dawson in 1974, also releasing her album Long Live Love, followed that same year by If You Love Me, Let Me Know. That year she won "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance" and "Record of the Year" for I Honestly Love You.

Newton-John stayed off screen for a few years releasing albums Have You Never Been Mellow (1975), Clearly Love (1975), Come On Over (1976), Don't Stop Believin' (1976), and Making a Good Thing Better (1977).

Olivia Newton-John circa mid 1970s

In 1978, Newton-John appeared in her own TV special Olivia performing some of her hit songs.  Also that year Olivia released her album Totally Hot.  It was this year that she gained international fame starring as Sandy Olsen in the hit musical film Grease.  She co-starred with John Travolta (Danny Zuko), Jeff Conaway (Kenickie), Stockard Channing (Betty Rizzo), Didi Conn (Frenchy), Kelly Ward (Putzie), Barry Pearl (Doody), Michael Tucci (Sonny), Jamie Donnelly (Jan), Eve Arden (Principal McGee), Dinah Manoff (Marty Maraschino), Joan Blondell (Vi), Edd Byrnes (Vince Fontaine), Frankie Avalon (The Teen Angel), Eddie Deezen (Eugene Felnic), Lorenzo Lamas (Tom Chisum), Fannie Flagg (Nurse Wilkins), and Sid Caesar (Coach Calhoun). This musical for years left fans singing songs by Olivia such as "Hopelessly Devoted to You" and "You're the One that I want" a duet with Travolta.

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta graced the cover of the album soundtrack for Grease 1978
Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in the dance contest scene from the film Grease
Olivia Newton-John in Grease 1978
Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta strut their stuff in the film Grease 1978
John Travolta (Danny Zuko) and Olivia Newton-John (Sandra Olsen) stars of the film Grease 1978

After Grease, two years later in 1980, Newton-John would land the lead role of Kira in another musical film, Xanadu.  She co-starred with Gene Kelly (Danny McGuire), Michael Beck (Sonny Malone), Renn Woods (Jo), Dimitra Arliss (Helen), Katie Hanley (Sandra), and James Sloyan (Simpson).

Olivia Newton-John and Michael Beck stared in Xanadu 1980

In 1981, Olivia Newton-John would release her smash album Physical featuring the hit song of the same name that went viral.  She won Video of the Year for the song and the success of that tune and album would spawn other projects for Newton-John such as her own TV special Olivia Newton-John: Let's Get Physical in 1982. 

Olivia Newton-John - album cover for Physical 1981
Olivia Newton-John's video for the smash single Physical won best video of the year in 1981

Newton-John would team up with John Travolta again in the film Two of a Kind in 1983 and she was also featured on the movie soundtrack.  The film also featured Charles Durning, Oliver Reed, Scatman Crothers, Ernie Hudson, Beatrice Straight, and Richard Bright.

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta on the cover of the soundtrack for Two of a Kind 1978

Olivia focused on music for the remainder of the 80s churning out the albums: Soul Kiss (1985), The Rumour (1988), and Warm and Tender (1989). In 1990 she landed the lead role in the TV movie A Mom for Christmas co -starring Juliet Sorci, Doris Roberts, Doug Sheehan, Carmen Argenziano, Aubrey Morris, and Jim Piddock.  The following year in the TV movie A Christmas Romance co-starring Gregory Harrison, Chloe Lattanzi, Tom Heaton, and Stephanie Sawyer. That same year she made a cameo appearance in Madonna: Truth or Dare.

It was at this point in her life that Olivia found out that she had breast cancer.  She successfully under went treatment and joins the list of cancer survivors.

A few years later in 1994, Newton-John released her 18th album, Gaia.  Two years later in 1996 she made another TV appearance in the movie It's My Party and two years after that Olivia recorded another album, Back With a Heart.

Olivia Newton-John circa mid 1990s

In 2000, Olivia appeared in Sordid Lives starring Delta Burke, Bonnie Bedelia, Beau Bridges, Kirk Geiger, and Beth Grant.  That year she aslo released her 20th album, 'Tis the Season.  The following year she landed the lead role in The Wilde Girls co-starring Chloe Lattanzi, Jerome Ehlers, Swoosie Kurtz, and Robert Lewis Stephenson.  That year she also recorded another holiday album The Christmas Collection and volume 2 the following year in 2002.

Throughout the remainder of the decade Olivia focused mostly on her music, making only a couple of TV appearances.  She recorded the albums Indigo: Women of Song (2004), Stronger Than Before (2005), Grace and Gratitude (2006), Christmas Wish (2007), and A Celebration in Song (2008).  Also in 2008, Olivia mad a return appearance on Sordid Lives.  She also wrote and recorded songs made for the show.  She also lent her voice to
The Magic 7 co-starring Jason Aaron Baca, Kevin Bacon, Michael J. Fox, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Judy Collins, Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore, Bette Midler, Ted Danson, Ice-T, Meryl Streep, and James Earl Jones ( 2009).

Olivia Newton-John in 2008
Olivia Newton-John performs in Sydney 2008

In 2010, Olivia Newton-John recorded her 28th album Grace And Gratitude Renewed and she also appearred in a TV documentary called 1 a Minute co-starring Kelly McGillis, Jaclyn Smith, Diahann Carroll, Namrata Singh Gujral, Bárbara Mori, Morgan Brittany, Lisa Ray, and William Baldwin. She made a special guest appearance on the musical TVshow Glee co-starring Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Jayma Mays, Jessalyn Gilsig, Lea Michele, Molly Shannon, and Heather Morris. That year she also appeared in Score: A Hockey Musical co-starring John McDermott, Noah Reid, Allie MacDonald, Hawksley Workman, Thomas Mitchell, and Marc Jordan.

Olivia Newton-John 2010
Olivia Newton-John reunites with John Travolta almost 22 years after Grease

Olivia is still going strong today not only as a singer/acress, but she owns her own spa which bears the same name as one of her albums, "Gaia". Olivia also has her own line of beauty products "Olivia's Amazon Rainforest Health and Beauty Secrets".  

Her acting career is still busy with a role in the film A Few Best Men which is in production and scheduled for release in 2012.  She co-stars with Rebel Wilson, Xavier Samuel, Laura Brent, Kevin Bishop, Kris Marshall, Margaux Harris, and Tim Draxl. 

Olivia Newton-John today


  1. Man, she's OLD!!!

    1. such a strange thing to say. We all age, you know. Should she have died after Grease?

  2. She may be old but she looks great!

  3. Her looks remind me alot of Princess Diana. She or should i say they are beautiful.

  4. WOW was she hot in Grease now she looks really diffrent

  5. She still looks great. I Love her, she was and is still is the best female singer.