‘I chose the path to be grateful’: the legacy of Olivia Newton-John, actress who died after 30 years of cancer treatment

grease

Credit, Getty Images

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Newton-John is known around the world for her role as Sandy in the movie “Grease” (1978)

movie star grease, Award-winning actress and singer, English Olivia Newton-John died at the age of 73 this Monday (08/08).

In a brief statement, her husband, John Easterling, said the singer died on Monday morning at her ranch in California, United States. “Olivia has been a symbol of triumph and hope for over 30 years, sharing her breast cancer journey,” the statement reads on behalf of the family. “We ask that everyone respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time.”

To the BBC, the artist’s manager confirmed that she died due to cancer.

Newton-John achieved commercial success in the 1970s as a singer country and sold millions of records. But it was her role as Sandy in the film adaptation of grease that catapulted her to worldwide fame. The film had the biggest box office success in 1978 and gave the singer hits as You’re The One That I Want and summer nightsboth partnerships with actor John Travolta.

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Olivia Newton-John in a 1972 photo

On Instagram, following the news of the death, Travolta wrote that Olivia Newton-John “made all of our lives so much better.” “Your impact was incredible. I love you so much,” he wrote.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in the early 1990s, Newton-John devoted herself to publicly rallying support for cancer research. Her efforts were recognized by Queen Elizabeth, who named her the title of Lady on the 2020 New Year’s Honors List.

“(The diagnosis of the disease) was something that consumed my day, and after a while I stopped and said, ‘You know what? I need to enjoy my life,” the artist said in 2019 during an interview with the CBS TV show. This Morning.

Credit, Getty Images

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In recent years, Newton-John has become a cancer research activist.

“Because that joie de vivre, of everyday life, needs to be part of the healing process.”

“So I chose this path of being grateful, because the other side isn’t so good,” she said, laughing.

“I’m not a victim and I don’t want to be one. I feel like what happened to me had a purpose.”

Childhood and youth

Newton-John was born in Cambridge, UK, on ​​September 26, 1948. His father was a British spy during World War II; his mother was the daughter of a German Nobel laureate physicist Max Born. In 1954, Newton-John, her parents and siblings moved to Australia, where she was raised. It was there that, at a very young age, she created a musical group with friends and began performing at a local café. Little by little, the young woman began to participate in TV shows and talent shows.

An award won at one of these shows brought the opportunity to travel to the UK, and the young woman and her mother then traveled to London in 1966. From there, she toured Europe and recorded a few songs, but her first career leap came in 1971 when she released a track written by Bob Dylan, If Not For You.

In 1977, her career wasn’t going too well, when she met producer Alan Carr. The opportunity arose for Newton-John to play the role of Sandy in the film version of the musical. grease. Worried that at 28 she was too old for the role of the teenager, she insisted on auditioning with John Travolta before taking the job. It worked, and to accommodate Newton-John’s accent, the character was recast to represent an Australian woman.

Credit, CBS/Getty

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The final scene of Grease was etched in the memory of an entire generation.

The great success of the film yielded new opportunities, such as the release of the album physical in 1981, hailed by many critics as their best album.

The record was dedicated to her then-boyfriend Matt Lattanzi, whom Newton-John married in 1984. After taking three years out of the spotlight to raise her daughter Chloe, the singer struggled to get her career back on track. In the early 1990s, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The artist’s activism — which had already shown itself in 1978, when she canceled a tour in Japan in protest against the killing of dolphins caught in tuna nets, or in 1992, when she performed in Rio de Janeiro, in the midst of the Conference of the United Nations on Environment and Development that year, Rio-92 — focused more on combating the disease. This effort resulted in the founding of a cancer treatment center in Melbourne, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Center.

In 2019, her legendary costume from grease was auctioned for $405,000. Proceeds went towards cancer research carried out in Australia.

recent years

Meanwhile, Olivia Newton-John continued to record and tour, although many of her albums were only released in Australia, where she performed at the opening of the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Credit, Getty Images

In 2008, she secretly married John Easterling, director of a natural remedies company, in an Inca ceremony in Peru. In May 2017, it was announced that her breast cancer had returned and had spread to her back, resulting in the cancellation of a tour in the US and Canada. The singer publicly campaigned for the legalization of cannabis medicinal product to relieve pain.

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About Hrishikesh Bhardwaj

Tv specialist. Falls down a lot. Typical troublemaker. Hipster-friendly advocate. Food fan.

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