Olivia Newton-John with Jack

 Actress and singer Olivia Newton-John was born on 26th September 1948 in Cambridge, England.   The family emigrated to Australia when she was five when her father had been appointed Dean of Melbourne College.  In her teens Olivia won a talent contest and this prompted her return to London, UK to pursue a singing career in popular music. She had many hit single records and appeared on TV with Cliff Richards who became a lifelong friend. In 1975 she decided to move to America to further her successful career.

Internationally acclaimed she has had more than 25 Top 40 songs on the popular music charts more than half of which have been ranked in the Top 10 and 5 number one hits. While recording the first hit “If Not For You” Olivia’s dog was in the studio and at one point knocked over a microphone stand, the noise is still evident in the song today (during the instrumental bridge near the end of the song). Her biggest hit ”Physical” sold over 2 million copies and was at the top of charts for 10 consecutive weeks.

Olivia’s performance as Sandy in the film Grease opposite John Travolta in 1978 earned her international stardom as an actress.  She met her first husband Matt Lattanzi, a dancer, on set and they had a daughter, Chloe, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1995.

 Olivia Newton John & John Travolta in Grease

 The Queen awarded Olivia an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in recognition of her contribution to the performing arts in 1979. Nine years later Olivia visited Australia, where she still has a home, to make a television special entitled Olivia Down Under to coincide with the bi-centennial.  She and Cliff Richard performed in front of an auspicious audience with included Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

Jack, an Irish Setter was born in 1996 and joined Olivia’s canine and equine family. He went everywhere with Olivia and there is a You Tube video of him joining her on stage at the end of a performance.  When Olivia’s long standing boyfriend, cameraman Patrick McDermott mysteriously disappeared on a fishing trip off the coast off San Pedro, California on 30th June 2005 it was  long walks with Jack that comforted her.

Olivia and Jack after the loss of Patrick McDermott

As a breast cancer survivor, Olivia is an activist and spokesperson for various cancer groups and stated “My cancer scare changed my life, I’m grateful for every new, healthy day I have.  It has helped me prioritize my life.  Olivia never imagined she would marry again, but found happiness with Amazon John Easterling whom she married on 30th June 2008.

On Cliff Richard’s 60th birthday Olivia was invited to join him and other party  goers for a luxury cruise and she was back in London to celebrate with her  old friend at his 75th birthday bash on 14th October 2015 in the Albert Hall.  She joined him on stage with a cake and led the audience in a chorus of Happy Birthday.  In a sparkling silver jacket Cliff belted out a string of his classic hits, including Summer Holiday to the delight of the audience, many of whom were also in their seventies.

So if you are looking for light hearted family entertainment at Christmas time, watch Cliff Richards and the Shadows in Summer Holiday or Olivia Newton-John in Grease and sing along with all the popular songs.