Rest in Peace, Olivia Newton-John

On August 8, 2022, singer and actress Olivia Newton-John passed away from an on-and-off again battle with cancer. Newton-John passed away at the age of 73. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, according to NBC News. After overcoming that, the cancer returned two more times, in 2013 and 2017, the article continues. 

I literally found out about Newton-John’s death at the worst possible time because I was at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in line to ride ‘Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.’ I never got to ride the attraction, though, because it broke down while I was waiting in line, so that bummed me too! Strangely enough, three days before Newton-John’s death, I published a blog post titled, My Top 10 Favorite Songs of All Time with Female Vocalists, and “Hopelessly Devoted to You” was my number one pick. That’s scary to think about!

I don’t have much of a personal connection with Olivia Newton-John, like I do with Bob Saget, but her death hit me hard because she starred in one of my all time favorite movies, Grease (1978). It’s fun, heartwarming, and the songs are memorable. All the actors did an amazing job in their roles, especially Newton-John. It still boggles me how she was able to go from sweet and innocent Sandy to sexy and rebellious Sandy by the end of the film. When she showed up with that teased hair, red lipstick, and black leather outfit, I thought it was a different actress.

As mentioned in my movie review for Grease, I’m not a huge fan of the makeover scene because it makes me question the message of the film. There’s a whole debate about whether or not Sandy changed her appearance for the right reasons. I mean, for goodness sakes, she even learned how to smoke for the guy! I don’t care what anyone says, no guy is worth risking your lungs for!  However, I admire Sandy’s bravery for knowing what she wanted in life and going after it. Her newfound confidence at the end of the film is something we all strive for these days.

Newton-John also had great chemistry with her on-screen love interest, John Travolta. The actors themselves must’ve thought so too because they did another movie together five years later, Two of a Kind (1983). 

Did I mention she could sing, as well? I mean, Newton-John could really sing. Her vocal range was impressive, going from high notes to low notes effortlessly. I listened to “Please Don’t Keep Me Waiting” from Totally Hot (1978) on YouTube this morning and man, the high notes she sang at the end of the song were insane!

I’ll be honest, I never checked out any of her music outside of Grease, which I regret not doing. I also regret not watching any of the other films she starred in. Had I done those things, this tribute post would’ve been a thousand times better. It’s weird because I’ve only seen Newton-John in one film, but it’s one that’s near and dear to my heart, so it feels like my childhood was torn apart.

I saw a clip of Xanadu (1980) on TV when I was younger, but I never watched the whole movie. However, now that Newton-John has passed away, I’ll check it out if I ever see it on TV again. I know that movie didn’t have the best reviews, but I heard the soundtrack was successful. Newton-John sang on the soundtrack, so that’s got to mean something!

My prayers go out to Newton-John’s co-stars, and friends and family going through this difficult time. Her death devastatingly affects the acting and music industry, and she will dearly be missed. Thank you Olivia Newton-John for playing a huge part of my childhood, giving me a song to sing when I’m going through a heartbreak, and for sharing your incredible talents with us! Rest in peace, my friend!


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Take care and see ya real soon!

Lana

31 thoughts on “Rest in Peace, Olivia Newton-John

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      1. Yeah, a little piece of my childhood gone – we only had three channels when I was a kid (and no remote ‘cos they didn’t exist yet so get off yer ass if you want a different channel lol). Anyway, eventually we got a VCR and my Mom bought one tape to go with it – Grease. It got played a lot. I was first to get tired of it, but eventually we got Star Wars and that was better… Anyway, we watched a lot of Olivia.

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      2. Remote controls must’ve been a good excuse for us to be more lazy lol. I’m not sure if you told me about Grease being the first tape you got, but that’s awesome Grease was your first one!

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      3. Well it wasn’t my choice. Our parents bought the VCR, so they got to choose. Well, I’m sure my Dad didn’t care, so Mom chose, and she loves Grease so there you go. Better when Star Wars showed up lol.

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      4. Yes but back then, before the VCR, you saw it as many times as your parents would take you (maybe twice) and then had to wait years for another one, all the while remembering it in your head. These days, with a couple of clicks, you can watch any of them in high definition with ease. The magic feels gone, oftentimes.

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      5. Well, you have to pay for it too. It’s not like you can watch those movies for free online. The only difference is you won’t have the physical copy of those films.

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      6. And it was a big deal at the time, having a movie player in the house. The machine was expensive, and the tapes couldn’t have been cheap. Kids these days have no idea lol I’m an old man get off my lawn 😉

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      7. Oh I’m sure that machine wasn’t cheap. It must’ve been groundbreaking being able to watch a movie on TV with a VHS player. My parents have the VHS videos for ‘Titanic’ (because the movie is so dang long, it needed two tapes). Yeah, DVDs are more efficient, but VHS tapes were the sh*t back then lol.

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      8. I used to have to throw out Titanic VHS sets all the time because we’d get so many donated at my old work. There was always a perfect copy on the shelf and it never sold. Yup, they still have a VHS shelf. 8-tracks too. And cassettes.

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      9. Went on a double date to see it in theater. All the girls cried, even sitting around us for rows away, probably the whole room’s worth. All the dudes in the place were looking around, like, what? It was bloated, masturbatory fiction, unrealistic and contrived. Sure it was pretty to look at but… look at me ranting, ha sorry. Anyway, after the show, the other guy we were with said, as we walked past the line of folks waiting to get into the next showing, “Man, I really cannot believe we watched that whole movie and the ship didn’t even sink!” Lol that was the best part of the night.

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      10. Technically there was an actual Titanic ship that sank in 1912, but yeah, the love story was added for dramatic effect. Looks like it worked for the girls in the theater. I laughed out loud when I read what the guy said at the end of the movie lol. “Man, I really cannot believe we watched that whole movie and the ship didn’t even sink!” Haha!

        By the way, in my brutally honest opinion, if Jack wasn’t incredibly good looking, nobody would’ve cared if he died!

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      11. Jack was good looking? I’m a dude, never noticed or cared lol. Also, there was TOTALLY space for them both on that board at the end. I know there was a real ship, of course, the love story was shite.

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      12. Hey I bet there were guys in that theater (gay or straight) that thought Jack was good looking lol. There was space on that door, yes. But it wasn’t able to support two people. They even tried it. When Jack tried getting on the board too, it tipped over. I enjoyed the love story sorry.

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