How old was Olivia Newton-John when the movie ‘Grease’ was filmed?
The British-Australian actress, known for her role as Sandy in ‘Grease’, died at her home in Southern California Monday morning, according to a post by her husband John Easterling on Facebook.
Olivia Newton-John became a house-hold name in 1978 thanks to her role as foreign exchange student Sandy Olsson in the film adaptation of the 1971 musical ‘Grease’. John Travolta played Sandy’s greaser love interest Danny Zucko. Travolta had already performed in the hit TV series ‘Welcome Back, Kotter’ and had enjoyed big-screen success in his breakthrough role in ‘Saturday Night Fever’.
‘Grease’ was a huge hit in 1978 and is still popular today
‘Grease’ was a box office success and Newton-John and Travolta received rave reviews from the film critics. Travolta was 22 years old during the filming of ‘Grease’ and Newton-John was 28 at the time the movie was being made.
The soundtrack to the movie included hits that Newton-John performed like ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’, ‘You’re the One That I Want’ and ‘Summer Nights.’
Travolta was already well known to US audiences, but ‘Grease’ was Newton-John’s first taste of success in America. ‘Grease’ catapulted her into fame and she proved she was more than just a one-hit wonder with films like ‘Xanadu’ and ‘Two of a Kind’, but more importantly as a singer.
She wanted to change her image as a teacher’s pet and released her studio album ‘Totally Hot’ in 1978 with her song ‘A Little More Love’, which reached no. 3 on the Pop Chart. In 1981 she released her second album ‘Physical’, which strengthened her risqué image. The album went double platinum thanks to songs like the title track that stayed at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for ten weeks.
Olivia Newton-John’s career before ‘Grease’
But before all of her success after ‘Grease’, Newton-John was well known in the UK and Australia as a pop singer. She represented the UK in the Eurovision song contest with the song ‘Long Live Love’ and finished fourth behind ABBA and their song ‘Waterloo’.
Her popularity in the UK, Australia and Canada was due to her songs that bordered between pop and country, several of which made it to no. 1 on the charts such as:
In 1979 Newton-John was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire for service to the performing arts in Australia and overseas.
The actress and singer was 73 years old when she lost her third bout to breast cancer and will truly be missed by her fans, friends, family and colleagues as seen in the outpouring of recognition on social media since the news broke.