By Joe Student
You know all of the words to “You’re The One That I Want,” own the “Xanadu” DVD and the “Physical” video inspires you to put your hair into a headband when you go to the gym. You’re an Olivia Newton John fan.
There are at least 1,800 in NEPA. Those dedicated supporters will be able to see the pretty blond pop culture icon perform Thursday at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts.Included in the performance will be Olivia’s most popular pop and country hits such as “Summer Lovin’,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” “I Honestly Love You,” “Magic,” “Dancin’,” as well as the aforementioned hits and title tracks.
Rumors continue to leak that the actress/singer is being courted to star in “Grease 3” with John Travolta, Kylie Minogue and an unnamed male star. Until then, fans will have to remember her through DVDs, CDs and live shows, like tomorrow’s performance. That is if they are fortunate enough to have a ticket. At press time the show was sold-out.
She’s not Australian.
Not by birth anyway. Though Olivia gets her sweet accent from growing up in the “land down under,” she was born in Cambridge, England on September 26, 1948. Her parents moved to Australia when Olivia was 5 years-old.
Her first American hit was a Bob Dylan song.
Not a duet though. “If Not For You” charted in 1971. “Let Me Be There” was her first American top ten hit and “Have You Never Been Mellow” her first number one song.
Olivia lost to ABBA on a 1974 version of a “Star Search”-styled United Kingdom show, “Eurovision Song Contest.”
It was her Waterloo. Actually, ABBA’s song “Waterloo” won the contest and catapulted the Swedes to stardom.
She loves animals.
ONJ actually refused to tour Japan until the nation amended its policies concerning tuna fishing and its propensity to kill off the dolphin population. The 1981 “Physical” album contained a track called “Dolphin Song.” She also hosted the “Human Nature” animal-information TV series.
She was stitched into her pants on the set of “Grease.”
Apparently the zipper broke on the tight black pants that Olivia donned near the end of the film, so they sewed her into them.
John Travolta and Olivia made another movie in addition to 1978’s blockbuster hit “Grease.”
In 1984, the duo starred opposite each other in “Two of a Kind.” Didn’t see it? Not many did. The movie was widely panned by critics. However the two did sing together on the soundtrack.
She had a chain of fashion boutiques in Australia.
Launched in the late 1980s, Koala Blue sold upscale fashions. Unfortunately, the Australian and world economy was not conducive to the store’s concept and eventually the chain filed for bankruptcy. In 2002, the brand name was repackaged as a moniker for Australian wine.
Her daughter’s name is Chloe.
The two starred in a Showtime TV movie “Wilde Girls.” The family oriented film was aired in 2002. Chloe is set to launch her own music career in the near future.
Olivia is a published author.
Her book “A Pig’s Tale”, co-written with Brian Seth Hurst is a children’s novel about the environment whose proceeds were ticketed for AIDS research and the Collette Chuda Environmental Fund, which investigates environmental causes of cancer. Olivia herself was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. She has since fully recovered.
She’s very popular in the gay community.
Even before making “It’s My Party” and “Sordid Lives,” both films with gay themes, Olivia had a cult gay appeal after starring in 1980’s “Xanadu.” “Xanadu” is also very popular with gay audiences. I can’t believe the hairdos and the acting. I watch it and cringe,” she said of the film in a DNA magazine interview last year. Though she embraces the gay community, Olivia is not gay