Although Olivia Newton-John was Australian (by way of England), for a period in the 1970s and ’80s, she was America’s sweetheart, the proverbial girl next door.
She’d already had great success as a singer in the mid-70s, but her appearance in the movie Grease in 1978 catapulted her to international fame and acclaim.
Even at the height of her stardom, her genuineness as a person shone through. It was her down-to-earth qualities that made her the perfect spokesperson for breast cancer when she disclosed that she had been stricken with the disease in the early 1990s while barely 40 years old.
Her courageous fight for the next three decades, and her tireless advocacy for research and adequate care for victims, will be her greatest legacy.
Still, we’ll always think of Olivia Newton-John as Sandy, her iconic character in Grease, to whom the millions of her fans always will be hopelessly devoted.