From NBC News:
Aug. 8, 2022, 3:41 PM EDT / Updated Aug. 8, 2022, 7:33 PM EDT
By Ethan Sacks
Olivia Newton-John, a British Australian pop star who dominated the pop culture of an era, has died after repeated treatments for cancer, her family announced Monday. She was 73.
"Dame Olivia Newton-John ... passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends," John Easterling, her husband, said in a statement on her official Facebook page. "We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time."
"Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer."
In the late '70s and early '80s, Newton-John was one of the most recognizable celebrities in the world. She stole hearts in the 1978 blockbuster "Grease" and dominated the charts with songs like the 1981 hit "Physical," which was the No. 1 single of that decade, according to Billboard.
She is credited with selling more than 100 million records over the course of a five-decade career.
In more recent years, however, Newton-John became best known as an advocate for breast cancer survivors, being one herself since first her first diagnosis in 1992.
"I think, you know, what you think creates your reality. So it's a decision. You have to make that decision," she told the "TODAY" show in March 2019. "You can be a victim, or you can be a winner and enjoy your life.”
By all accounts, Newton-John lived a winning life.
I knew I would have to check her list of TV credits because I felt certain that her televersion had amassed enough appearances as a member of the League of Themselves to warrant induction into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame; she was that iconic a personage.
Dame Olivia Newton-John AC DBE (26 September 1948 – 8 August 2022) was a British-born Australian singer, songwriter, actress and activist. She was a four-time Grammy Award winner whose music career included five number-one hits and another ten top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and two number-one albums on the Billboard 200; If You Love Me, Let Me Know (1974) and Have You Never Been Mellow (1975).
Eleven of her singles (including two Platinum) and 14 of her albums (including two Platinum and four 2× Platinum) have been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). With global sales of more than 100 million records, Newton-John is one of the best-selling music artists from the second half of the 20th century to the present.
In 1978, Newton-John starred in the musical film Grease, whose soundtrack remains one of the world's best-selling albums of all time. It features two major hit duets with co-star John Travolta; "You're the One That I Want" – which ranks as one of the best-selling singles of all time – and "Summer Nights".
Her signature solo recordings include the Record of the Year Grammy winner "I Honestly Love You" (1974) and "Physical" (1981) – Billboard's Top Hot 100 Single of the 1980s. Other hit singles include "If Not for You" and "Banks of the Ohio" (both 1971), "Let Me Be There" (1973), "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)" (1974), "Have You Never Been Mellow" (1975), "Sam" (1977), "Hopelessly Devoted to You" (also from Grease), "A Little More Love" (1978) and from the 1980 film Xanadu, "Magic" and "Xanadu" (with Electric Light Orchestra).
Newton-John was an activist for environmental and animal rights causes, and advocated for breast cancer research. She died of breast cancer after decades of fighting the disease.
Although originally from the United Kingdom and living in the United States for most of her adult life, she considered herself an Australian.
I really wasn’t a fan of hers, although I do like “You’re The One That I Want”. I’ve never seen “Grease”, but I watched the music video for that song recently and I couldn’t believe people liked that as a movie. (I’m sure as a whole, it works better on stage.)
I wasn’t sure if I would find enough material to give her fair representation in her induction ceremony. So I’d like to salute a very dedicated fan site, “Only Olivia”, which had a ton of information on all things Ms. Newton-John; certainly more than I needed for this tribute. If you are a devotee of Olivia, click on the link.
Here are the Toobworld appearances made by her televersion:
- Reality Check (1995)
Olivia's guest appearance playing herself is clearly written as a joke about her sweet and wholesome image. The lead male character, Ned, wants Olivia to present a commercial about his computer so he takes her out to lunch at a restaurant where Stacey is waitressing. Stacey is star-struck by THE Olivia Newton-John delivering lines such as "I'm Hopelessly Devoted to taking your order" and presenting Olivia's drink, singing: "Here's your fizzy cola, your fizzy cola, let's get into fizzy cola" to the tune of “Physical.”
However, Stacey makes a mess of Olivia's order giving her straight scotch instead of cola and then on realizing her mistake blurting out to Olivia "Sorry, you're an alcoholic aren't you?" To add insult to injury Stacey then gives Olivia a cloth covered with ketchup. This causes Olivia to lose her cool and to our delight becomes all angry and just downright mean. (All in the name of acting of course!)
Stacey tries to calm Olivia down with the fact that she played Sandy in high school but Olivia isn't to be mollified and replies with a voice dripping with sarcasm "Oh what a coincidence I was in the mooovie!" Then telling Ned to shut up and shouting at the top of her voice that the computer he's selling sucks, Olivia rushes out of the restaurant declaring that she's never felt so good!
- I Hear a Symphony (1997)
Murphy and Olivia meet up at a charity auction both bidding for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to conduct an orchestra. Murphy wins but not until she's had to out bid Olivia to the tune of $2000 (proceeds going to the National Zoo). But Olivia has the last laugh when she reveals that she was put up to bidding to get a good donation for the zoo! Olivia's parting words are a triumphant "Yeeessss."
Olivia's appearance on set is met with cheers from the studio audience as this was one of her first appearances on network US TV since discovering breast cancer. The episode also touches on Olivia's breast cancer when Olivia gives encouragement to Murphy.
- The Invisible Mom (2001)
From the IMDb:
While volunteering at Rose's school, Bette finally learns why Olivia Newton-John has been holding a grudge against her.
Olivia and daughter Chloe played themselves in a guest slot for Bette Midler's sitcom "Bette".
Olivia, playing against form, is really quite nasty to both Bette and the school headmaster. This provides Olivia with some good lines and the opportunity to act very annoyed and peeved.
- Bad Reputation (2010)
From the IMDb:
Sue Sylvester, played by Jane Lynch, becomes the laughing stock of the school when members of the Glee club find an embarrassing personal video of her dancing to Physical on the internet. She gets the last laugh when Olivia finds out about the clip and asks Sue to help her remake the song.
This may be the only time she comes off as being nice in her Toobworld appearances.
Olivia plays a mean judge in her second appearance in the first season of Glee.
"I'm just so sick of being nice!"
‘Ned & Stacey’
Every so often a member of the League of Themselves shows why they are appearing as characters and not as true representatives of who they are in the real world.
- Kevin Bacon is a jerk and kind of an asshole. (‘Bored To Death’)
- Emma Thompson was born in Akron, Ohio. (‘Ellen’)
- Dennis Rodman is an extraterrestrial. (‘Third Rock From The Sun’)
- Jean-Claude Van Damme died in Las Vegas back in 2004. In the real world, he is still alive (as of this writing.) (‘Las Vegas’)
- Lloyd Bridges was a cross-dressing, kleptomaniacal Neo-Nazi. (‘Ned & Stacey’)
Good night and may God bless, Ms. Newton-John. Thank you for being a good sport when it came to lampooning your image.
Welcome to the TVXOHOF….
“At a certain point in life,
you realize that all the time in the world isn't all that long.”
Fans of Olivia Newton-John should visit Only Olivia….