Dame Olivia Newton-John

  1. Nastassja Kinski, To The Devil A Daughter, 1976.      What little Aussie blondes get offered in nasty old London town. Hammer horror! As the victim of the nasty Satanist sect led by Christopher Lee – and not Nastassja’s father, Klaus Kinski, as first envisaged. “… and suddenly the screams of a baby born in Hell!”
  2. Sandy Farina, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1977.      Unlike her fellow Aussies, The Bee Gees – daring to substitute The Beatles! – Newton-John had the wisdom to back away from being Strawberry Fields in the mindless morass of Pepper and Abbey Road songs. The film formed, said Newsweek’s David Ansen, “a dangerous resemblance to wallpaper.” Farina sang on the soundtrack but never made a second movie.
  3. Valerie Perinne, Can’t Stop The Music, 1979.      Obviously, producer Allan Carr ran to his Grease star for his latest camp musical. She preferred Xanadu (ie from bad to worse). The two lousy films finished up in a 99 cent double bill; and Music (all about The Village People but minus the group’s Jagger/Lennon, Victor Willis!) encouraged John Wilson to create the Golden Raspberry (Razzie) Awards in 1980.
  4. Linda Ronstadt, The Pirates of Penzance, 1983.    She wanted to regain her Grease clout after Xanadu, 1980 – “stupendously bad,” said Variety. But the Broadway team stayed firm.
  5. Rachel Ward, The Thorn Birds, TV, 1983.  ONJ, Kim Basinger, Lynne Frederick, Audrey Hepburn, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jane Seymour were all the mix for Meggie Cleary, heroine of Colleen McCullough novel set in the 1920s’ Australian Outback. Bryan Brown was the only Aussie star in the down-under Gone With The Wind – made in LA. He married leading lady Rachel Ward. On and off-screen!  Amanda Donohoe was Meggie in the 1996 “midquel,” The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years.
  6. Judy Davis, Kangeroo, Australia, 1986.    The DH Lawrence tale was set as her dramatic debut – opposite fellow Aussie, Bryan Brown. “But it was postponed and I decided to get back on the concert trail.”
  7. Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction, 1987.
  8. Kelly Lynch, Curly Sue, 1990.    “That was another movie that started out as one movie and ended up being another movie entirely,” reported Kelly. “But a great experience… like a throwback to one of those Depression-era movies that you’d seen Jean Harlow in.” ONJ, Kirstie Alley, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Laura Dern, Linda Hamilton (off shooting Terminator 2), Goldie Hawn, Andie MacDowell,  Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver were also suggested for  the cynical Chicago lawyer missed up with a Paper Moon II act: Jim Belushi and  young Alisan Porter.   Critic Roger Ebert fell for John Hughes’ final film  – “could have been written by Damon Runyon, illustrated by Norman Rockwell and filmed by Frank Capra.”
  9. Madonna, Evita, 1996.    Opposite John Travota as Che for a kind of Grease History Lesson was among the craziest notions during the long haul from stage to screen.
  10. Meryl Streep, Mama Mia, 2007. ONJ, Nicole Kidman and Michelle Pfeiffer were in the Abba musical mix for Donna. Or they were until Streep proved available.  Abba-ite Benny Andersen called her a miracle when she recorded her Winner Takes It All song iin one take. She was also the reason Pierce Brosnan accepted his role – or any riole! The plot of a mother not knowing which of three lovers fathered her daughter had already been spun for Gina Lollobrigida in Buona Sera Mrs Campbell…40 years earlier! 


    My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever!”  Your Danny, your John! – John Travolta.

    Another angelic voice has been added to the Heavenly Choir. Not only was Olivia a dear friend, but one of the nicest people I had the pleasure of recording and performing with. I will most definitely miss her. She now Rests in the Arms of the Heavenly Father. – Dionne Warwick

    We have lost a great, iconic artist, gone too soon from us at age 73. I trust she is now in the great Xanadu beyond. Know that we are forever hopelessly devoted to you, Olivia. – George Takei.


 Birth year: 1948Death year: 2022Other name: Casting Calls:  10