It was very interesting to discover that in Olivia Newton-John’s autobiography Don’t Stop Believin’… she is an admirer of Doris Day. Olivia tried to portray Day in a film adaptation of the star’s life. Hence, it was a matter of “Que Sera Sera” and wasn’t meant to be.
Yet, the similarities between these two women are striking. Both are both extremely positive thinkers with a strong sense of strength, a remarkable talent for singing and a sensitivity and concern for animals. These two women are courageous in both their careers and personal lives.
In ONJ’s autobiography, Olivia keeps her grace and gratitude intact. Her thoroughly enjoyable sense of humor and her honesty as a cancer-thriver (her expression) at age 70 is a vivid look at her life so far. Her life story is one that speaks from the heart and she presented exactly “the right moment” to share it.
Showbiss: I really enjoyed your autobiography.
Olivia Newton-John: Oh, thank you!
Showbiss: Such life-affirming messages and a heck of a lot of fun and humor. So thank you for sharing it.
ONJ: Sure. (laughter)
Showbiss: No doubt. I couldn’t put it down. When did you start work on this? Not why but when?
ONJ: Oh gosh… let’s see, about a year and a half ago. I’m not good with time; in the last year or so.
Showbiss: At the beginning of your book, it’s about you and your singing partner and friend Pat Carroll. You use an expression… and I wanted to ask you how you would describe it? “A jolly dolly bird?”
ONJ: A jolly dolly bird. Yes.
Showbiss: What does that mean?
ONJ: Jolly is happy, right? A dolly bird in England at that time was with mini-skirts and boots and they were kind of glamourous. Kind of like the glamourous girls now. They were called “dolly birds.” That was just an English expression. So, “jolly dolly bird” was a happy, young person in cute clothing, I guess. (Laughter)
Showbiss: One of the other aspects in your book that gave me humor was when you were doing your animal awareness television show in Russia… and it was cold! Everywhere you went people were drinking vodka. That made me laugh.
ONJ: Yes. That was really true and I wasn’t much of a drinker. I was going through a divorce at that time. So vodka was a good idea. (Laughs)
Showbiss: Now when you talk about making Grease; there is Sandy #1 and Sandy #2.
Showbiss: The way you analyze that… I have to ask you how you came upon this revelation. I think I know because of the difference but it amazed me in your writing that you didn’t think you were pretty or sexy or something.
ONJ: Yeah, I was concerned that I could pull it off. I don’t think I had a healthy lack of self-esteem. (Laughs) Which is probably a good thing. It was really fun when I got dressed and went out of the trailer and got that reaction. I was like “Whoa.” That’s interesting.
Showbiss: Yeah, what a trip! Yeah, really. I wanted to go back to my first compliments on the book. There are several sentences which gave me pause to stop reading and think about how positive your energy is in some of the statements you make.
ONJ: Oh, thank you. This is great. This is my first book that I’ve written about myself so these comments are the first; it’s only come out a couple of days and I’ve only done a few interviews so it makes my heart feel good to hear these things. Thank you.
Showbiss: You’re welcome. I want to go into a little bit about your sister Rona. I lost my friend and roommate of six years, George to brain cancer last August. I just wanted to ask you after losing her to brain cancer, what’s the most joyful thing you can say about her being in your life?
ONJ: Oh, she was hilariously funny and very irreverent! And, she had no filter. I always used to tease her and say, “We need to tack you an edit button on your wrist that I can just tap when I need you to stop.” (Laughter) She was a lot of fun and she was very straight-forward. She was a great person to travel with… she was my chaperone for many years. Not much of a chaperone because she probably got into more trouble than me!
Showbiss: I found the utmost pleasure in knowing you are so blessed with your husband John. You married him in 2008. I married my husband in October of 2008… we’ve been together 25 years and have been married for ten years. It’s like “thank goodness.”
ONJ: Yeaah. We’re lucky, huh? Everybody is looking for love and you have relationships and they don’t work. We’ve got to be grateful as even if you had love for a short time; it proves you have spent it. Now I really find, I really know I have the love of my life that is a “forever” one, you know. So, that is such a blessing.
Showbiss: Yes, I agree. I’m enthused to know that you are so healthy. I mean honestly with all the herbs and all your exercise. That 23-day walk in China walking the Great Wall! Come on now.
ONJ: That was then. I couldn’t do it now. None the less, that was an amazing experience that I treasure because I can’t even believe I did it now. An amazing experience.
Showbiss: Just once again, thank you for all your positivity and the ONJ Cancer and Wellness Center. That’s your pride and that’s your baby. That’s your vision and a dream come true. You going in there “undercover!”
ONJ: (Laughs) An amazing feat.
Showbiss: There’s a song on your album Soul Kiss called “The Right Moment.”
ONJ: Oh, yes. What a gorgeous song, huh?
Showbiss: Yes. For some reason in my mind, it corresponded with the releasing of your autobiography.
ONJ: Yeah! You’re right. That’s a beautiful thought. That’s a beautiful song… really a beautiful song. It really was incredible. As my 70th birthday was coming up, I was really trying to figure out how I was going to celebrate. The universe decided for me. Okay, this is where you are and now you can really see and reap the benefits of all the hard work and see what you’ve created. It was a big lesson in letting go and “Let go, let God.”
Showbiss: Thank God you’ve thrived.
ONJ: Yes, I know. I’m so very grateful for all the care I had and from the treatments there and the wonderful staff. Also, my husband who was there every step of the way and giving me herbs and cannabis and helping me through.
Showbiss: Yes. Well, I don’t know. I think you can still play table tennis. I wasn’t so bad in the day.
ONJ: (Much laughter!) I actually played it. We had the table tennis set up. I actually played it, holding my walker. I’m not on the walker now but I have actually played it. It was great fun.
Showbiss: In my dreams, I’ll let you win at table tennis.
Showbiss: How trite, but I do honestly love you.
ONJ: Ahhh. Thank you so much. Be well.