Olivia Newton-John’s Net Worth Includes How Much She Made From ‘Grease’ & Her Music Career Before Her Death

·21 min read

She’ll always be our Sandy. Olivia Newton-John’s net worth includes what she made from movies like Grease and her music career before her death at 73 years old.

Dame Olivia Newton-John was born on September 26, 1948, in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Her family moved to Melbourne, Australia, when she was six years old. Newton-John’s music career started in 1966 when she released her first single, “Till You Say You’ll Be Mine.” She released her first album, If Not For You, in 1971. The album peaked at number 14 on the Australian album charts and 158 on the American album charts. Newton-John went on to release three more albums—Olivia, Let Me Be There and Long Live Love—before her breakout record, Have You Never Been Mellow, in 1975. The album became Newton-John’s first number one on the Billboard 200 charts and featured hit singles like “Have You Never Been Mellow” and “Please Mr. Please.” Newton-John went on to release a total of 26 albums throughout her career, including bestselling records like Clearly Love, Come on Over, Totally Hot and Physical, which featured Newton-John’s 1981 smash single of the same name. The song, which is seen as Newton-John’s biggest hit, has since sold more than two million copies in the United States and spent 10 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

More from StyleCaster

Along with her music career, Newton-John was also a successful actress, having starred in films like Toomorrow, Xanadu and Two of a Kind. Her most well-known role was as Sandy Olsson in 1978’s Grease, a movie adaptation of the 1971 musical of the same name. The film, which co-starred John Travolta as Danny Zuko, made history as the highest-grossing musical film ever at the time of its release and even earned an Oscar nomination for the song “Hopelessly Devoted to You” performed by Newton-John.

Click here to read the full article.

Image: Courtesy of Gallery Books.
Image: Courtesy of Gallery Books.

Don’t Stop Believin’ by Olivia Newton-John

Buy: BUY NOW: $14.95+

After almost 60 years in the entertainment industry, Newton-John died of breast cancer on August 8, 2022, at her ranch Santa Ynez, California. She was 73 years old. John Easterling, confirmed her death in an Instagram post on the day of her death. “Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time.” the post read. “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 lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the @onjfoundation.”

The post continued, “Olivia is survived by her husband John Easterling; daughter Chloe Lattanzi; sister Sarah Newton-John; brother Toby Newton-John; nieces and nephews Tottie, Fiona and Brett Goldsmith; Emerson, Charlie, Zac, Jeremy, Randall, and Pierz Newton-John; Jude Newton-Stock, Layla Lee; Kira and Tasha Edelstein; and Brin and Valerie Hall. – via John Easterling, husband, Olivia Newton-John.”

Since her death, Newton-John’s family, friends and fans around the world have been remembering her and the work she’s done in Hollywood. Read on for what we know about Olivia Newton-John’s net worth before her death and how much she made from Grease and her music career before she passed.

How much did Olivia Newton-John make from Grease?

"Grease"
"Grease"

How much did Olivia Newton-John make from Grease? Newton-John starred as Sandy Olsson in 1978’s Grease, a movie based on the 1971 musical of the same name. The film—which starred John Trvolta as Sandy’s love interest, Danny Zuko—was a box office success, grossing more than $341 million worldwide. The movie made history at the time as the highest-grossing live-action movie musical of all time, beating the 13-year-old record set by The Sound of Music in 1965. Grease held the record for more than 20 years before it was overtaken by Les Misérables in 2012. Factoring in inflation, Grease is now the seventh highest-grossing live-action movie musical worldwide. The movie was also nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category for “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” performed by Newton-John. The film’s soundtrack was also the second bestselling album of 1978.

So…what did Olivia Newton-John make from Grease? Newton-John’s exact salary for Grease hasn’t been confirmed, but based on her successful music career at the time, it’s expected that she was paid a decent amount to star in the movie. In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2016, Newton-John revealed that she almost passed on the role as Sandy because she didn’t know how Grease would affect her music career at the time. “I was very anxious about making another film, because my music career was going well,” Newton-John said at the time. “And I did not want to mess it up by doing another movie that wasn’t good.” Director Randal Kleiser also told Vanity Fair at the time that he wasn’t sure Newton-John could play Sandy because of the good-girl persona she had from her music career and albums like 1975’s Have You Never Been Mellow. “I remember meeting her for the first time at that party and thinking, Well. ‘Have You Never Been Mellow?’ How is that going to work? How is she going to become this slut?” Kleiser told Vanity Fair.

What convinced Kleiser to cast Newton-John was a conversation with Travolta who believed Newton-John was the perfect Sandy to his Danny. “She had a brilliant voice, and I didn’t think there could be any more correct person for Sandy in the universe,” Travolta told Vanity Fair. “I never let up on it. I insisted that she be met and that we cast her.” Travolta compared Newton-John’s casting in Grease to “putting Taylor Swift in that role today.” Still, Newton-John wasn’t convinced the role of Sandy was right for her. She had concerns about if she could do an American accent and worried that, at 29, she would look too old to play a teenager compared to Travolta, who was 23 at the time. Those worries went away when she screen tested with Travolta and knew they had something special. “There was great chemistry,” she said.

Newton-John also explained to Forbes in 2018 about why she was hesitant to take her role in Grease. “Actually, I was the only one who was very nervous about making the movie. My musical career was doing well at the time and I had made a movie a few years before, a science-fiction musical called Toomorrow,” she said. “It had all the bells and whistles, it was produced by Don Kirshner, the guy who put The Monkees together, and Harry Saltzman, who co-produced the James Bond movies, and we were going to be a group doing all these musical movies.”

She continued, “A lot of money was spent on it and it was a total flop. So, understandably, I was a little skeptical and nervous about doing another musical movie. I was the one that insisted on a screen test and told them I couldn’t do it if they made me American so they agreed to me being Australian and they had me do a screen test. It’s really kind of funny when I look back at it. I almost talked my way out of one of the best things to happen to me.”

Newton-John also told Forbes about how she’s amazed at how popular Grease is to this day. “There are grandparents who saw the movie when it came out and then they showed to their kids and their kids’ kids,” she said. “Even now, I get five-year-olds saying how much they love the movie. Oddly, about very eight or 10 years it seems that a new generation comes through and picks up that momentum.” She continued, “Maybe these kids see it on television or their parents have it, I don’t know. I could probably write a book containing all the stories I hear about people saying when they saw it and what it has meant to them. I never get tired of that. It’s really wonderful and I definitely feel very grateful for that experience.”

She also told the publication that she never expected Grease would become the cultural icon it is today. “We believed in what we were doing but I don’t think anyone could have imagined that would be still so popular 40 years later,” she said. “Of course, we were hopeful that the movie would do well, and it did, but I don’t even think Paramount was that excited about it in the beginning. It just took on a life of its own. Making it was fun but you never know with movies if audiences are going to go with it or not, even if you love it. It is incredible that it is still going but it’s not even just that, it’s showing no signs of stopping. You say ‘Sandy and Danny’ and people instantly know what you’re talking about.”

She also recalled what it was like to meet Travolta for the first time. “I do remember quite a bit, not everything, but it was a long time ago. I really can’t forget it,” she said. “Also, because I keep being reminded of the movie all the time and I talk about it so often, it stays fresh. In all honesty, it was like being at a normal school because I didn’t go to one like that. At my school, there was a uniform, the boys and the girls we kept separate and the environment was very different. In so many ways it was an experience I’d never had before. The film’s producer, Allan Carr, kind of created a party atmosphere with us all and encouraged us to hang out together. He’d come by every day and give us a pep talk and keep the energy up.”

What was Olivia Newton-John’s net worth?

Image: Charles Bush/Courtesy: Everett Collection.
Image: Charles Bush/Courtesy: Everett Collection.

What is Olivia Newton-John’s net worth? Olivia Newton-John’s net worth is $60 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Along with what she made from Grease, Olivia Newton-John’s net worth also included what she made from other movies like 1965’s Funny Things Happy Down Under, 1970’s Toomorrow, 1980’s Xanadu, 1983’s Two of a Kind, 1996’s It’s My Party, 2000’s Sordid Lives, 2010’s Score: A Hockey Musical, 2011’s A Few Best Men and her final film role in 2020’s The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee. Olivia Newton-John’s net worth also includes what she made from TV specials like 1976’s A Special Olivia Newton-John, 1977’s Only Olivia, 1978’s Olivia, 1982’s Let’s Get Physical and Olivia in Concert, and 1988’s Olivia Down Under, as well as the many TV appearances she made as herself on shows like American Idol, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Dancing With the Stars and Saturday Night Live.

Along with her movie and TV roles, Newton-John’s music career also made up a lot of her net worth. Newton-John released her first single, “Till You Say You’ll Be Mine” in 1966. Since then, Newton-John has released 26 albums, including her first number one on the Billboard 200 chart, 1975’s Have You Never Been Mellow. Newton-John has also had five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including “I Honestly Love You,” “Have You Never Been Mellow,” “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease, “Magic” and “Physical.”

In an interview with CNBC in 2019, Newton-John revealed the advice she would give to her 20-year-old self. “Don’t worry so much!” she said at the time. “Gosh, there’s so much I’d tell her. I wouldn’t know where to start, to be honest.” She told the site that she would tell her younger self to “stick with her instincts” because that’s the advice that’s served her well throughout her career. “I always went with my instincts,” Newton-John said.

She continued, “I wouldn’t want to undo anything I’ve done. “Everything that may not have appeared to be good for me outside was a learning experience for me to be who I am now. So, I wouldn’t not want to have experienced the difficulties, because they’re part of your growth.”

How did Olivia Newton-John die?

Image: Charles Bush/Courtesy: Everett Collection.
Image: Charles Bush/Courtesy: Everett Collection.

How did Olivia Newton-John die? Newton-John died at her ranch in Santa Ynez, California, on the morning of August 8, 2022. She was 73 years old. She was surrounded by friends and family, and passed away peacefully. Her husband, John Easterling, confirmed her death in an Instagram post on the day of her death. “Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time.” the post read. “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 lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the @onjfoundation.”

The post continued, “Olivia is survived by her husband John Easterling; daughter Chloe Lattanzi; sister Sarah Newton-John; brother Toby Newton-John; nieces and nephews Tottie, Fiona and Brett Goldsmith; Emerson, Charlie, Zac, Jeremy, Randall, and Pierz Newton-John; Jude Newton-Stock, Layla Lee; Kira and Tasha Edelstein; and Brin and Valerie Hall. – via John Easterling, husband, Olivia Newton-John.”

Newton-John’s niece, Tottie Goldsmith, told A Current Affair at the time that her aunt’s death wasn’t a “shock.” “It’s not a shock — we’ve known how sick she’s been, especially in the last five days,” she said. “It wasn’t just the cancer that got her; it was other complications, being in a hospital and with a very susceptible immune system. She got secondary infections. She really went down in the past five, six days.” Though Newton-John used medical cannabis to deal with the pain of her stage 4 breast cancer, Goldsmith told the news program that the drug didn’t help much toward the end of her life. “It wasn’t enough,” she said. “[She] really struggled with a lot of pain.” Goldsmith also recalled the last conversation she had with Newton-John before she died. “I told her all the things I needed to say,” she said. “She was leaving us, but I feel like she got it…She was really skinny and unwell and I said to her, ‘Are you afraid of dying?’ and she said, ‘I’m not afraid. I’ve done more in my life that I could have ever imagined.’”

Newton-John’s Grease co-star, Didi Conn, also told Good Morning America at the time that her late cast mate  “wasn’t walking anymore and that she had full-time care” before her death. “Her husband, John, and her daughter, Chloe, were there all the time and she told me that they were just so hopelessly devoted,” she said.

Newton-John has one child, a daughter named Chloe Rose Lattanzi. She shares Chloe with ex-husband, Matt Lattanzi, whom she was married to from 1984 to 1995. Newton-John married her second husband, John Easterling, in 2008. They were married until her death in 2022. After Newton-John’s death, her Grease co-star, John Travolta, took to his Instagram with a tribute to his late cast mate. Travolta played Danny Zuko to Newton-John’s Sandy Olsson in 1978’s Grease. “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,” Travolta captioned a throwback photo of Newton-John.

Newton-John’s cause of death hasn’t been confirmed, but a source told TMZ at the time of her death that she died of metastatic breast cancer. “After a 30-year cancer journey, she lost her battle to metastatic breast cancer,” the insider said. Newton-John was first diagnosed with breast cancer in August 1992 when she was 43 years old. “I draw strength from the millions of women who have faced this challenge successfully,” she said in a statement at the time. “This has been detected early because I’ve had regular examinations, so I encourage other women to do the same.”

Newton-John’s announcement came less than a day after she underwent a partial mastectomy of her right breast at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. “She’s doing just fine,” her representative, Sylvi Brown, said at the time.Newton-John declined to talk to reporters as she entered the hospital. “I’m just too upset to say anything,” she said at the time, according to People. “I just want to get well.”

In May 2017, when she was 68 years old, Newton-John announced that her breast cancer had spread after doctors discovered that the cancer had metastasized to the sacrum, a bone at the base of her spine. Newton-John’s announcement came after she postponed the first half of her concert tour at the time due to severe back pain from what she believed was sciatica. Medical tests later discovered that the pain was due to her cancer. Olivia Newton-John is reluctantly postponing her June U.S. and Canadian concert tour dates. The back pain that initially caused her to postpone the first half of her concert tour, has turned out to be breast cancer that has metastasized to the sacrum,” read a statement on Newton-John’s Facebook at the time. “In addition to natural wellness therapies, Olivia will complete a short course of photon radiation therapy and is confident she will be back later in the year, better than ever, to celebrate her shows.”

In her own statement, Newton-John explained that she decided on the treatment for her cancer based on the advice from her medical team at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia. She founded the center in 2008.

“I decided on my direction of therapies after consultation with my doctors and natural therapists and the medical team at my Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia,” she said. A source also told People at the time that Newton john hoped to return to her tour later that year. “She plans to be touring in August. They’re all very positive,” the insider said. 

Newton John’s first breast cancer diagnosis came after the death of her father, Brinley Newton-John, in 1992. The return of her cancer in 2013 came after the death of her older sister, Rona. Newton-John learned of her cancer’s returned after she was involved in a car accident.

In an interview with The Guardian in 2020, Newton-John revealed that she had to learn how to walk again in 2018 after her cancer had spread so much that she had fractured the base of her spine. “I was so weak. I had a walker, a cane and crutches, but now I’m walking around,” she said. She told the publication that one way she kept her spirits up was by singing a song she created about her health. “I’m healthy, I’m strong,” she said. “I think it’s very important to keep that positive message in your head. You know, if you have a difficult moment, music is always a great healer.”

Newton-John also told the publication that she wasn’t surprised when her breast cancer returned in 2013. “It’s been a part of my life for so long. I felt something was wrong. It’s concerning when it comes back, but I thought: ‘I’ll get through it again,'” she said. Along with surgery, chemotherapy and radio therapy, Newton-John also credited medical cannabis—a drug she was introduced to by her husband, John, who grew the plant at their Southern California ranch as part of his business. Newton-John’s daughter Chloe also owned a marijuana farm in Oregon. “I was nervous of it in the beginning. But I could see the benefits once I started using it. It helps with anxiety, it helps with sleep, it helps with pain,” she said. Newton-John also denied that she was recommending medical cannabis as an alternative therapy for all cancer patients.  “I’m not telling anyone to do anything,” she said. “I just want to do the research and find out which things work.”

Newton-John also told The Guardian about what she’s learned form her cancer diagnosis, as well as other experiences she’s had, such as her multiple miscarriages before she had her daughter, Chloe, and her ex-boyfriend, Patrick McDermott, who went missing in 2005 and was never found. “I’ve been through a lot of different experiences, some painful, some difficult,” she said. “As you get older, you grow some wisdom. You realise that you will get through this and you will survive it. Like the pandemic – these things happen, but life goes on. We will all learn and grow a lot from this. I think there’ll be positive things that come out of it.”

She continued, “I don’t think of myself as sick with cancer. I choose not to see it as a fight either because I don’t like war. I don’t like fighting wherever it is – whether it’s outside or an actual war inside my body. I choose not to see it that way. I want to get my body healthy and back in balance. Part of that is your mental attitude to it. If you think: ‘Poor me,’ or ‘I’m sick,’ then you’re going to be sick.”

Newton-John also explained to The Guardian about why she doesn’t view her cancer, which led her to open the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre, as a “death sentence.” “I don’t know what I would be without it now,” she said. “I see it as my life’s journey. It gave me purpose and intention and taught me a lot about compassion. It has been a gift. I don’t wish it on anyone else. But for me, it’s been important in my life.” She also told the publication about why she’s no longer afraid of death. “Listen, I think every day is a blessing. You never know when your time is over; we all have a finite amount of time on this planet, and we just need to be grateful for that,” she said.

Image: Courtesy of Gallery Books.
Image: Courtesy of Gallery Books.

Don’t Stop Believin’ by Olivia Newton-John

Buy: BUY NOW: $14.95+

For more about Olivia Newton-John, read her memoir, Don’t Stop Believin’. The 2019 New York Times bestseller takes readers through Newton-John’s life in her own words, from how she was cast in career-making movies like Grease and Xanadu to how she became one of the world’s bestselling recording artists of all time, with more than 100 million albums sold and four Grammys under her belt. The book also provides an intimate look at Newton-John’s life, including her cancer diagnosis in 1992 and how her strength, courage and grace led her to open the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia, and dedicate her life to cancer research. “Warm, candid, and moving, Don’t Stop Believin’ is Olivia Newton-John’s story in her own words for the very first time,” the publisher’s description reads.

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

New Entertainment Newsletter
New Entertainment Newsletter

Best of StyleCaster