By Dan Lawrence | Posted
The world lost a true icon when Olivia Newton-John sadly passed away at the age of 73 on Tuesday, August 9. Newton-John was a screen and music star, selling 100 million records worldwide during a glittering career, but she’s undoubtedly a household name thanks to her starring role as Sandy in the infamous 1978 hit musical. Fat. Unsurprisingly, as fans honor the late star after his tragic death, the film is flying high in the streaming world and at the time of writing is in the top six most streamed films on Paramount+, according to Flix. patrol.
Fat debuted as a Broadway musical in the early 70s and in the 1978 film adaptation, set in late 50s California, Olivia Newton-John plays Sandy, a young Australian girl who falls in love with local boy Danny Zuko (John Travolta) on summer vacation. The pair are unexpectedly reunited when Sandy starts his first term at Rydell High, the school Zuko attends and he’s truly the cool guy around Rydell. A “greaser” and leader of the T-Birds gang, Zuko is also a far cry from the boy Sandy fell for during summer vacation and the pair struggle to rekindle their romance thanks to their vastly different personalities. In the end, love wins out as Sandy trades being the shy girl for being the sexy, confident young lady and if that’s the right decision, considering Zuko isn’t making huge efforts to change its image, is up for debate, but the film ends with a triumphant musical number as Sandy and Danny depart (or fly, bizarrely) away to their happily ever after.
Fat is undoubtedly a classic of Hollywood cinema, when it was released in theaters in the summer of 1978, the film earned just under $160 million at the box office, making it the highest-grossing film of that year. -the. The film is remembered for musical numbers such as “Summer Nights”, “You’re the One That I Want”, “Grease Lightning” and the Oscar nominee, “Hopelessly Devoted to You”. The film spawned a less successful sequel in 1982, but Fat endured on stage for decades, and in 2016, Fox aired a live TV version of the hit musical. The film has seen many re-releases and special screenings over the years, most notably when the cast reunited for the film’s 40th anniversary. Both John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John were in attendance at the special event, and the former was quick to post a heartfelt tribute to his co-star after his tragic passing, saying, “Your impact has been incredible. I love you so much. We will see you on the road again and we will all be together again. Fat will get another run in theaters courtesy of AMC as a tribute to Olivia Newton-John, with one dollar from every five-dollar ticket purchase going to affiliated breast cancer research. Olivia Newton-John battled breast cancer many times in her later years.
Olivia Newton-John was born in Cambridge, England in 1948 and moved to Australia when she was just five years old. She started performing at a young age and her career took off after moving to America. Newton-John scored her first hit in 1971 when she recorded the Bob Dylan song, “If Not for You” and was Britain’s 1974 entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing fourth. His music career included five number ones on the Billboard Hot 100, one of them being the sensational pop hit “Physical.”. Newton-John is of course best known for her role as Sandy in Fat and remarkably, despite playing a high school student in the film, the late actress was nearly 30 at the time, which goes unnoticed thanks to her youthful exuberance and incredible performances. His film career culminates with Fatwith later appearances in Xanadu in 1980 against Gene Kelly and two of a kind in 1982 again facing Travolta, coming up against criticism. However, Fat Olivia Newton-John’s lasting legacy and brilliant musical career ensured that she will be remembered for decades to come. As Fat skyrocketed on Paramount+ as people celebrate Neton-John’s incredible life, his music has also seen a resurgence, with a 614% surge in demand reported by Variety earlier this week. A beautiful tribute more than deserved for such an incredible being.