Shorts and top worn by Newton-John to promote her album Physical in 1981. Photograph: Julien’s Auction
A pair of white and gold lame shorts and matching top, which she wore to promote her Physical album in 1981, are up for $4,000 and a beaded blue chiffon minidress she wore for her first world tour, Totally Hot, in 1978 is estimated to reach $2,000.
There will be some personal items, too, including the wedding dresses from her weddings to Matt Lattanzi in 1984 and John Easterling in 2008, which she is philosophical about letting go of.” I wouldn’t wear them again ,” she says.” These things are in paintings, so I have a wonderful memory of them and that’s what it’s about. They’ve been hanging in a closet[ in a Los Angeles storage facility] so it’s much better if someone is enjoying them and that the money goes to benefit something that I care about .”
Much of the proceeds from the sale will go to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness& Research Centre in Melbourne, established in 2015. Set within the Austin Health hospital campus, the centre offers holistic and traditional therapies, as well as education, training and research, and has more than 200 ongoing clinical trials. Newton-John has been diagnosed with her third bout of breast cancer, which has spread to her lower back, and she is still recovering from last year’s cancer-induced fractured pelvis. The remainder of the funds she may donate elsewhere and a portion she will keep, as, she says:” It’s my career .”
Some significant items are missing from the auction, thanks to Newton-John’s past generous donations to other people’ marketings. “[ That’s] how I lost my red shoes from the movie[ also worn in You’re the One That I Want] years ago ,” she says. Others ought to have preserved in her archive out of luck; for example, the pink ladies coat she wore on tour until her publicist capture her throwing it across the stage and, aghast, stopped her. She has maintained it at home ever since.
Newton-John is keeping certain items” that have personal meaning to me”, she says, quoting jewellery and items from her late parents or sister- as well as her four Grammy awardings,” because they are the height of my success and its important one I can receive for singing and the music, so I can give them to my daughter .”
The auction is likely to break records, but Newton-John remains self-effacing- and eerily similar to her on-screen character of Sandy. She maintains her multiple awardings, from Billboards to People’s Choice, in storage, as” it would be funny to have them all over the house”, and doesn’t watch herself on screen.
Yet she remains proud of a career that has assured her rock’n’roll with Travolta, jam with Stevie Wonder in an LA club, skit with Wonder Woman and tap dance with Gene Kelly in the 1980 musical fantasy Xanadu.
” It was incredible to dance with Gene Kelly and John Travolta in one lifetime … I did the original Dancing with the Superstars !” she chuckles.” I feel luck .”