Olivia Newton-John's Only Daughter Carries On Her Legacy
Aug 12, 2022 by apost team
On Aug. 8, 2022, the world lost one of its brightest stars – Olivia Newton-John. She was a British-Australian performer best known for her work as an actress, singer and activist. The acclaimed woman won several awards over the course of her life and was honored by fans and critics alike.
Newton-John released several albums and chart-topping singles, making her one of the best-selling music artists from the second half of the 20th century to current times. And who could forget her turn in the 1978 musical film “Grease,” alongside John Travolta? The film catapulted the performer to fame and made her a household name, showing off her sweet yet powerful vocals and great acting chops. Even today, people are still singing the songs from the “Grease” soundtrack and dressing up as Danny and Sandy for costume parties.
While Newton-John certainly dominated the entertainment industry, she also was a force in the world of activism. She was a strong activist for environmental causes and animal rights and also advocated for breast cancer research. Sadly, the actress encountered some of the hardships she fought for. Newton-John had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, and it returned in 2013 and again in 2017. She died of the disease at age 73 at her Santa Ynez Valley, California estate.
However, Newton-John’s legacy is sure to be remembered through her only daughter, Chloe Rose Lattanzi. Chloe has followed in her famous mother’s footsteps, featuring in movies and releasing her own music. Let’s take a look at this mother-daughter duo’s respective careers and relationship.
Olivia Newton-John became a household name with her famous and iconic role in the 1978 movie "Grease ."The star was originally born in England but moved to Australia at the age of 6, where her career started at the age of 14. Around this time, Newton-John formed a short-lived all girl-group called Sol Four with three of her classmates. However, they didn’t get very far as they typically only performed at the local coffee shop.
However, Newton-John clearly had talent and later became a regular on a variety of local Australian TV shows, such as “The Happy Show.” The up-and-coming performer also appeared on “The Go!! Show,” meeting singer Pat Carroll and music producer John Farrar.
In the mid-1960s, Newton-John began making progress with her career in the music industry. She recorded her very first single in 1966 while in the United Kingdom but grew homesick and wanted to go back to Australia. However, when Carroll moved to the UK, everything seemed to change, and Newton-John and Carroll joined forces to form a duo called Pat and Olivia. After the duo ended its run, Newton-John stayed in Britain to pursue a solo career until 1975.
During this time, Newton-John found early success with her first albums and singles. Although her work didn’t always reach the top of the charts, she still made a great name for herself as an up-and-coming star. Remarkably, the title track of her first solo album, “If Not for You,” reached No. 1 on the adult contemporary chart in the United States. Newton-John’s 1973 song, “Let Me Be There,” did well on the charts in the states and even earned the singer a Grammy Award.
And after proving that she clearly had what it took to become a massive star, Newton-John landed the film that further catapulted her fame: “Grease.”
The actress and singer helped turn “Grease” into the beloved classic it is remembered as today – despite the fact that there was a good chance it might not have happened this way!
It's at first hard to believe Newton-John wasn't that happy about accepting the offered role. Ahead of the airing of a Grease sing-along version, Entertainment Tonight featured the star in a video-call interview. During the interview, she revealed that she wasn't even sure she should accept the offer. Since many other actresses were also in the running at the time, there was a good chance Newton-John would never have made the cut.
However, John Travolta seemed to be very much in favor of Newton-John. He took to making flattering comments about his co-star-to-be and was even sent to talk Newton-John into going for the role.
"I was really quite hesitant to be in Grease, so they sent John Travolta to talk me into it. And how can you say no to those blue eyes?" the star said.
Luckily for us all, Newton-John was convinced to sign on, and her career took off. After her role as Sandy, Newton-John took on few acting roles, preferring instead to focus on her musical career. Her dedication paid off as she scored several top placements in charts around the world over the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Her personal life, however, was another story.Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta (1978), (Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)
Newton-John's first serious relationship was with English guitarist, songwriter and singer Bruce Welch, band member of The Shadows. According to Marie Claire, the couple got engaged all the way back in 1968. The young couple's relationship was tumultuous, though, and in 1972, Newton-John finally called off the engagement and ended it. Welch was devastated over the loss of his fiancée, and later on, he even admitted that he attempted suicide at the time. As Marie Claire wrote:
"I told everyone that I was going away for the weekend and not to bother calling me, but I forgot about the window cleaner," he said in an interview in 2004. "He found me on the Tuesday… I had taken the pills on the Sunday."
Over the next years, Newton-John dated intermittently while pursuing acting and her musical career. Then 1979 came around, and Newton-John was filming "Xanadu," which was released a year later. The movie infamously flopped so horribly that it inspired the American publicist John J.B. Wilson to found the Golden Raspberry Awards – a parody award honoring the year's worst cinematic achievements. Despite its less than stellar success at the box office, Xanadu's musical track became a great success.
More importantly, Newton-John met her later husband on the set of the film: then 19-year-old Matt Lattanzi. At the time, the dancer and aspiring actor was 11 years younger than Newton-John herself. She found herself attracted to him but did not approach him herself due to their age difference. Thankfully Lattanzi was also quite taken with her and gathered the courage to ask her out.Olivia Newton John , Chloe Lattanzi, Matt Lattanzi (1992), (Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images)
Lattanzi later explained:
"It was easier for me. I didn't really have anything at stake except my vanity. She later told me that if I hadn't made the running, asked her out and so on, nothing would have happened – even though she wanted it to."
The couple got married in 1984 and had their only child, daughter Chloe Rose Lattanzi, in 1986. Newton-John, Lattanzi, and their daughter spent several happy years together as a family until their sudden split in 1995 and subsequent official divorce in 1996. They issued a joint statement that the divorce was amicable, and their daughter continued to spend time with both of them. Still, despite this, rumors of a possible affair of Lattanzi's persisted. In interviews at the time, Newton-John denied these rumors but would not explain further what had happened. As People wrote:
"Beyond stressing that she and her actor ex remain friends and that Chloe sees her father often, Newton-John refuses to discuss the breakup. "I don't think that's anyone's business except ours," she says firmly. People who know the couple suggest that the wide gulf between her spiritual interests and his more earthy ones did them in."
Divorce is usually hard on all family members, including the children. Following her parents' divorce, Chloe moved in with Newton-John and was mainly raised by her famous mother. In interviews at the time, Newton-John described her parenting as:
Olivia Newton-John (2017), (Ross Gilmore/Redferns/Getty images)
"It's the same for all mothers, to try and give your daughters good self-esteem. You just do your best and cross your fingers."
In an interview with Australian Women's Weekly, she went into further detail:
"I'm sure I have re-enacted some of the things my mother did because you can't help it – that's in your DNA. It's monkey see, monkey do. When people ask me what is the most important thing that's happened in my life, I say it was having her. Nothing compares to having a child.
She is a young woman now, but those maternal feelings never change. So it's been just an amazing gift. I wasn't able to have any more, so she is 'the lucky egg,' as her dad calls her."
Newton-John and Chloe spent time together whenever they could. In a shared interview, they explained:
Olivia Newton-John (2012), (Don Arnold/WireImage)/Getty images)
Olivia: "It's all precious."
Chloe: "It's the simple things, the little things. We like to go shopping at CVS [a US pharmacy chain] or watch some mind-numbing television and laugh, cuddled up on the couch."
Olivia: "Taking the dogs to the vet..."
Chloe: "Those are the things, when we just get to be normal."
Chloe: "(...) I love seeing my mum. It's good medicine. When I don't see my mum for a long time, it's like I feel ill. When I'm with her, it feels like all is right with the world. She makes me feel safe."
Olivia: "When Chloe is with me, I feel complete. There's that expression, 'You're only as happy as your unhappiest child.'
"So, if Chloe's not happy, I'm not happy, and, if she's doing well, so am I. It affects me – how she is – so to see her radiant and happy and healthy makes me feel..."
Sadly, Chloe did not always feel so comfortable being Newton-John's daughter. Growing up with a famous mother brought a lot of media attention with it and certain expectations. It’s not hard to understand why Chloe felt so much societal pressure to look and act a particular way.
Chloe has always been very open with the body image problems this kind of attention caused for her. She opened up about her childhood troubles in an episode of "60 Minutes", a U. TV news magazine broadcast on CBS. She explained that she suffered from anorexia during her teens and her mother struggled to cope with it. "She'd never faced anything like that before and she didn't know how to deal with it," Chloe explained.
Aside from her eating disorder, Chloe also turned to cosmetic surgery while chasing after the ideal body she thought she must have. She underwent her first surgery procedure at the age of just 18 – and later regretted it.
"All those things were a disaster. Not only did the lip implants look ridiculous, the first boob op I had in Australia when I was 18 left me looking mutilated," she revealed to Woman's Day years later. Several follow-up surgeries down the line corrected and salvaged many of the things her first procedures messed up. Nowadays, Chloe seems much more at ease with and in her body. In the same interview, she stated:
Olivia Newton-John, Chloe Lattanzi (1997), ( Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images)
"Now I'm a 32DD and I love my body and love showing my new boobs off. Mum supported my surgery decisions because she knew how unhappy I was before."
Thankfully Chloe and Newton-John had a wonderful relationship during Newton-John’s life. Although there were some hardships and complications along the way, it was evident that the mother-daughter pair had plenty of love, respect and adoration for one another.
On top of that, Chloe has proven to be a talented force, just like her late mother. Chloe definitely took after her pop star mother in regards to her love of music and acting. The now 36-year-old is following in Newton-John’s footsteps with a creative drive for acting and making music. It seems like talent runs through this family’s bloodline!
She released a song in 2015 titled "You Have to Believe," which was a duet with her mother. Her first album, "No Pain," came out the next year. Chloe has been flexing her acting muscles with roles in movies like "Dead 7" and "Sharknado 5: Global Swarming." In a rather interesting turn of events, Chloe, just like her mother before her, has featured in movies that are called subpar or that have been given the moniker "so bad it's actually good." Unfortunately, Chloe has not chanced upon her personal “Grease” yet, but you never know when the perfect role for her will be just around the corner.
While Newton-John is sadly no longer with us, her memory will continue to live on through her outstanding body of work as well as her loving family. It’s clear that Chloe has a gift and will continue to make her family proud, honoring her late mother’s talents and legacy in the process.
What do you think of Chloe and her mom? Do you think she will have a breakthrough similar to her mother? Have you seen any of her movies or listened to her music before? Let us know your thoughts, and pass this story along to your friends to find out what they think.