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Olivia Newton-John Biography

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Olivia Newton-John AO OBE (born September 26, 1948) is an English-born Australian singer and actress.

Newton-John was born in Cambridge, England. She is the granddaughter of Max Born, a German Nobel prize-winning physicist who fled from Germany with his wife in the 1930s in order to avoid persecution due to Born's Jewish heritage and his wife's part Jewish descent (although Olivia herself is a Christian). Olivia's father, Brin Newton-John, originally from Wales, was an MI5 officer attached to the Enigma machine project at Bletchley Park, and the officer who took Rudolf Hess into custody when he parachuted into Scotland in May 1941. After World War II, he became a professor of German at the UNSW annex at Tighes Hill in Newcastle, Australia.

In 1954, at the age of five, Newton-John, her parents Brin and Irene, and her older siblings Hugh and Rona, relocated to Melbourne, Australia, where her father had taken a job at Melbourne University as the Master of Ormond College. Her parents divorced when she was eleven years old.

Newton-John was married to Matt Lattanzi from 1984 to 1995. They had one child during their marriage, a girl named Chloe Rose Lattanzi, born in 1986. Chloe will be launching her own pop career later in 2006 with her debut album Lonely Nights in Paradise.

From 1996, Newton-John lived together with gaffer/cameraman Patrick McDermott. However, on June 30, 2005, directly before her new album Stronger Than Before hit stores, McDermott went missing following a fishing trip off the coast of California. The Coast Guard has not ruled out the possibility of foul play but concedes that they have few leads. Olivia, who was vacationing at her self-owned Gaia Retreat & Spa in Australia at the time, is not a suspect.

Fox News Network reported on June 4, 2006, that some witnesses claim to have seen McDermott alive and well in Mexico. The prevailing theory is that he staged his disappearance in order to avoid court proceedings brought by an ex-wife concerning child support payments. Newton-John has refused to comment on such speculation.

In 1979, Olivia Newton-John was appointed an Officer (OBE) of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

In 2002, she was inducted into the Australian Music Hall of Fame by the Australian Recording Industry Association.

In 2006, she was named an Officer (AO) in the Order of Australia for "service to the entertainment industry as a singer and actor, and to the community through organisations supporting breast cancer treatment, education, training and research, and the environment".
Artist information courtesy of their Wikipedia entry, which is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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