Skip to main content

Ticketed entry is in place to safely manage visits to the Gallery, so please book ahead.

Menu

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Olivia Newton-John, 1978 (printed 2017)

Gary Heery

inkjet print on paper (frame: 116.5 cm x 92.0 cm, image: 99.5 cm x 79.5 cm)

Olivia Newton-John AO OBE (b. 1948) came from England to Australia as a five-year-old with her parents. They settled in Melbourne, where Brin Newton-John was master of Ormond College at the University of Melbourne. Having won an early television talent contest Olivia formed an all-girl group and by 1963 was appearing regularly on weekly variety programs in Australia. She cut her first single in England in 1966, but her first big hit came in 1971, with a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘If Not For You’ which was followed with ‘Banks of the Ohio’, a hit in the USA and Australia. Her US album debut, Let Me Be There, produced a smash single of the same name and won her the first of her four Grammy awards. She has since sold more than 100 million albums; had ten number one singles including ‘Physical’, which topped charts for ten consecutive weeks in the early 1980s; had more than 15 top ten singles; and won many industry awards. Newton-John’s popularity had plateaued when in 1978, the year she turned 30, she played a teen named Sandy in the film Grease, which became the most successful movie musical in history. Since then she has continued to perform intermittently. Along with establishing various businesses, since the mid-1980s Newton-John has devoted much energy to children’s organisations and cancer treatment facilities, notably funding the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre (ONJCWC) in Melbourne in 2012.

Gary Heery has photographed album covers for Madonna, Joe Cocker and Paul Simon and portraits for Life, Esquire, Rolling Stone and Interview. He took this photograph in California.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2017
© Gary Heery/Copyright Agency, 2020

Accession number: 2017.104

Currently on display: Gallery Three (Robert Oatley Gallery)

Copyright image request form
Request a digital copy of an image for publication

Artist and subject

Gary Heery

Olivia Newton-John AO OBE (age 30 in 1978)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

Plan your visit

Timed ticketing, location, accessibility and amenities

Support your Portrait Gallery

We depend on your support to keep creating our programs, exhibitions, publications and building the amazing portrait collection!

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.