Olivia Newton-John’s starring turn as Sandy in the 1978 musical movie Grease cemented her status as an acting legend. Her artistic expression wasn’t limited to acting as she sent five songs to No. 1 in the United States. Newton-John’s death at age 73 on Aug. 8, 2022, shocked the world almost as much as the mysterious disappearance of her boyfriend Patrick McDermott unsettled her.
Olivia Newton-John battled cancer several times and died peacefully at her home
Newton-John received her first diagnosis in 1992, and her cancer returned twice. In 2018, she learned it had spread to her back and caused a tumor at the base of her spine. Newton-John said medical cannabis helped her manage the pain when it became unbearable.
“In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund,” a statement from her family read. Part of the foundation’s mission is to fund research on plant-based medicines to fight cancer.
The release also stated the Grease actor died peacefully surrounded by her family and friends in her southern California home. But Newton-John never quite found peace over the mysterious disappearance of her one-time boyfriend, Patrick McDermott.
Newton-John’s boyfriend Patrick McDermott mysteriously disappeared during a fishing trip
One Grease fan theory hypothesizes that Sandy drowned at the beginning of the movie. The theory states she imagined everything else as her soul headed to heaven (shown as a car driving through the clouds at the end).
Newton-John encountered a similar situation in real life involving her one-time boyfriend, Patrick McDermott. The cinematographer with three IMDb credits mysteriously disappeared while on an overnight fishing trip near Los Angeles in 2005. McDermott’s belongings (car keys, wallet, passport) were on the boat when it returned to port, but he wasn’t. It fueled speculation he faked his own death to avoid mounting debt.
McDermott’s fate remains a mystery, and Newton-John never quite came to grips with it, as The Mirror reported:
“I don’t think I will ever really be at peace with it. I think there will always be a question mark.”Olivia Newton-John speaks about the disappearance of boyfriend Patrick McDermott
We don’t know if Newton-John found peace before she died, but she found love again after McDermott’s disappearance.
The ‘Physical’ singer married twice, including to John Easterling
Newton-John married actor John Lattanzi (Xanadu, Grease 2) in late 1984, and they divorced in 1995. She then started dating McDermott, and she eventually found love with John Easterling after McDermott’s disappearance.
Who is John Easterling? He’s the founder of the natural health business Amazon Herb Company who first met Newton-John in the 1990s. They encountered each other several times over the years before they married in 2008. Easterling and Newton-John had two wedding ceremonies — a spiritual ceremony in Peru followed by a more traditional wedding in Florida — but no children.
Newton-John and Lattanzi had one child together, daughter Chloe Lattanzi.
The disappearance of her boyfriend McDermott shook Olivia Newton-John, but she found peace and happiness with Easterling until her death.
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