Newton-John's 'Grease' outfit sells at auction for $405,700
Grease was the word this weekend, as Olivia Newton-John officially said goodbye to her vast collection of film and music memorabilia acquired over nearly half a century of stardom — including the famed leather jacket and pants she wore in the iconic 1978 film’s final scene.
More than 40 years since Grease hit the big screen, the famed outfit, worn by Newton-John as she strutted her stuff at Rydell High’s carnival and sang “You’re the One That I Want” with co-star John Travolta, sold for a total of $405,700 at Julien’s Auctions on Nov. 2. The leather jacket fielded a bid of $243,200, while the leather pants brought in $162,500, according to a release.
All the proceeds from the Grease jacket and pants will go to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in the star’s home country of Australia. But there were more than 500 other costumes, accessories and personal items that hit the auction block as well, including a custom “Pink Ladies” jacket presented to Newton-John by the cast and crew of the film, which sold for 25 times its original $2,000 estimate at $50,000; her 1950s-inspired petal-pink lace gown worn to Grease’s 1978 premiere at Mann’s Chinese Theatre, which sold for $18,750; and several pieces from Newton-John’s later work on films like Xanadu and in her music career.
Even though the pieces hold a special place in Newton-John’s heart, she previously told Yahoo Entertainment she was ready to part with these historic items.
“I’m fond of all of them, because they all have memories and, you know, incredible moments associated with them,” Newton-John told Yahoo Entertainment. “But I have learned, with, you know, going through things in my life, that things are things and that’s not what’s important, but the memories are. So I feel very happy that, you know, these are things, and I’m not gonna take them with me, so better that somebody else enjoys them now.”
While she originally only intended to auction off the leather jacket and pants, Newton-John said she changed her mind after looking through Julien’s catalogs, and realized she could part with so much more.
Still, she’ll never forget the reaction of the cast when she walked on set in those skintight leather pants and matching jacket. She told Yahoo that the entire crew “kind of did a swivel,” and Travolta’s eyes bulged.
“And it was like, ‘Whoa, what have I been doing wrong?’” the actress told Yahoo. “So I thought, yeah, this is the right outfit.”