Olivia Newton John's iconic black leather Grease outfit gave everyone chills and, yes, they were multiplying. It turns out, in addition to being electrifying, the outfit is also incredibly profitable. The jacket and skin-tight pants worn by Newton-John in the 1978 film sold at Julien's Auction for $405,700. The jacket sold to an anonymous bidder for $243,200, while the pants sold for $162,500 to a different buyer.
Now battling cancer for the third time since 1992, Newton-John decided to sell over 500 items from throughout her career to benefit her cancer center in Australia. All proceeds from the sale of the outfit go to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in Melbourne. In addition to the black leather ensemble, Newton-John auctioned off more personal items and memorabilia from her career, including the "Sandy" Pink Ladies jacket, a Grease poster and a pair of bell-bottom jeans worn on "The Midnight Special."
Newton-John first battled stage 4 breast cancer in 1992. She beat cancer once again in 2013. In 2017, she learned that the cancer had metastasized and spread to her bones.
"When you're given a cancer diagnosis or a scary honest diagnosis, you're suddenly given a possibility of a time limit. The truth is, you could get hit by a truck tomorrow. So every day is a gift, particularly now," she told 60 Minutes Australia earlier this year.
Grease, based on the 1971 musical of the same name, was released in 1978. The film, starring Newton-John as Sandy Olsen, John Travolta as Danny Zuko and Stockard Channing as Betty Zuko, was the highest-grossing musical film at the time. The film's soundtrack was a huge hit as well. "You're the One That I Want," written by John Farrar, sold over 6 million copies in the U.S. and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Newton-John's pre-Grease career featured a string of country and pop hits, including "Let Me Be There," a top 10 country hit later recorded by Elvis Presley, Tanya Tucker and as a duet between Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn.