My hubby Michael and I spent much of Saturday watching the streaming video feed of the Olivia Newton-John memorabilia auction via Julien’s Auction House.
As regular readers know, Michael has been Olivia’s publicist for 20 years 🙂
We’d never watched a celebrity auction before, and knowing Olivia’s career so intimately we were fascinated to see what items really drew fans in.
Olivia’s famous black leather jacket and skin-tight pants from the finale of GREASE, “You’re the One That I Want,” went for $405,700 – more than double the estimate.
The outfit, along with hundreds of other items from Newton-John’s illustrious career spanning six decades raised a total of $2.4 million.
While the black outfit was the focus of much of the press in the runup to the auction, we were surprised by how much other items went for.
A custom ‘Pink Ladies’ jacket monogrammed with the name “Sandy,” which was given to Oliva at the close of shooting GREASE sold for $50,000, twenty-five times the estimate.
And a poster for the film signed by the full cast of the movie musical initially predicted to raise $1,000, raised $64,000.
Also – a pair of patchwork bell-bottom jeans worn by Newton-John during a performance on NBC’s “The Midnight Special” in the 1970s raised $50,000.
The original handwritten lyrics of “Hopelessly Devoted To You” from GREASE, written by longtime collaborator John Farrar sold for $22,500.
And the first car Olivia ever bought in the United States, a 1975 Volkswagen Super Beetle, was purchased for $55,000.
After her first bout with cancer in the 1990s, she was asked to lend her name (and help raise funds for) the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in Melbourne, which aims to support the mind as well as the body.
All of the proceeds from the GREASE jacket and pants will go to the center, as well as a portion of all the other items sold on Saturday.