More than 40 years after it first hit the big screen, Olivia Newton-John‘s edgy leather look from the Grease finale is still regarded as one of the most iconic film fashion moments of all time. But after holding on to the sentimental outfit for decades, Newton-John, 71, is parting ways with it — along with 500 other items in her closet — to raise money for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Center in Melbourne, Australia.
In an interview with Lorraine leading up to the auction taking place on Nov. 1 and 2 in Los Angeles at Julien Auctions’ Idols & Icons event, Newton-John revealed that she anticipates the leather outfit to bring in the most amount of money for the cancer center.
While the actress donned the Grease costume one last time during an interview with Gayle King on CBS Sunday Morning last month, she said that it’s been kept in her everyday closet ever since she wrapped the film in 1978. But now, she’s ready to pass it on to someone else.
“It was in my closet for many, many years. Someone’s going to enjoy them, and this has a purpose,” Newton-John said.
She later revealed during an interview with Entertainment Tonight that it’s still in the same condition as it was on set. “They had to stitch me into [the pants] when I had to shoot, so the zipper’s still broken. But they’re fabulous,” she said.
Julien’s Auctions anticipates the star’s outfit could sell for anywhere between $100,000 to $200,000. Other Grease memorabilia that Newton-John donated for the auction include her original script from the film, a Grease ten times platinum award, the custom dress she wore to the Grease premiere in L.A. in 1978 and the “Pink Ladies” jacket given to her by the cast.
Other items up for auction include sportswear she donned while promoting her hit song “Physical” and pieces from the cult-classic film, Xanadu including thigh-high suede western boots and Missoni pants.
Newton-John, who is now fighting breast cancer for the third time, founded the ONJ Cancer Centre during her first battle in 1992. She overcame cancer again in 2013, but in May 2017, she was told cancer had metastasized and spread to her bones.
However, she keeps a positive outlook on life — in her recent interview with King, the actress said she doesn’t like to dwell on the statistics of the disease.
“In my opinion, if they give you a percentage, or you know, ‘This many women get this and they live this long,’ you can create that and make it happen,” Newton-John said.
She added: “It’s almost like — I think I know what the statistics are. But I put them away. But I’m gonna live longer than that. I’ve made that decision. And I don’t buy into the statistics ‘cause I think they can make you really nervous.”
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