Olivia Newton-John’s Team Speaks Out About Emmys In Memoriam Snub

by Craig Garrett

Olivia Newton-John’s publicist is disappointed she was not included in the “In Memoriam” tribute at this year’s Emmys. TMZ reports that Michael Caprio, Newton-John’s publicist for more than two decades, was let down by the news. Caprio said while the family is still grieving and did not want to comment, Emmy Awards executive producer Reggie Hudlin should have considered her substantial Hollywood background.

Caprio pointed out Olivia Newton-John’s past acting roles in TV movies, such as A Mom For Christmas. He also mentioned her appearances on shows like American Idol, Glee, and Dancing With the Stars. The star’s reps had addressed fan outrage over the omission of Newton-John and other celebrities from the annual memorial event honoring deceased performing artists. Despite her absence from the live tribute, her name appears on the In Memoriam site online of the Emmys.

On September 12, John Legend performed his new song “Pieces” during the show’s “In Memoriam” segment. While some viewers praised the performance, others criticized the wide shots that made it difficult to read the names of the people being memorialized in the background. Of course, Olivia Newton-John wasn’t the only performer left out of the segment. Among the other actors missing was Beverly Hills, 90210 star Denise Dowse. Even the Disney icon Pat Carroll (voice of Ursula in The Little Mermaid) was left out. Also excluded were Philip Baker Hall and Norm Macdonald.

Olivia Newton-John struggled with cancer for decades

After a brave, decades-long battle with cancer that included struggles with metastasis and relapses, Newton-John passed away surrounded by friends and family in her home in Southern California. Running in her family, cancer sadly took the life of her father from liver cancer at 78, just before she was first diagnosed with breast cancer herself. Then Rona, her older sister died at 72 from a brain tumor in 2013 after years of fighting valiantly; two short years later Hugh – another brother – also lost his own fought against the disease and succumbed to cancer at 80.

In 2015, Newton-John opened the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Center in Melbourne, Australia. The center conducts clinical trials for cancer treatments and offers support services to patients and families. Newton-John is best known for her role as Sandy in the 1978 musical film Grease. The movie’s soundtrack is one of the top-selling albums of all time, with over 100 million copies sold worldwide. She has also won four Grammy awards throughout her career.

The passing of Newton-John sparked public mourning. The Premier of Victoria, Dan Andrews, provided a state funeral for her family. Her husband, John Easterling, revealed her final wish before she passed away. It was for donations to be made to her foundation fund in lieu of flowers.