ELVIS PRESLEY turned down an iconic role in the movie Grease. Elvis’ refusal to take up the offer meant he didn’t get work with Olivia Newton-John.
ELVIS PRESLEY turned down a truly great role in an incredible iconic 1970s movie GREASE starring Olivia Newton-John which meant that the two divas were destined not to sing together. Sadly on 8th August 2022, the Australian singer/actor Olivia Newton-John died. The 73-year-old star lost her battle against breast cancer after a 30-year fight.
The actress and singer worked with countless Hollywood movie stars (including Gene Kelly) through the years, but she missed out on working with Elvis Presley just before his death in the 1977 when he decided against doing any more movies.
In 1978 GREASE was being filmed in California. The movie introduced Olivia as Sandy opposite the legendary John Travolta as Danny Zuko.
Allan Carr (1937 – 999) was an American producer & manager of stage for the screen. wanted Elvis to play Teen Angel – the musical spectre that appeared to Frenchie during her stunning Beauty School Dropout moment. Elvis was supposed to sail in on a cloud and deliver the poignant song that reflected his own career.
The track’s first line even reads: “Your future, so unclear now, what’s left of you career now?” However, Elvis eventually turned it down. It is not known exactly why he didn’t claim the role, but Allan couldn’t wait around.
Olivia Newton John on Elvis Presley … “I was really excited to be invited to see Elvis Presley at the Hilton in Las Vegas. It was a celebrity-packed room. After the show, I went backstage to meet him and got another big surprise. Doris Day was there, too – I’ve always adored her. Doris was warm and welcoming, but sadly I never met Elvis up close and personal. His road manager said there was an emergency and Elvis had to leave the building….”
In 1976 Olivia again saw Elvis in concert and while she did not get a second chance to meet him, she was treated to Elvis performing her hit song. Olivia remembers… “During the show, Elvis shocked me and sang my song … It blew me away to hear him say my name because I was such a big fan…”
Elvis noted the presence of Olivia and The Eagles at his April 1976 Long Beach concert. Elvis did perform If You Love Me (Let Me Know) at the concert.