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Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John was born in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, to a Welsh father, Brinley “Bryn” Newton-John, and a Berlin-born mother, Irene Helene (née Born), the eldest child of the Nobel Prize-winning atomic physicist Max Born. Her mother’s family had left Germany before World War II to avoid the Nazi regime (Newton-John’s maternal grandfather was Jewish and her maternal grandmother was of paternal Jewish ancestry). She is a third cousin of comedian Ben Elton. Her maternal great-grandfather was jurist Victor Ehrenberg and her matrilineal great-grandmother’s father was jurist Rudolf von Jhering. Newton-John is the youngest of three children, following brother Hugh, a doctor, and sister Rona, an actress who was married to Grease co-star Jeff Conaway from 1980 until their divorce in 1985. Newton-John’s father was an MI5 officer on the Enigma project at Bletchley Park who took Rudolf Hess into custody during the Second World War. In 1954, when she was six, Newton-John’s family emigrated to Melbourne, Australia, where her father worked as a professor of German and as Master of Ormond College at the University of Melbourne.