Matt Lattanzi, the actor and dancer, best known for the soap opera “Paradise Beach”, was the first husband of Olivia Newton-John.
On August 8, 2022, at her Southern California ranch, Olivia Newton-John passed away peacefully. Details of the cause of his death remain unknown; however, the longtime singer is known to have had a long battle with cancer.
Her husband, John Easterling, announced the news via his Instagram account, asking for privacy as his family and friends mourn. Olivia’s ex-husband and father of her only daughter, Matt Lattanzi, has supported her through her cancer journey.
Portrait of Matt Lattanzi in UK October 18, 1983 | Source: Getty Images
Who was Matt Lattanzi?
Matt Lattanzi breathed his first breath on February 1, 1959 and was born to Jeannette and Charles Paul Lattanzi in Portland, Oregon. His brother, Steve Lattanzi, was his best man when he married the “Grease” actress in 1984.
Lattanzi’s mother is known to have Polish ancestry, while her paternal grandparents were Italian immigrants. According to Oregon Live, he graduated from Benson High School in 1977.
Christopher Atkins and Matt Lattanzi at Olivia Newton-John’s in Malibu, CA
According to the Chicago Tribune, Lattanzi worked in construction while living with his wife in California. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands when he heard about casting calls for the show “Paradise Beach” in Australia.
The former lovers owned a farm in Australia, where auditions were held. Two weeks later, he landed the role of “Cooper Hart” and was signed for six months.
Olivia Newton-John and Matt Lattanzi around 1984 in New York | Source: Getty Images
Lattanzi and Newton-John were staunch environmental activists who urged people to take better care of Earth’s rapidly depreciating environment. His passion as an activist brought him closer to his character “Cooper Hart” in “Paradise Beach”.
Matt enjoyed his Australian farm life with his wife and daughter, Chloe. In his spare time, the actor enjoyed fishing, scuba diving, and hanging out with his friends, which, according to People, began to cause a rift between the divorcees.
Olivia Newton-John and Matt Lattanzi in 1982 in New York | Source: Getty Images
During their time together, Matt continued to work in the entertainment industry. However, he mostly had roles in small films like ‘Rich and Famous’, ‘That’s Life’, ‘Roxanne’ and ‘Diving In’.
In 1983, the actor had a leading role in the sex comedy film “My Tutor”, in which he played Bobby Chrystal, a student whose main goal was to lose his virginity before starting college.
Roy Rogers (1911 – 1998) with Matt Lattanzi in 1992 | Source: Getty Images
The relationship between Matt Lattanzi and Olivia Newton-John
It was on the set of the movie “Xanadu” that Matt Lattanzi and Olivia Newton-John met. People described it as a “strange match” as they came from different backgrounds, and there was a 10-year age gap between the two ex-lovers.
Olivia’s father was a British professor of German literature and Matt’s father was a maintenance foreman from Oregon. Apart from that, she was an important actress known for working in the musical film “Grease” while he was a backup dancer.
Another difference between the two was their age. At that time, the actress was 31 while Matt was 20. Despite all the differences, the couple started dating soon after meeting.
In December 1984, the couple finally formalizes and Olivia Newton-John becomes the wife of Matt Lattanzi. Only a year and a month later, in January 1986, their only daughter, Chole Rose, was born.
In a July 27, 1993, issue of The Spokesman-Review article, Lattanzi gushed that his ex-wife was a beam of light. He revealed that Olivia was completely cured of cancer, saying:
“Like I said, she’s fine and completely healed now. You can see the change just by looking at her. She’s become a living beam of light, like she’s gone from a fridge light bulb from 25 watts to a bright klieg lamp. does any cancer live in all that light?”
Cliff Richard, Olivia Newton-John and Matt Lattanzi at Heathrow Airport in London | Source: Getty Images
Sadly, Matt Lattanzi and Olivia’s romance reached its expiration date in 1995. On April 24 of that year, the couple announced their “amicable separation.” According to People, some of their loved ones saw their separation as inevitable.
They tried to mend what was left of their marriage through therapy, but even that didn’t help. However, whatever differences could not be resolved in their relationship, Olivia’s nieces testified to Lattanzi’s support in their marriage.
The former couple went through a lot together, including bankruptcy and a tough battle with breast cancer.
Matt supported Olivia during her battle with cancer
People pointed out that Olivia’s breast cancer was likely one of the reasons they hadn’t split before, as Matt was very supportive of his then-wife through the process.
Once Olivia was cancer free, she realized the many differences between them. Even numerous couples therapy sessions could not fix the problem.
According to Tottie Goldsmith, Olivia’s niece, one of the main problems was that the actress began to surround herself with “very spiritual” people, and Matt had more earthly interests, so she had to find “his equal”. .
Matt Lattanzi and Chloe Lattanzi on June 27, 2002 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | Source: Getty Images
Matt and Olivia’s next relationship
In 1997, two years after getting divorced, Matt found love again with Cindy Jessup. Unfortunately, after being together for nearly a decade, they broke up.
Olivia went on to marry John Easterling in 2008, who is now mourning the singer’s passing with his daughter, family and friends. Pictured below, Olivia poses with her daughter, Chloe, on a large lawn with a lush green landscape in the background.
Matt Lattanzi has nothing to do with the entertainment industry anymore. In fact, he’s stayed out of the spotlight for several years, and even his daughter doesn’t have pictures of him on social media.
The career of Olivia Newton John
Olivia Newton-John has also worked on ‘Two of a Kind’, ‘It’s My Party’ and most recently ‘A Few Best Men’. has appeared on numerous TV shows, including “Timeless Tales from Hallmark”, “American Idol”, and “Dancing with the Stars”.
The aspect of his career that has brought him more recognition, however, is his music. So far, she has released more than 20 albums, and with her outstanding singing skills, she has won Grammys, ACMs, AMAs, and more.
Olivia’s career is filled with roles in famous films and accolades. The movie that put her on the map was “Grease,” in which she played Sandy Olsson. Olivia has excelled in her acting and singing career.
With a memorable performance in “Grease,” featured on globally acclaimed shows such as “American Idol,” and the film’s decades-long appreciation by generations of fans, it seems she will be sorely missed and will be celebrated.