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Matt Lattanzi Had Little in Common with His Wife of 11 Years - Meet Olivia Newton John’s First Husband

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Aug 11, 2022
09:29 A.M.
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Matt Lattanzi, the actor, and dancer, best known for the soap opera "Paradise Beach," was Olivia Newton-John's first husband.

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On August 8, 2022, in her Southern California ranch, Olivia Newton-John passed peacefully. Details of the cause of her death remain unknown; however, the long-time singer is known to have had a lengthy battle with cancer.

Her husband, John Easterling, announced the news via her Instagram account, asking for privacy as her family and friends grieve. Olivia's ex-husband and father of her only daughter, Matt Lattanzi, supported her throughout her journey with cancer.

Portrait of Matt Lattanzi in the United Kingdom on October 18, 1983 | Source: Getty Images

Portrait of Matt Lattanzi in the United Kingdom on October 18, 1983 | Source: Getty Images

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WHO WAS MATT LATTANZI?

Matt Lattanzi drew 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 his 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 home in Malibu | Getty Images

Christopher Atkins and Matt Lattanzi at Olivia Newton-John's home in Malibu | Getty Images

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According to the Chicago Tribune, Lattanzi worked in construction while he lived with his wife in California. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands when he heard about casting calls for the "Paradise Beach" show 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 circa 1984 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Olivia Newton-John and Matt Lattanzi circa 1984 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

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Lattanzi and Newton-John were avid environmental activists who urged people to take better care of the earth's rapidly depreciating environment. His passion as an activist brought him closer to his character "Cooper Hart" in "Paradise Beach."

Matt enjoyed his life on the Australian farm with his wife and daughter, Chloe. In his free time, the actor enjoyed fishing, scuba diving, and spending time with his friends, which according to People, started to cause a rift between the divorcees.

Olivia Newton-John and Matt Lattanzi in 1982, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Olivia Newton-John and Matt Lattanzi in 1982, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

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During their time together, Matt kept working in the entertainment industry. However, he mostly got roles in small movies like "Rich and Famous," "That's Life," "Roxanne," and "Diving In."

In 1983, the actor had a starring role in the sex comedy film "My Tutor," in which he portrayed Bobby Chrystal, a student whose main goal was losing his virginity before starting college.

Roy Rogers (1911 - 1998) with Matt Lattanzi in 1992 | Source: Getty Images

Roy Rogers (1911 - 1998) with Matt Lattanzi in 1992 | Source: Getty Images

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MATT LATTANZI & OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN'S RELATIONSHIP

Matt Lattanzi and Olivia Newton-John met each other on the set of the movie "Xanadu." People described it as an "odd match" since 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 a significant actress known for working in the musical film "Grease" while he was a backup dancer.

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Another difference between the two was their ages. At that point, the actress was 31 while Matt was 20. Despite all the dissimilarities, the pair started dating shortly after meeting.

In December 1984, the couple finally made it official, and Olivia Newton-John became Matt Lattanzi's wife. Only one year and one month later, in January 1986, their only daughter, Chole Rose, was born.

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In a July 27, 1993 issue of The Spokesman-Review article, Lattanzi gushed about his ex-wife being a beam of light. He disclosed that Olivia had been fully cured of cancer, saying:

"As I said, she's fine and completely cured now. You can see the change just by looking at her. She's become a living beam of light, as if she's gone from a 25-watt refrigerator bulb to a brilliant klieg lamp. How could any cancer live in all that light?"

Cliff Richard, Olivia Newton-John, and Matt Lattanzi at Heathrow Airport in London | Source: Getty Images

Cliff Richard, Olivia Newton-John, and Matt Lattanzi at Heathrow Airport in London | Source: Getty Images

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Unfortunately, Matt Lattanzi and Olivia's romance met its expiration date in 1995. On April 24 that year, the couple announced their "amicable separation." According to People, some of their loved ones saw their separation as inevitable.

They tried to patch what was left of their marriage through therapy, but even that didn't help. However, despite the differences that couldn't be settled in their relationship, Olivia's nieces attested to Lattanzi's support in their marriage.

The former couple went through a lot together, including bankruptcy and a fierce fight against breast cancer.

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MATT SUPPORTED OLIVIA DURING HER BATTLE WITH CANCER

People pointed out that Olivia's breast cancer was probably one of the reasons that they didn't part ways before, as Matt was very supportive of his then-wife throughout the process.

Once Olivia was cancer-free, she became aware of their many differences. Not even the many sessions in couple therapy could change that.

According to Tottie Goldsmith, Olivia's niece, one of the main issues was that the actress started surrounding herself with "very spiritual" people. Matt had more earthly interests, so she needed to find "her equal."

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Matt Lattanzi and Chloe Lattanzi on June 27, 2002, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | Source: Getty Images

Matt Lattanzi and Chloe Lattanzi on June 27, 2002, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | Source: Getty Images

MATT & OLIVIA'S RELATIONSHIPS AFTER THEY PARTED WAYS

In 1997, two years after getting divorced, Matt found love again with Cindy Jessup. Unfortunately, after being together for almost a decade, they parted ways.

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Olivia married John Easterling in 2008, who now grieves the songstress's passing with her daughter, family, and friends. In the photo below, Olivia poses with her daughter, Chloe, on a large lawn with green scenery in the background.

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Matt Lattanzi now has nothing to do with the entertainment industry. He has kept himself out of the spotlight for several years, and not even his daughter has photos of him on social media.

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN'S CAREER

Olivia Newton-John also worked on "Two of a Kind," "It's My Party," and, more recently, "A Few Best Men." participated in plenty of TV shows, including "Timeless Tales from Hallmark," "American Idol," and "Dancing with the Stars."

However, the aspect of her career that has brought her more recognition is her music. So far, she has released more than 20 albums, and due to her outstanding singing skills, she has won Grammys, ACMs, AMAs, and more.

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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 portrayed Sandy Olsson. Olivia excelled in her career as both actress and singer.

With a memorable performance in "Grease," being featured in globally recognized shows such as "American Idol," and the movie's decades-long appreciation garnered from generations of fans, it seems she will be dearly missed and celebrated.

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