Australian actress and singer Dame Olivia Newton John, who starred in the movie version of Grease, has died.
Dame Olivia Newton-John was best known for starring in the 1978 movie Grease alongside John Travolta.
Her husband, John Easterling, said in a statement: “Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time.
“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer.”
A cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
Newton-John stated in 2017 that the breast cancer that first struck her in 1992 has come back and spread to her spine. She said that she had been diagnosed with a second form of cancer in 2013, but had kept it a secret. She urged her native Australia to adopt the rules of the US state where she was residing at the time, California, to permit the medicinal use of marijuana, saying she was confident she would “win over it.”
John Travolta, her co-star in Grease, posted an emotional social media message that said: “My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!”
She will be best remembered for her role in Grease, the joyous 1978 adaptation of the Broadway stage musical. After meeting the producer at a dinner party and being offered the starring role of Sandy, Newton-John, who was 29 at the time, needed some convincing to accept the job since she thought she was too old to play a high school senior. In order to accommodate her Australian accent, the character was also changed.
Born in Cambridge, UK, in 1948, Olivia Newton John straddled the worlds of acting, pop music and activism. Her musical career culminated in her 1981 album Physical, with other hits including Xanadu from her 1980 film of the same name.
Grease The Musical is currently playing in London’s West End at the Dominion Theatre, starring Dan Partridge as Danny, Olivia Moore as Sandy, and Peter Andre at select performances as Vince Fontaine..