Olivia Newton-John, 'Grease' Star And Grammy-Winning Singer, Dies At 73


Monday, August 8th 2022, 4:35 pm

By: News 9


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Olivia Newton-John died Monday at her ranch in Southern California, her publicist confirmed to CBS News. She was 73.

No cause of death was given in a statement on her official Facebook page, but Newton-John had been open about her decades-long battle with breast cancer.

"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," the statement on Facebook said.

Newton-John burst onto the Hollywood scene with her role as Sandy opposite John Travolta's Danny in the 1978 blockbuster, "Grease."

A four-time Grammy Award-winner, the English-Australian superstar sold 100 million albums with songs like "I Honestly Love You," and "Have You Never Been Mellow." She also scored huge hits in the 1980s with "Physical" and "Magic."

Travolta posted a tribute to her on Instagram, writing: "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 first moment I saw you and forever!" He signed it, "Your Danny, your John!"

Travolta posted a tribute to her on Instagram, writing: Image Provided By: CBS News

Other actors and music artists also honored the late singer. "Another angelic voice has been added to the Heavenly Choir. Not only was Olivia a dear friend, but one of the nicest people I had the pleasure of recording and performing with," wrote Dionne Warwick.

"My heart is broken," singer-songwriter Richard Marx tweeted. "You were as kind and loving a person as there's ever been." 

Barbra Streisand also shared a photo and wrote, "Too young to leave this world. May she RIP."

Actor George Takei called Newton-John a "great, iconic artist." "I trust she is now in the great Xanadu beyond," he wrote. "Know that we are forever hopelessly devoted to you, Olivia. Rest in song and mirth."

Newton-John was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, at the same time her father died from cancer. She went into remission for several years, until she was told the cancer was back in 2013. Five years after that, she revealed that the cancer had metastasized.

After retiring from acting, Newton-John focused on philanthropy, founding the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia. 

In a 2019 interview, Newton-John told "CBS Mornings" co-host Gayle King that she never felt victimized over her diagnosis. 

"Maybe deep down I knew there was a reason or a purpose for it," she said. "Or maybe I needed to create one to make it okay for myself. Because, again, it's a decision — How am I gonna deal with it? You choose."

She added that while denial was how she originally dealt with the news, she focused on the joy of life and everyday living as part of her healing process. 

When asked whether she thought of death often, Newton-John said she tried not to focus on it or any prognosis given by a doctor. 

"You have to think about it," she said. "I mean, it's part of life. And, of course, if you have a cancer diagnosis, your death is kind of there. Whereas most people, we don't have a clue when we're gonna die. And I could die tomorrow — a tree could fall on me. So, it's just that we have that knowledge that we could die."

"But I try not to think about it too much, but I try to mediate and be peaceful about it, and know that everyone I love is there, so there's something to look forward to."

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