“Grease” star Olivia Newton-John has died at age 73.
A message from her husband John Easterling on her official Instagram and Facebook accounts confirmed the news of her death on Monday, August 8.
“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,” her Instagram account reads alongside a photo of the smiling actress.
The work of Newton-John, who shared her decades-long battle with breast cancer over the years, will continue with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund which is “dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer.” Newton-John was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, but it went into remission before coming back in 2013. Her cancer again went into remission but once again resurfaced in 2017.
In October 2021, the actress revealed she was battling Stage 4 breast cancer, but shared that she was managing her pain with medical marijuana.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the fund in her memory.
Newton-John had several hits as a singer including “If Not for You” in 1971 and “Let Me Be There” in 1973. She rose to international stardom with her role as Sandy opposite John Travolta in “Grease” in 1978. The musical brought her more hits including “You’re the One that I Want,” “Summer Nights,” and “Hopelessly Devoted to You.”
A multiple Grammy winner, the biggest hit of her music carer came in 1981 with “Physical” which spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on the music charts.
Newton-John is survived by her husband John Easterling and daughter Chloe Lattanzi.
Tributes to Newton-John have been poring in since news of her death was announced.
My heart is broken. Rest now, sweet friend. You were as kind and loving a person as there’s ever been. I’ll miss you every day. 💔 pic.twitter.com/Z1zkVe9CVb
— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) August 8, 2022
Olivia Newton-John has died. 💔 That’s it. I’m done guys. Heartbroken doesn’t even BEGIN to cover it. I ADORED her.
I hate this so much. She was only 73.
What is going on?!#RIPOliviaNewtonJohn
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) August 8, 2022
Really sad to hear about the passing of Olivia Newton-John. My first real crush as a kid. I loved Grease & her music & I coincidentally also bought & lived in for a while the wonderful home she built in Malibu. May she Rest In Peace. ❤️ https://t.co/gP10SJWqFZ
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) August 8, 2022
Friends also paid tribute to Newton-John in the latest issue of People.
Former ET co-host Leeza Gibbons shared, “Her last text to me was, ‘I’m grateful for all the love in my life. I’m such a lucky person.'”
Gibbons, who, along with her husband Steve Fenton, recently spent a weekend at Newton-John and Easterling’s ranch, continued, “Olivia personified grace and goodness. No artifice, no affectation, just an authentic, beautiful and unending source of generosity and love. There will never be another like her — a true angel on Earth.”
“That radiant smile and generous heart was on full display,” Gibbons, who interviewed Newton-John for ET in the late ’80s, continued. “Olivia is whip-smart and always engages others in conversations about them, rarely talking about herself. She would quickly deflect any discussion of herself or her illness. It just seemed like she had beaten the odds for so long that she could somehow be immortal.”
Beth Nielsen Chapman, whom Newton-John helped when she was also diagnosed with breast cancer, added: “She didn’t even give language to [cancer] in a negative way. She didn’t dwell on things that she couldn’t change.
“She was always looking outward from herself to help other people on a scale I’ve never seen in another human.”
Stockard Channing, who played Betty Rizzo alongside Newton-John in “Grease”, told People in a statement: “I don’t know if I’ve known a lovelier human being. Olivia was the essence of summer – her sunniness, her warmth and her grace are what always come to mind when I think of her.”
She added, “I will miss her enormously.”