Olivia Newton-John has died aged 73 - Grease co-star John Travolta leads heartfelt tributes

British-born Australian singer and actress Olivia Newton-John battled breast cancer for 30 years

Olivia Newton-John has died
(Image credit: Getty)

Olivia Newton-John has died aged 73 as Grease co-star John Travolta leads heartfelt tributes to the 'incredible' actress. 

Best-known for starring in the 70s hit musical Grease which she played the role of Sandy opposite John Travolta as Danny Zuko, Olivia went on to gain international fame as it was one of the most successful musicals ever made.

But following a 30 year battle with breast cancer, Olivia died peacefully at her Californian ranch surrounded by family and friends.

Olivia admitted back in 2019 that she didn't know how long she had left to live. She battled breast cancer three times after she was first diagnosed with the illness back in 1992, when she was only 43-year-old and later fought another battle with the common cancer more recently in 2013. She then revealed last year that she was hit with the disease again in 2017 and at the time was undergoing treatment for it.

But as news of her death broke, co-star John Travolta has lead the tributes to the star, whom he described as having an "incredible impact".

"My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better," the actor wrote on Instagram, "Your impact was incredible. I love you so much." 

"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!
Your Danny, your John!"

The pair recently reunited and reprised their roles for a special night at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre West Palm Beach, Florida for a sing-along of the movie followed by Q&A session. 

At the time, they wore their character costumes - with Olivia wearing Sandy's signature yellow skirt and matching cardigan and white shirt. While John wore a classic leather biker jacket with his hair slicked back.

Fellow co-star Stockard Channing, who played Rizzo in Grease, also paid tribute, she said, "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. I will miss her enormously."

Up until her death, Olivia had been promoting her Foundation Fund which was dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer and her efforts saw her honoured her with a Damehood in 2020 New Year's Honours list.

In a statement posted to her social media channels, Olivia's husband John Easterling confirmed she had died on Monday, August 8th and he hailed her "a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer".

Olivia has a daughter Chloe with her ex husband Matt Lattanzi and last posted a touching snap with her last husband John in the days leading up to her death.

And fans have paid tribute to the star. One wrote, "I am so heartbroken. Thank you so much Olivia for all the light you brought to our lifes and will continue to bring to our lifes cause your spirit will never die❤️ Rest in peace, angel❤️" (sic).

Another fan put, "I am so sad and so sorry. What a legacy she leaves behind. My condolences."

And a third fan added, "My teenage idol. How many times did we sing her songs, watch Grease and copy her "Let's Get Physical" wardrobe for aerobics in the 1980s? Rest In Peace."

Olivia was born in Cambridge back in 1948, her father had been a British spy during World War Two and he mother, who was daughter of German Nobel laureate Max Born fled with her family when the Nazi's came to power in 1933. The family moved to Australia in 1954, where she was raised.

Fans can donate to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund in her memory by visiting the website.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)

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