Pop culture icon Olivia Newton-John died Monday at the age of 73, her family reported on her official social media pages.
“Dame Olivia Newton-John passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” wrote the statement on her official Facebook page.
“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.”
Remembering Olivia Newton-John
From the late 1970s to the early 1980s, Olivia Newton-John has been one of the most famous celebrities in the world.
Her role in Sandy on Grease cemented her legacy, with songs like Physical becoming the number 1 single of the decade.
In her five-decade career, she has sold over 100 million records.
Although known for her musical talent and her rendition of Grease, Olivia Newton-John has made waves by bringing cancer to people’s attention – a topic that has largely been hushed in Hollywood.
She received her first diagnosis in 1992.
Since then, Newton-John has been a strong advocate for breast cancer survivors.
“I think, you know, what you think creates your reality. So it’s a decision. You have to make that decision,” the singer said in 2019.
“You can be a victim, or you can be a winner and enjoy your life.”
Although born in England, Olivia Newton-John and her family later moved to Australia where she appeared on a TV talent show.
She would also form a girl group and form a pop duo with her friend Pat Carroll.
It wasn’t until she embarked on a solo career that Newton-John had her breakthrough. In 1973, the singer received her first Grammy Award,
Director Randal Kleiser soon realized he wanted Olivia Newton-John to play Sandy.
Although her talent as a singer was already well known, her acting left some concerns.
“Olivia Newton-John was our first choice for the part of Sandy, but she had a few concerns,” he recalled.
“She had had a bad experience on an English film and didn’t want to repeat it.”
“At 29 years old, she wasn’t sure she would look the part of a 17-year-old and wanted to make sure she and John looked like they could be contemporaries,” Kleiser added.
“He was a bit younger (at 23). She asked to have a screen test so she could see how she would come across and feel how the chemistry would be between she and John and myself.”
The tests were successful, as can be seen today.
“She embodied the character in the beginning of the film, and we all hoped she could pull off the sexy vixen at the end,” said Kleiser.
“We couldn’t have been more thrilled by the final result.”
After her success with Grease, Newton-John was unable to replicate the same level of success.
However, in the early 1980s, he saw it flourish in the world of music.
In 1981, his song “Physical” became the biggest hit of the decade and topped the Billboard Hot 100 for weeks. patronage
In 1991, Newton-John became involved in cancer research.
His determination came after the death of his best friend’s daughter due to a rare form of the disease in childhood.
Newton-John’s involvement became even more personal after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
As he went into remission, the cancer returned in 2013 and 2017.
On Monday afternoon, many celebrities paid their respects to Olivia Newton-John. John Travolta posted on Instagram and wrote:
“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! Your Danny, your John!”
“I don’t know if I’ve known a lovelier human being,” Grease co-star Stockard Channing wrote.
“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.”
Another pop culture icon of the 70s and 80s, actress Suzanne Somers, released a statement in which she stated:
“There is a sisterhood that grows larger every year. It’s a sisterhood you never want to join, but when allowed entry, you find great comfort with other sisters.”
“Olivia provided great comfort for me when diagnosed 25 years ago. Her fight was my fight, as she won, I won,” Somers continued.
“She taught all of us so much through her bravery and “never give up” philosophy. We got strength through Olivia and her example of life.”
“As a 70’s icon, she lived a full life. I loved her, and I will miss my “sister” forever.”