Grease actress Olivia Newton-John has died at the age of 73. The Hollywood icon had been battling breast cancer for more than 30 years. Her death was confirmed by her family in a Facebook statement on 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,” the statement read. “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. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund (ONJFoundationFund.org).”
The songwriter is survived by her husband, John Easterling, and her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, from her first marriage to Matt Lattanzi. One year before her death, Olivia reflected on her cancer journey and her decision to start the Olivia-Newton John Foundation.
“After having lived for years with different cancers, and having surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, I thought it would be wonderful if we could find different kinds of treatments for people going through cancer,” the “Physical” singer told Closer in July 2021. “I’ve been lucky enough to be married to an amazing man, ‘Amazon’ John, who’s a plant medicine man. So, I’ve taken a lot of plant medicine over the last years and have done well. We want to raise money to fund the studies on plant medicine.”
The bestselling recording artist was optimistic about looking toward a life past her cancer battle.
“I’d like to see a world beyond cancer,” she said at the time. “I think I’ve accomplished everything I dreamt of and more, and I’m so grateful for that. I want to be able to give back and help other people going through cancer. I don’t think it can get more important than that.”
Her longtime fans and former costars took to social media to pay tribute to the late star. Among them was Grease costar John Travolta, who became a longtime friend after they shared the screen together in the 1978 film.
“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!” he captioned an Instagram photo.