British-Australian singer, Olivia Newton-John, star of the beloved musical movie “Grease”, passed away on Monday aged 73.
John Easterling, the late actress’ husband, announced the news on her Facebook page and added that she had 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,” he stated.
“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,” Easterling added.
Newton-John is survived by her husband, John Easterling, daughter Chloe Lattanzi, sister Sarah Newton-John, brother Toby Newton-John, and many nieces and nephews.
No cause of death was given, but Newton-John had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. She later recovered but cancer recurred in 2013 and had metastasized to her lower back within four years.
A UK native who was raised in Australia, the acclaimed star was born on September 26, 1948, and began her career as a country singer but quickly crossed over to pop with the late-1973 hit “Let Me Be There”.
Many celebrities took to social media to pay their tributes to Newton-John, including John Travolta, who starred alongside her in Grease,
“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!” Travolta wrote on Instagram.
She is best known to movie fans as the Sandy/Sandra Dee in the 1978 smash “Grease”, starring opposite Travolta in the Broadway adaptation which remains among the top-grossing movie musicals of all time.
“Grease” was a sensation with it premiered in June 1978. It combines the 1950s-era nostalgia with the burgeoning disco movement and made film stars of Newton-John and Travolta.
They played star-crossed polar-opposite lovers who become the king and queen of Rydell High School, with Newton-John undergoing an extreme makeover from ponytailed into leather-clad vixen coming near the end.