Olivia Newton-John dies aged 73

Olivia Newton-John passed away peacefully at her ranch in southern California on Monday morning
Olivia Newton-John dies aged 73

Olivia Newton John and John Travolta, pictured in the 1978 classic Grease.

Olivia Newton-John has died at the age of 73, her husband has confirmed.

Ms Newton-John is best known for her starring role in the 1978 film Grease, in which she starred opposite John Travolta as Sandy.

In a statement posted on social media, Olivia Newton-John’s widower John Easterling said: “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.

“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.”

She is survived by her husband as well as her daughter Chloe Lattanzi.

John Travolta, who co-starred alongside Newton-John in Grease was among those to pay tribute to her on social media.

He wrote, "My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better," he wrote.

"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!"

Actors John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John embrace in a promotional still for the film, 'Grease,' directed by Randal Kleiser, 1978. (Photo by Paramount Pictures/Fotos International/Getty Images)
Actors John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John embrace in a promotional still for the film, 'Grease,' directed by Randal Kleiser, 1978. (Photo by Paramount Pictures/Fotos International/Getty Images)

The soundtrack to Grease is one of the world’s best-selling albums of recorded music and features the two hit duets from Olivia and Travolta: Summer Nights and You’re The One That I Want.

The latter also ranks as one of the best-selling singles of all time.

Aside from her hit role in the film, Olivia is also a multi-platinum selling artist, with two singles and two albums having earned the certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Born in Cambridge, England in 1948, Olivia and her family emigrated to Australia at a young age. By the age of 14, she began her professional singing career, recording her first track in 1966 on a return trip to England. Her first solo album was recorded in 1971.

She also represented the UK in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Long Live Love.

She finished fourth in the competition, held in Brighton, losing out to Abba, with their hit song Waterloo.

George Takei has paid tribute to Olivia Newton-John calling her a "great, iconic artist".

The Star Trek actor tweeted: "We have lost a great, iconic artist in Olivia Newton-John, gone too soon from us at age 73.

"I trust she is now in the great Xanadu beyond.

"Know that we are forever hopelessly devoted to you, Olivia. Rest in song and mirth."

Olivia Newton John has died at the age of 73, her husband has confirmed. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire
Olivia Newton John has died at the age of 73, her husband has confirmed. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

American actress Rosanna Arquette, who won a best supporting actress Bafta for her performance in 1985's Desperately Seeking Susan, was among those paying tribute.

She tweeted: "Fly with the angels Olivia Newton-John."

James Gunn has paid tribute to Olivia Newton-John, calling her his "first real crush" and revealing that he previously bought her home in Malibu.

The American filmmaker and actor tweeted: "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."

Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin recalled starring alongside Olivia Newton-John in the 1996 film It's My Party, one of the first films to address the topic of Aids patients dying with dignity.

She said on Twitter: "I am SO saddened at the news of the passing of Olivia Newton-John. I remember being so star-struck when I met her at my first Hollywood gathering for Paramount. She was the sweetest and brightest light and I loved getting to know her on It's My Party. RIP dear, sweet Olivia."

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