'Grease' Star Olivia Newton-John Dead At 73

The "Grease" star "has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer," her husband said.
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Olivia Newton-John, who starred in the smash-hit 1978 film “Grease,” has died at 73.
Olivia Newton-John, who starred in the smash-hit 1978 film “Grease,” has died at 73.
via Associated Press

Olivia Newton-John, who starred in the smash-hit 1978 film “Grease,” has died, her family confirmed Monday.

She was 73 years old.

Newton-John “passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning,” her husband, John Easterling, said in a post on her official Facebook page.

“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” he continued, asking that donations in her name be made to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, which supports research into plant-derived cancer treatments.

Olivia Newton John and and her co-star John Travolta in a scene from "Grease."
Olivia Newton John and and her co-star John Travolta in a scene from "Grease."
Archive Photos via Getty Images

The British-born, Australian-raised performer and activist was made a dame by Queen Elizabeth in 2019 in appreciation for her contributions to United Kingdom culture ― a recognition she said at the time she was “honored and grateful beyond words” to receive.

Newton-John received dozens of award nominations throughout her lengthy singing and acting career and took home multiple Grammy wins, including Record of the Year in 1974 for her album “I Honestly Love You” and in 1982 for the video “Physical.”

The “Grease” soundtrack, on which Newton-John was a key performer in the role of Sandy, remains one of the bestselling albums of all time more than 40 years after its release. The film is also one of the highest-grossing musical movies of all time.

She also had a starring role in the musical film “Xanadu,” a whimsical box office flop in 1980 that earned acclaim as a cult classic in the decades that followed.

Despite those successes, living with cancer later in life was a more defining experience than her music and film career, she said in a 2020 profile in The Guardian.

“I see it as my life’s journey. It gave me purpose and intention and taught me a lot about compassion,” she said of the disease, adding: “It has been a gift. I don’t wish it on anyone else. But for me, it’s been important in my life.”

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