'Grease' Leading Lady Olivia Newton-John Has Passed Away at 73
The actress’ passing sent her co-stars penning tearful tributes in their posts
It was a tragic time for tinseltown as it lost another legend. Actress, musical artist, and trouper Olivia Newton-John took her final bow on August 8, 2022 and succumbed to breast cancer. The four-time Grammy titleholder and Grease leading lady passed away peacefully in her California ranch. Popular for her roles in movie musicals, the singer-songwriter has been diagnosed with the disease for the third time, beginning in 1992 and resurfacing in 2013. The last round of her battle culminated in 2017 when the cancer cells spread to her spine.
Born on September 26, 1948 in England, Olivia was bound for a singing career as she started at an early age expressing herself through music. She then moved to Australia at age 5, and when she was 16, her honeyed voice earned its value through a talent competition. She also channeled her gift in girl groups and television shows as a teenager. Her first single, “Till You Say You’ll Be Mine,” took shape in 1966, and was followed by If Not For You, her debut album, years after. She dolled up for stardom upon the title track’s Billboard success.
Her strongest foundation as a singer was perhaps built from her performance in the silver screen through her 1978 film Grease, where she took on the character of Sandy Olsson, with John Travolta as her partner. She catapulted to greater heights by garnering recognition from the renowned Broadway adaptation, and broke through other top-performing and platinum-selling albums with a solo of her own, labeled Totally Hot. She thereby landed another lead role in the 1980 film Xanadu and racked up top charts with her track “Physical” in 1981.
Celebrities and industry insiders condoled with Olivia’s family and friends and paid her tributes through their posts. Here are some of the household stars and fellow music and film personalities who mourn her passing:
"Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever," said her Grease co-star, John Travolta.
Andy Cohen thanked her for the music.
Hugh Jackman is "devastated" to hear the news, and shared some sweet words about the actress.
Julianne Hough called Olivia Newton-John an "icon" and "legend."
"I'll miss you every day," wrote a heartbroken Richard Marx.
My heart is broken. Rest now, sweet friend. You were as kind and loving a person as there’s ever been. I’ll miss you every day. 💔 pic.twitter.com/Z1zkVe9CVb— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) August 8, 2022
Stephen Bishop also had a few beautiful things to say about his friend.
I am genuinely in shock right now, holding back tears. I was just notified that my sweet, kind, and shining star friend @olivianj has passed away. Over the years, she has always been so sweet to me. Her talent was immeasurable. I'll miss you, Olivia.— Stephen Bishop (@BishSongs) August 8, 2022
-Love always, your pal Bish pic.twitter.com/7PWYrLt2Es
"Another angelic voice has been added to the Heavenly Choir," said Dionne Warwick.
Another angelic voice has been added to the Heavenly Choir. Not only was Olivia a dear friend, but one of the nicest people I had the pleasure of recording and performing with. I will most definitely miss her. She now Rests in the Arms of the Heavenly Father 🥲🙏🏾♥️— Dionne Warwick (@dionnewarwick) August 8, 2022
"Hers was one of the voices of my childhood," tweeted Lea Salonga.
Rest In Peace, Olivia Newton-John. Hers was one of the voices of my childhood. Deepest condolences to everyone she loved and loved her.— Lea Salonga (@MsLeaSalonga) August 8, 2022
Lead photo from IMDb