Olivia Newton-John Dies

'Grease' superstar was 'a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2022 3:21 PM CDT
Olivia Newton-John Dead at 73
This image released by the Library of Congress shows Olivia Newton John, and John Travolta in a scene from the 1978 film "Grease."   (Paramount Pictures-Library of Congress via AP)

(Newser) – Farewell, Sandy. Olivia Newton-John, one of the world's biggest superstars in the '70s and '80s, died Monday, her husband says. She was 73. Newton-John "passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends," John Easterling said in a post on her official Facebook page. "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," he said.

Newton-John, who was born in Britain and grew up in Australia, had breast cancer in the early '90s and it returned in 2013. In 2017, she said a tumor had been found at the base of her spine. Newton-John was already a popular singer with a string of No. 1 hits in 1978, when she was cast as Sandy opposite John Travolta in Grease and the smash hit musical lifted her stardom to a new level, CNN reports. Newton-John had other film and TV roles, including another appearance with Travolta in 1983's Two of a Kind, but her focus returned to music and she continued recording and performing for decades despite health issues, People reports.

Over her career, she won four Grammys, sold more than 100 million albums, and had 14 top 10 hits in the US. In 2015, she had a dance-pop hit with "You Have to Believe," recorded with daughter Chloe Lattanzi, her only child. "I love to sing, it's all I know how to do," she told CNN in 2017. "That's all I've ever done since I was 15, so it's my life. I feel very grateful that I can still do it and people still come to see me." A longtime advocate for cancer awareness and research, Newton-John also served as goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme and as national spokeswoman for the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition, the AP reports. (Read more Olivia Newton-John stories.)

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