Olivia Newton-John, beloved actress and singer known for starring in Grease and other roles, has died. She was 73.
The legendary actress and singer died peacefully at her Southern California ranch, surrounded by her family and friends, her husband confirmed in a statement on her Facebook page on Monday (August 8). Though Newton-John battled breast cancer for more than three decades, her cause of death was not confirmed as of publication time.
In August 2019, Newton-John took to 60 Minutes Australia to reveal that her cancer returned for a third time and the Stage 4 condition appeared more aggressive than ever. "I'm so lucky that I've been through this three times and I'm still here. I’m living with it," the 70-year-old admitted. "We know we're gonna die at some point, and we don't know when it is, when you're given a cancer diagnosis or a scary honest diagnosis, you're suddenly given a possibility of a time limit. So every day is a gift." She was first diagnosed in 1992, and had been in remission, before it returned in 2013. Fast forward to 2017, and it reappeared and spread to her bones and spine.
Newton-John was born in Cambridge, England on September 26, 1948. In her teenage years, she focused on music and performed in a number of musical groups, before releasing her first solo album, If Not for You, in 1971. After some international success on the music front, her career soared after landing the lead female role of Sandy in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical, Grease, in 1978. Just years down the line, she released her most successful studio LP, Physical, which included the hit title track.
Newton-John’s husband, John Easterling, shared a statement on his wife’s Facebook page on Monday. He asked “that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time.” The statement continued:
“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. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund (ONJFoundationFund.org).
“Olivia is survived by her husband John Easterling; daughter Chloe Lattanzi; sister Sarah Newton-John; brother Toby Newton-John; nieces and nephews Tottie, Fiona and Brett Goldsmith; Emerson, Charlie, Zac, Jeremy, Randall, and Pierz Newton-John; Jude Newton-Stock, Layla Lee; Kira and Tasha Edelstein; and Brin and Valerie Hall.”