Celebrities Give Tribute To Olivia Newton-John's Journey & Cancer Struggle After Star's Passing

Aug 09, 2022 by apost team

Beloved actress and hugely popular singer Olivia Newton-John passed away on Aug. 8, 2022, at the age of 73, leaving her family, friends and many fans devastated.

Her family made the announcement on her Facebook page, saying she passed away peacefully at her Southern California ranch. While her cause of death was not specified in the message, Newton-John has had a history of battling cancer for more than three decades. 

Newton-John was born on Sept. 26, 1948, in England before moving with her family to Australia when she was five years old. She began her career in the entertainment industry as a singer in the early 1970s, releasing records that did well enough to earn some of her singles a place near the top of the music charts but not quite enough to make her a household name. 

Superstardom would come when she was cast in the 1978 musical "Grease" opposite John Travolta. Newton-John's portrayal of an innocent Australian student pining for Travolta's Danny Zuko was a hit, breaking records at the time it was released and securing critical and commercial success. This success was due in part to the film's soundtrack, which included a fair few numbers with Newton-John, including "Hopelessly Devoted To You," "Summer Nights," and "You're The One That I Want." While the soundtrack would go on to become one of the highest-selling soundtracks of all time, the film has become a Hollywood classic.

In 1980, she appeared in the film "Xanadu." Unlike "Grease," it was not a commercial hit, but its soundtrack, on which she is featured, did well. 

Then would come "Physical." The album, along with the title track of the same name, would blow up in 1981 due in part to the provocative lyrics and music video that accompanied the single. 

John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John (1978), (Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)

On how the uproar of "Physical" had completely turned over her public persona from nice to naughty, Newton-John told PEOPLE in 1982 that "like everyone, I've got different sides of my personality. I've my dominant self, my need-to-be-dominated self, the sane Olivia and the crazy Olivia."

Despite the change in her clean-cut image, the public still adored her, and she went on to record more albums with varying degrees of success. 

In 1984, she married actor Matt Lattanzi, whom she had met while filming "Xanadu," and the couple had a daughter, Chloe Rose, in 1986. The pair later split in 1995, but tragedy struck in 1992 while they were still married.

At 42 years old, Newton-John was first diagnosed with breast cancer. "I draw strength from the millions of women who have faced this challenge successfully," she said in a statement released on July 14, 1992. After defeating it, she discovered it had returned in 2013. In 2017, her cancer progressed to stage four and spread to Newton-John's bones.

After the first diagnosis, Newton-John had become an avid activist for cancer research as well. The singer and actress used her platform to spread awareness about cancer and help those who were also battling the illness.

She told PEOPLE in 2020 that:

"Life is a gift and I've had an amazing life and I intend to keep going with it and I want to help other people with cancer of course. I have my wellness center in Melbourne and I want to see it in my lifetime so other people don't have to suffer."

After the third diagnosis, Newton-John revealed she used cannabis oil with marijuana, which she and her second husband, John Easterling, grew on their ranch in Santa Barbara, and that it had been helpful for her.


Olivia Newton-John (1970), (Steve Morley/Redferns via Getty images)

In 2019, Newton-John opened up to "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King about her cancer battle, saying, "I could die tomorrow. A tree could fall on me. So, it's just that we have that knowledge that we could die. But I'm not – I try not to think about it too much. But I try to meditate and be peaceful about it and know that everyone I love is there, so there's something to look forward to."

She lived with the same positive outlook on life for the rest of her days, and her courage and optimism have been an inspiration for her family, friends and fans. 

One person who will surely keep her mother's spirit alive is her daughter Chloe. On Aug. 5, 2022, just days before Newton-John's death, Chloe posted a beautiful mother-daughter photo on Instagram and captioned it:

"I worship this woman. My mother. My best friend."

Three days later, she posted more photos of her and her mother together, including baby pictures and behind-the-scenes photos of interviews together. 

In the outpouring of love following Newton-John's passing, an old friend would come back into the picture, too: her "Grease" co-star Travolta.

"My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. 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!" the actor wrote on Instagram alongside a vintage picture of Newton-John.

Meanwhile, her family is set to carry on her work with cancer, asking those wishing to send flowers to instead donate to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund.

"A symbol of triumphs and hope," Newton-John's legacy will surely be remembered for many more years to come.

Olivia Newton-John (2018), (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Olivia Newton-John will not soon be forgotten, and her legacy lives on in all the movies and music she has blessed the world with. Let us know what your favorite films and songs of hers are, and pass this on to friends and family.

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