Olivia Newton John succumbs to breast cancer at 73

Actress/singer Olivia Newton-John, who fought a decades-long battle with breast cancer, died Monday at her Southern California ranch at age 73.

Her husband, John Easterling, broke the news on Newton-John’s Facebook page. Flowers were placed on her Hollywood Walk of Fame star at 2 p.m. Monday.

“Dame Olivia Newton-John passed away peacefully at her ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” he wrote. “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 wrote. “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.”

Born in the United Kingdom but raised in Australia, Newton-John had a string of hits in the 1970s, including “If You Love Me, Let Me Know,” “Let Me Be There” and “Have You Never Been Mellow.” But she rocketed to stardom with her role as Sandy in the hit 1978 musical film “Grease,” playing opposite John Travolta. The film gave rise to hit songs including “Summer Nights,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and “You’re the One That I Want.”

She won a record of the year Grammy for “I Honestly Love You,” and her other hits included “Physical,” “A Little More Love,” “Xanadu,” “Magic,” “Make a Move on Me,” “Twist of Fate” and “Sam.”

Newton-John, who was also an outspoken environmental activist, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, and she became a face and voice for the battle against the disease, as well as other health issues. She underwent a mastectomy and was declared cancer-free, but was diagnosed with cancer again in 2013 and in 2017.

She spoke openly of her cancer fight, and founded the Olivia Newton- John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Australia.

On his Instagram page Monday, Travolta mourned her death, writing, “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!”

Newton-John is survived by her husband 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.

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Ray
Ray
1 month ago

She was a gay icon and supporter. From her Physical video, to her performances at gay pride in WeHo (which I was lucky enough to be at), and Sydney Mardi Gras, to her appearances with RuPaul and DragRace, Olivia was a superstar without the superstar attitude. My favorite singer ever. RIP

Joe Bologna
Joe Bologna
1 month ago

Icon. It was awesome to see her perform at the L.A. Gay Pride event in West Hollywood Park years ago when they used to still have established, talented entertainers as the headliners at those events. R.I.P., O.N.J.

carleton cronin
carleton cronin
1 month ago

Her brother-in-law resided across the street for several years. She would pop in once in while. She was much like her movie roles, bright, easily approached. Just part off the passing paraded in West Hollywood.

Cause of Cancer
Cause of Cancer
1 month ago

A sad loss. Important to note that Olivia Newton John dedicated her resources to finding the CAUSE OF CANCER not focusing on the cure. Very important.

:dpb
:dpb
1 month ago

As someone that always writes in… “what does this have to do with West Hollywood?”, I can honestly say I’m thrilled to see this here. Yes, I’m selective. And this woman has done so much as an ally, an AIDS ally, a cancer activist and a local business woman between 1983 and 1989 as owner of Koala Blue on Melrose Ave. ONJ and Pat Farrar were hands on and very much in the store. As a cancer survivor I’m indebted to her for her sharing her “survival routine” that helped me focus and thrive. As a a fan, her music… Read more »

SeeMe
SeeMe
1 month ago
Reply to  :dpb

Not to mention how her transformation as Sandy resonated with LGBTQ audiences longing to have all parts of themselves seen. Plus she performed at Pride (she may have been Grand Marshal, too?) and appeared in IT’S MY PARTY. A wonderful ally with a truly gorgeous voice. RIP.

:dpb
:dpb
1 month ago
Reply to  SeeMe

Indeed, 2008 was Best Pride Ever!

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
1 month ago

We’re bringing out the good champagne, watching Xanadu, and paying homage to this beautiful woman.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

After that, maybe put on Grease 2, and be thankful Olivia had the sense not to have anything to do with it. I like her song “Make A Move On Me”.

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