The iconic pop star and ‘Grease’ actress was 73

Olivia Newton-John has passed away at the age of 73.

The “Grease” legend died at his ranch in Southern California on Monday morning, surrounded by family and friends following a long battle with cancer.

The sad news was announced on her official Facebook page in a statement that read: “Olivia has been a symbol of triumph and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continue with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to plant medicine and cancer research.”

The Post has reached out to Newton-John’s representative for further comment.

The “Physical” singer, who won four Grammy Awards, is survived by her husband of 14 years, John Easterling, and their daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, 36.

Newton-John died Monday morning at his ranch in California after a long battle with cancer.
Newton-John died Monday morning at his ranch in California after a long battle with cancer.

Newton-John was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, at the age of 43.

He discovered that the disease had returned in 2013, before revealing in 2017 that it had metastasized to his lower back. Later, the cancer spread to his bones, and the doctors diagnosed it as Stage IV and said there was very little chance of survival.

Despite enduring chronic pain, the bubbly Australian became an outspoken advocate for cancer awareness and treating the disease with marijuana.

Despite his struggle for health, his death has shocked the entertainment world and caused great pain from his many famous friends.

“Grease” co-star John Travolta took to Instagram to pay tribute to his old friend, writing, “You made our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible.”

Newton-John became a hugely successful sensation until her role opposite John Travolta in the 1978 hit movie musical “Grease.”
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Newton-John was born in England in 1948, before moving to Australia at the age of 14.

He began singing in the late 1960s and eventually released his first solo album, “If Not for You,” in 1971, with the title track originally written by Bob Dylan and recorded by George Harrison.

The song reached number 1 on the US adult contemporary chart and number 25 on the pop charts, but Olivia Newton-John did not break in the US until her appearance with John Travolta in the 1978 musical film “Grease”.

The film adaptation of the Broadway hit changed the Sandy character to an Australian Sandy Olsson from an American Sandy Dumbrowski, in part to accommodate Olivia’s accent.

It was the biggest box office hit of 1978, with Olivia’s duet with co-star John Travolta “You’re the One That I Want” topping the pop charts and “Summer Nights” reaching No. 5. The Great Solo Ballad Olivia’s “Hopeless Devoted to You” climbed to No. 3.

“Grease” made Newton-John a bona fide superstar. He is pictured with Travolta in 1978.
Michael Ochs Archives

The film made Newton-John one of the biggest stars in the world, with his next solo album, Totally Hot, rapidly climbing the charts that same year.

In 1980, Newton-John tried his hand at a second successful musical film with “Xanadu,” but the film flopped with critics and failed to resonate with audiences.

The soundtrack, however, was a hit, going double platinum and cementing Newton-John’s status as a pop superstar.

Then, in 1981, the blonde achieved her biggest hit with the sexually charged anthem “Physical,” the track of which spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts.

The song, which was accompanied by an aerobics video clip, was eventually named the biggest song of the 1980s.

Newton-John is seen in the 1981 film clip of “Physical”.
Courtesy of the Everett Collection

Last fall, Newton-John he told Fox News that he felt the track was a bit raunchy when it first came out.

“They call it reinventing themselves,” the superstar said of how fans were looking at her differently following the single’s release.

She added: “I wasn’t doing it on purpose. It was just the song that attracted me and the album. But I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to record it. I don’t think I realized how raunchy it was when I was recording it until later, and that’s when I freaked out.”

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Newton-John was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, when she was just 43 years old.

Doctors discovered a malignant tumor in her right breast and she underwent a modified radical mastectomy and chemotherapy before finally being declared cancer-free.

She subsequently became a prominent advocate for promoting breast cancer awareness.

However, in 2013, an X-ray taken after a car accident revealed that Newton-John had cancer in her right shoulder. The star received treatment, but did not make the cancer diagnosis public at the time.

In 2017, Newton-John found that it had come back and metastasized to her lower back. With the 2017 recurrence, the cancer had spread to his bones and progressed to stage IV.

In September of that year, Newton-John said she wasn’t focusing on her illness, but on the things that made her happy, as a way to get through the day with a positive attitude.

“I am a very privileged person, and I am very aware of that,” he said. “I have a wonderful husband, I have all the animals I love, I have an amazing career. I really have nothing to complain about.”

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