Olivia Newton-John — famed actress, Grammy winner and Eurovision 1974 singer for the United Kingdom — has passed away at the age of 73.
Her husband John Easterling confirmed the news in a statement.
“Dame Olivia Newton-John passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. 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. 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.“
“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.”
The British-born star — who was raised in Australia — is perhaps best-known globally for portraying Sandy Olsson in the 1978 blockbuster Grease.
Before hitting stardom opposite John Travolta, Newton-John represented the UK in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Long Live Love”, finishing fourth, behind Swedish winners ABBA.
Her eponymous studio album was released the same year, and its US edition If You Love Me, Let Me Know topped the Billboard 200 chart.
She first battled and overcame breast cancer back in 1992. She later founded the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia, to help patients fighting cancer and also to help find a cure for the disease.
In 2013 the “Banks of the Ohio” hitmaker revealed that her cancer had returned. After going into remission, it returned for a third time in 2017.
At the time doctors had discovered a tumour in her lower back. This was the result of stage four breast cancer that had spread to the spine.
At the time she said: “I’d be lying if I said I never get scared. But my husband’s always there…I believe I will get over it.”
Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.