Olivia Newton-John passed away at her home in Southern California after a 30-year battle with cancer. The news of her passing was announced by her husband, John Easterling, in a statement on the actress’ verified Instagram account on the morning of 8 August 2022.
The Australian star shot to fame in 1978 when she starred as Sandy Olsson in the American musical film Grease alongside the character Danny Zuko, played by actor John Travolta. The film went on to become one of the most successful movie musicals of all time. Besides the silver screen, she was also a pop singer and four-time Grammy Award winner.
Travolta posted a brief tribute to his blonde-hair, blue-eyed co-star on his Instagram with the words “Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever!”, signing off “Your Danny, your John!”
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In 1992, Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer. She beat it twice, with the second time being in 2013, but announced that it had come back aggressively in 2017. On this third recurrence, the cancer had metastasised to her lower back, spread to her bones, and progressed to stage four.
After her first diagnosis, the actress became an advocate for cancer research. She established a charity, the Olivia Newton-John Foundation, and raised millions in support of cancer research, in addition to raising funds to build the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia. She is also an advocate for the use of plant medicine, namely medical cannabis, having spoken openly about using cannabis oil to ease pains resulting from the illness.
In 2020, Olivia Newton-John was bestowed damehood by Queen Elizabeth for her efforts and advocacy for cancer and plant medicine research.