HomeLifeOlivia Newton-John dies at age 73

Olivia Newton-John dies at age 73

One of Australia’s greatest film and music stars, Olivia Newton-John, has passed away at the age of 73 after a long battle with cancer.

Best remembered for her debut role as Sandra Dee in Grease, Newton-John had an incredible career that included 100 million album sales, four Grammy awards, 10 Billboard No.1 singles and more than 15 top 10 singles.

The news was confirmed by her husband John Easterling in a post on her Instagram account. He said Ms Newton-John passed peacefully at her home in California, surrounded by family and friends.

She had been battling breast cancer on and off since 1992 and was a tireless campaigner for raising breast cancer awareness.

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In 2017, Newton-John confirmed the breast cancer had returned and had spread to her spine.

“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” Mr Easterling said in his tribute.

“Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer.”

Born in Cambridge, UK, in 1948, Newton-John emigrated to Australia in 1954 at the age of six.

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She had small television roles beginning in the 1960s, before appearing on, and winning, a talent contest on TV program Sing, Sing, Sing hosted by Australian music icon Johnny O’Keefe in 1965.

She recorded and released her first solo album, If Not for You, in 1971. The title track from that album was her first international hit, reaching No.1 in the US adult contemporary charts and No.25 in the pop charts.

In 1974, Newton-John represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Long Live Love, finishing in fourth place behind the winning Swedish entry – Waterloo performed by ABBA.

But it was in her role as high school student Sandra Dee in the 1978 musical Grease that really shot the then 29-year-old to superstardom.

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The movie was the highest-grossing film of 1978 and the soundtrack spent 12 weeks at the top of the charts.

Actor John Travolta, Newton-John’s co-star in Grease, paid tribute to her in an Instagram post.

“My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better,” he says.

“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 moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!”

Since her initial cancer diagnosis in 1992, Newton-John was a tireless breast cancer advocate, even opening the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne.

In her final days, after using marijuana to manage cancer pain, Newton-John also became a tireless advocate for changes to Australia’s medicinal marijuana laws.

What’s your favourite memory of Olivia Newton-John? Were you more a fan of her acting or singing? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyerhttps://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/bradlockyer/
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.
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