'Grease' actress Olivia Newton-John dies aged 73


Olivia Newton-John rides in the 85th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade in Los Angeles on Nov. 27, 2016. (Phil McCarten/Reuters)

Olivia Newton-John, who topped the world's pop music charts in the 1970s and 1980s and appeared in the blockbuster film "Grease," passed away on Monday at her home in Southern California at 73.

The British-born, Australian-raised actress "passed away peacefully" at her ranch home "surrounded by family and friends," according to her Instagram account.

Newton-John, a four-time Grammy winner, revealed several years ago that breast cancer had progressed to her back, forcing her to cancel engagements. Newton-John had endured a partial mastectomy and established a cancer treatment-research center in Australia 25 years ago.

Film Stardom Through 'Grease'

Newton-John and John Travolta co-starred in "Grease," the 1978 musical film that would become one of the most popular in Hollywood history.

After being impressed by her at a dinner party, producer Allan Carr wanted Newton-John to play the female protagonist Sandy, and Travolta also encouraged her to accept the role. Newton-John was initially hesitant due to her unpleasant experience in the awkwardly titled 1970 British film flop "Tomorrow" and was concerned that her singing career would suffer as a result. She was also hesitant about doing an American accent, therefore, the character Sandy was altered to be Australian.

1983's "Two of a Kind" was her second collaboration with Travolta, and in 2012 they created an album of Christmas carols.

After her first brush with breast cancer, Newton-John, whose sister died of brain cancer, became an advocate and founded the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in her birthplace of Melbourne, Australia. In addition, she sold the Olivia Breast Self-Exam Kit.

Newton-John, whose grandpa was the German-born Nobel laureate in physics Max Born, placed fourth at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest while representing the United Kingdom.

Her first marriage to "Xanadu" actor Matt Lattanzi ended in divorce in 1995; she married businessman John Easterling in 2008.

Publish : 2022-08-09 10:05:00

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