Olivia Newton-John, Australian Pop Singer Who Starred in ‘Grease,’ Dies at 73

The four-time Grammy winner who played opposite John Travolta in the 1978 classic died Monday on her Southern California ranch

olivia newton-john john travolta grease
Getty Images

The legendary Olivia Newton-John, the star of the hit film “Grease” who was also a pop singer, has died, according to a statement released on social media. Newton was 73.

The Australian who played opposite John Travolta in the 1978 classic died on her Southern California ranch. The statement, via Newton-Jon’s husband John Easterling, was posted to Facebook.

“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” Easterling’s statement said. “Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer.” 

The family asked that instead of flowers, any donations be made in her memory to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund.

The actress and singer is best remembered for her starring role as Sandy in 1978’s “Grease,” and for her string of hit songs in the 1970s and ’80s. Among her biggest hits were “Physical,” “Twist of Fate,” “I Love You, I Honestly Love You.”

Newton-John also scored several hit\s from the soundtracks of both “Grease” — among them “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights” — and her 1980 film “Xanadu,” including, the classic “Magic.”

Newton-John was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. She received the diagnosis the same week her father died of cancer, and she started the Olivia Newton-John Foundation to bolster cancer research and funding for a cure.

Her treatment included a partial mastectomy, chemotherapy and breast reconstruction as well as herbal formulas, meditation. In 2017, she announced that the disease had spread to her lower back after 25 years in remission.

She 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.