Olivia Newton-John has died of breast cancer at the age of 73.
The actress – best known for her role in the 1978 musical Fat — passed away this morning (August 8) at her home in Southern California, according to her official Facebook page. Follow live updates on the story here, including tributes from co-stars and friends.
The news of her death was shared by her husband, John Easterling.
“Dame Olivia Newton-John, 73, died peacefully this morning at her Southern California ranch surrounded by family and friends,” the statement said. “We ask everyone to respect the privacy of the family at this very difficult time.
Newton-John’s longstanding breast cancer status was given as the cause of death. The statement added: “Olivia has been a symbol of triumph and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and groundbreaking experience with plant medicines continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund dedicated to research into plant medicines and cancer.”
The actor, singer and activist was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992.
Newton John was born in Cambridge in 1948. The youngest of three children, her family immigrated to Melbourne, Australia when she was six years old.
In 1966 she recorded her first single “Till You Say You’ll Be Mine” and then went on tour with fellow singer Pat Carroll. her first solo album if not for youwas released in 1971 and featured covers of songs by the likes of Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot.
In 1974 she represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest with “Long Live Love” and finished fourth behind ABBA, who won with “Waterloo”.
Her career reached new heights in 1978 when she starred opposite John Travolta in the film adaptation of the musical Fat, which was the biggest movie of the year. Newton-John was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical and sang “Hopeless Devoted to You” at the Academy Awards.
Newton-John’s next film was in 1980 Xanadu. It was followed by their most successful studio album “1981”. Physically. It was her 11th album.
1992, after the release of Back to Basics: The Essential Collection 1971-1992Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer. After her recovery, she became an advocate for various cancer charities.
Newton-John, a vocal medicinal cannabis activist, revealed in May 2017 that her breast cancer had come back and had metastasized to her lower back and spread to her bones, progressing to stage IV. However, she continued to record and released the single “Window in the Wall” in 2021.
She received her OBE in 1979 and her DBE in 2020 for services to charity, cancer research and entertainment.
Newton-John is survived by husband John Easterling, daughter Chloe Lattanzi, sister Sarah Newton-John and brother Toby Newton-John.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/olivia-newton-john-death-grease-b2140996.html Death of Olivia Newton-John: actress, singer and activist dies at the age of 73