From John Travolta to Kylie Minogue: 20 tributes as Grease star Olivia Newton-John dies aged 73

From John Travolta to Kylie Minogue: 20 tributes as Grease star Olivia Newton-John dies aged 73
Iconic Grease makeover moment shows Olivia Newton-John at her best

British-Australian singer and actor Olivia Newton-John has died aged 73, her family has announced.

She was best known for her iconic role as Sandy Olsson in the 1978 film Greasewhich became one of the biggest (and most loved) film musicals of all time.

Newton-John also had a successful music career as a four-time Grammy Award winner and 12-time nominee.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

After her breast cancer diagnosis in 1992, the actor battled the disease for 30 years while she campaigned for better treatments and set up the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Research Centre in Melbourne.

The news of her death was shared by her husband, John Easterling who posted in a statement:

"Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time.

"Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years, sharing her journey with breast cancer," the statement continued before adding that the actress’ “healing inspiration and pioneering experience” with plant medicine will continue on with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund."

Here are all the celebrities and public figures who have paid tribute to Olivia Newton-John.

John Travolta

Actor John Travolta who starred alongside Newton-John in Grease as love interest Danny Zuko paid tribute to his Sandy.

"My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better," he wrote in an Instagram post.

"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 first moment I saw you and forever!

"Your Danny, your John!" he signed off the heartfelt message.

Barry Pearl

Grease co-star reflects on working with young Olivia Newton-John | 9 News Australiawww.youtube.com

Another Grease star, Barry Peal who played T-Bird Doody appeared emotional as he spoke about his former castmate in an interview with9 News.

"Everything sounds so trite when you discuss who she is and what she was, but it is so because it's so profoundly true ... a heart that was so giving and loving," Pearl said.

Australian prime minister, Anthony Albanese

Anthony Albanese, the Australian prime minister reacted to the news of the Aussie actor's death.

"Olivia Newton-John was a star. A bright, joyful glow in our lives," he tweeted.

"From the moment we saw her, she was a warm, enduring presence and her voice became a big part of the Australian soundtrack.

"Above all she was a wonderful, generous person."

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey shared an anecdote about Newton-John's "positive outlook" on things where she "didn't let her cancer diagnosis consume her life."

“Her positivity was so infectious,” she wrote. “You’ll be missed, Olivia. Here’s to the good times.”

Kylie Minogue

Fellow Aussie singer and actor, Kylie Minogue tweeted: "Since I was ten years old, I have loved and looked up to Olivia Newton John. And, I always will. (Just like this picture @nfsaonline)

"She was, and always will be, an inspiration to me in so many, many ways. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. x ONJ4EVER."

Dannii Minogue

Like her sister, Dannii Minogue also had warm words to say about the late actor.

"Dame Olivia Newton John would illuminate a room, just with her presence. Her heart was full of love and light, and she made it her mission to share that beautiful energy with the world," she wrote in an Instagram post.

"I was lucky to meet Olivia many times over the years. I was honoured to be asked to assist in raising money to build the Olivia Newton John Cancer & Wellness Centre in Heidelberg, Victoria.

"I know this hospital has helped - and will help - many people, and she was so very proud of making this dream come to life.

"Rest In Peace lovely lady. You will never be forgotten," she added.

Hugh Jackman

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said he was "devastated to hear the news that @therealonj has passed away."

"One of the great privileges of my life was getting to know her. Not only was she one of the most talented people I’ve known … she was one of the most open hearted, generous and funny. She was a one of kind spirit," his Instagram post read.

"It’s no secret Olivia was my first crush. I kissed her (poster) every night before bed. Her legacy will only grow stronger in the years to come.

"A fighter for healing from cancer that knows no bounds. I love you Olivia."

Richard Marx

"My heart is broken," musician Richard Marx tweeted. "Rest now, sweet friend. You were as kind and loving a person as there’s ever been. I’ll miss you every day."

Barbra Streisand

"Too young to leave this world. May she RIP," she wrote in an Instagram caption with a photo of them from their younger years.

Mariah Carey

The Without You singer described the moment she sang Hopelessly Devoted To You in a duet with Newton-John.

"This is a moment I will never ever forget. I was also blessed to be in her presence on many other occasions and she was one of the kindest, most generous and lovely people I've ever met. She will be missed. She will be remembered. She will be loved. Olivia, I honestly love you."

Viola Davis

"Oh man!!! You were my childhood!! Your talent, poise, beauty!! Rest in glorious peace. God bless your family....and thank you for creating eternal memories," actor Viola Davis tweeted.

Mark Hamill

Star Wars actor, Mark Hamill tweeted: "Everything she did was infused with a joyousness that was absolutely contagious. We loved her & she loved us. #RIP_OliviaNewtonJohn."

Sir Rod Stewart

Singer Rod Stewart paid to his "great friend" and described Newton-John as "the perfect Lady, gorgeous, with great poise and with a certain Aussie sophistication.

"Her spandex trousers in Grease were my inspiration for my ‘Da ya think I’m Sexy‘ era.

"RIP Olivia

"Sir Rod," he wrote.

Julianne Hough

Actor Julianne Hough who played Sandy in the 2016 TV remake Grease Live! posted a tribute to Newton-John.

"Like so many, Olivia has always been my hero. Discovering her magnetic energy as an artist and actress came first but it was her heart that truly captured mine.

"Forever an icon and legend!" she said in an Instagram post.

George Takei

Star Trek actor, George Takei tweeted: "We have lost a great, iconic artist in Olivia Newton John, gone too soon from us at age 73. I trust she is now in the great Xanadu beyond.

"Know that we are forever hopelessly devoted to you, Olivia. Rest in song and mirth," he added.

Sharon Osbourne

Sharon Osbourne shared her condolences in a tweet: "Rest In Peace #OliviaNewtonJohn Ozzy and I loved her so much. She was a hero, teen idol and the work she has done for breast cancer is immeasurable."

Jane Lynch

Glee actor Jane Lynch shared Richard Max's tribute and described "ONJ" as an "Angel."

Nancy Sinatra

"I didn't know Olivia Newton-John personally but I admired her for the way she faced her health battles," singer Nancy Sinatra tweeted.

"Beautiful & strong, she fought to the end. My heart goes out to her family & all who love her. It's just not fair. Godspeed, Olivia. We'll always be hopelessly devoted to you."

Piers Morgan

Broadcaster Piers Morgan tweeted: "So sad to hear the fabulously gutsy, warm & talented Olivia Newton-John has died.

"At an auction of her Grease memorabilia in LA three years ago, she told me her favourite song from the movie was Hopelessly Devoted To You."

He added: "Great song, great film, great lady. RIP."

Peter Andre

"This has made me really really sad," singer Peter Andre said in a tweet.

"I have had the privilege of meeting the incredible Olivia a few times and even worked with her on a special Spina Bifida concert in Australia.

"She was lovely in every way. Always lit up the room. Thoughts with her family. RIP."

Rest in peace Olivia.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)