'Your Danny, your John': Inside 'Grease' co-stars Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta's 40-year relationship
John Travolta has shared a tribute to his co-star Olivia Newton-John, after the actor died aged 73 from breast cancer
SANTA YNEZ, CALIFORNIA: Olivia Newton-John, a multiple-Grammy-winning star died at the age of 73 after a courageous and incredibly public battle with cancer over several decades. On Monday, August 8 morning, the actress died peacefully at her home in Southern California, surrounded by family and friends. John Easterling, her husband, announced her death on her Facebook page. "Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer", he said.
''Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continue with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer,'' he further wrote. John Travolta, her co-star in 'Grease', the 1978 film that propelled her career and made her a global icon, was among the first to pay tribute to her on Monday, August 8. "My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again", he said in an Instagram post.
Unlike their onscreen characters Sandy Olsson and Danny Zuko, Olivia and Travolta had more than a 40-year relationship. One of the last times they were seen together was in West Palm Beach, where they dressed up for a screening of the iconic film, leaving fans in awe of how well they still portrayed Sandy and Danny. Olivia wore her signature yellow skirt and cardigan while Travolta wore a classic leather jacket and slicked back hair. Olivia wrote on her Instagram account that it was the "First time in these costumes since we made the movie, so excited!".
In the movie 'Grease', because of the age difference between her and her character in the film, Olivia was reluctant to play an innocent teenager. She was 28 at the time the film was to be shot, and she wasn't really feeling it until Travolta convinced her to do it. "I couldn't have done the film if I hadn't met John, because I wasn't sure about doing it. He convinced me," She said during a gala event in LA.
Travolta was always a real friend to Olivia. Earlier this year he said, "I was by her side during her daughter's birth, her divorce, and when she lost her sister. And she did the same to my children during my marriage. Many shared memories", he expressed. Even during Olivia's battle with cancer, Travolta had been supportive of her at every stage. Once, while speaking to the media he said, "She looks amazing. She hasn't changed in years and I'm proud of her."
Travolta lost his wife, Kelly Preston, who died at age 57 in 2020 following a two-year battle with breast cancer. Later that year, Olivia remembered Preston on PEOPLE and called her "radiant, beautiful light in the world" and said Travolta was doing "as well as it can be expected when you just lost your love, your wife and the mother of your children." Preston's death "really strengthened my resolve" to form the Olivia Newton-John Foundation, she added, "because I've lost way too many friends to cancer, family members and friends. Having lived with it, this is my dream. This is my passion to see a world beyond cancer."