“My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better,” Travolta wrote in a 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 moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!”
Travolta and Newton-John headlined “Grease,” delivering two of their most iconic film performances as Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson. The 1978 musical, directed by Randal Kleiser, became a cultural phenomenon with $366 million at the worldwide box office. The single “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” performed by Newton-John, was nominated at the Oscars for original song. The film’s soundtrack was the second biggest album of 1978 in the U.S., trailing only the soundtrack to the Travolta-starring “Saturday Night Fever.”
Following the release of “Grease,” Travolta and Newton-John remained lifelong friends. The two often reunited to celebrate the movie. At a 40th anniversary screening for “Grease” in 2018, the duo memorably recreated their famous dance moves on the red carpet.
“We rehearsed so much in the three week period to get it right,” Travolta told Variety at the time about rehearsing for the film with Newton-John. “And you can see from the energy on that film, we were so anxious to get it right that I think everything — it was like going to school. Every day there was a regimen: song, dance, recording, rehearsing scenes, rewriting scenes. It was a big myriad of events.”
Newton-John’s passing was confirmed by her husband, John Easterling, who wrote on Facebook: “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, “Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund.”