Grease Star Olivia Newton-John Has Died At 73

Actress and four-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Olivia Newton-John has died, according to a post shared on her official Facebook page by her husband John Easterling. The performer, who was 73 years old, reportedly passed away peacefully in her Southern California home.

Easterling's announcement includes references to Newton-John's past battles with breast cancer, which she was first diagnosed with in 1992. The actress was diagnosed with the illness three times, and it spread to her spine in 2017. "Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer," the statement reads, before requesting that she be honored via a donation to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, which sponsors research into studies about the effects of cannabis and other plants on cancer.

Newton-John's work impacted generations of music fans and moviegoers. The musician and actor began her career early, singing on stage in groups and solo as a teenager and appearing in the Australian musical "Funny Things Happen Down Under" in 1965. Her biggest break and most-beloved role came in 1978, when she starred opposite John Travolta in "Grease," the iconic coming-of-age musical about star-crossed lovers trying to make their summer fling last year-round.

A prolific musical legacy

Newton-John played Sandy, a sweet and charming Australian exchange student who falls for bad boy Danny and sings about their angst-fueled young love in songs like "Summer Nights" and "Hopelessly Devoted To You." The latter track would go on to earn an Oscar nomination, while Newton-John's prolific music career off-screen would prove even more successful. As a singer-songwriter, she made no fewer than 26 studio albums, becoming one of the best-selling recording artists in the world. Her song "Physical" won music video of the year at the 1983 Grammys, and its neon leggings and white headband aesthetic is still among the most iconic pop cultural images of the '80s.

While "Grease" is Newton-John's most indelible on-screen legacy, she had several other notable on-screen roles throughout her career, including in the cult classic fantasy musical "Xanadu" and Travolta reunion "Two of A Kind." After the '80s, Newton-John could often be seen appearing as herself, on shows like "Murphy Brown" and "Glee" when she wasn't touring and releasing concert films.

The performer last appeared on screen in 2020 in the "Crocodile Dundee" meta-sequel "The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee," but largely devoted recent years to speaking about her positive experiences with cannabis as a form of cancer pain treatment. 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.