After a 30-year battle with breast cancer, Olivia Newton-John has passed away. Her rep confirmed the news, saying Olivia “died peacefully at her ranch in Southern California Monday morning, surrounded by family and friends.” She was only 73 years old.
Her husband posted confirmation to her official Facebook page, saying the following:
“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. 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 (ONJFoundationFund.org).
Olivia 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.
– via John Easterling, husband, Olivia Newton-John”
Newton-John was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and again in 2013, but she chose to keep those matters private the second time around. When she was diagnosed for the third time in September 2018, she told the public she had cancer at the base of her spine and was determined to beat it with the support of her husband, John Easterling.
In August 2019, she told 60 Minutes Australia that she didn’t want doctors to tell her how much longer she had to live. She explained:
“When you’re given a cancer diagnosis or a scary honest diagnosis, you’re suddenly given a possibility of a time limit. If somebody tells you, you have six months to live, very possibly you will because you believe that. So for me, psychologically, it’s better not to have any idea of what they expect or what the last person that has what you have lived, so I don’t, I don’t tune in.”
Throughout her career, the star won 10 American Music Awards, received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Grease, and won four Grammy Awards. In 1979, Queen Elizabeth II named her an Officer of the Order of the British Empire honor, which means she was a major player in her industry at the time. And in 1981, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Before she passed, she set up a research center in Melbourne called the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre. To raise money for the center, she auctioned off memorabilia from the Grease set, including the famous leather outfit she wore in the last scene.
In 2019, Newton-John expressed that while she battled cancer, she was grateful for the time she had. She said, “I’m so lucky that I’ve been through this three times and I’m still here. I’m living with it. Every day is a gift now, particularly now.”
If you would like to celebrate her life, you can make a donation to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund this way: ONJFoundationFund.org.