WASHINGTON — Actor John Travolta, who starred alongside Olivia Newton-John in the movie musical "Grease," posted a tribute to the late Newton-John after her death was announced on Monday.
"My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better," Travolta wrote. "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!"
Newton-John, whose sales topped 100 million albums, died Monday at her southern California ranch, John Easterling, her husband, wrote on Instagram and Facebook. She was 73.
From 1973-83, Newton-John was among the world’s most popular entertainers. She had 14 top 10 singles just in the U.S., won four Grammys, starred with Travolta in “Grease” and with Gene Kelly in “Xanadu.” The fast-stepping Travolta-Newton-John duet, “You’re the One That I Want,” was one of the era’s biggest songs and has sold more than 15 million copies.
Newton-John’s recent albums included “Stronger Than Before”; a holiday collaboration with Travolta, “This Christmas,” and the autobiographical “Gaia: One Woman’s Journey,” inspired by her battle with cancer and by the loss of her father.
In 1981, during the infancy of MTV, Newton-John released "Physical." That song topped the charts and was accompanied by an iconic video that combined comedy and sexuality as overweight men in a gym instantly transformed into their muscular alter egos.
In the middle of all this came the role that launched her to super-stardom. She played Sandy Olsson, the Australian teen who was reunited at Rydell High School with her summer fling Danny Zuko (Travolta) in 1978's "Grease." Her solo hit from that movie, "Hopelessly Devoted To You" would earn her another Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
The success of "Grease" would be Newton-John’s pinnacle on the big screen. It was followed up with films like "Xanadu" and a reunion with Travolta in "Two Of A Kind." From there, it was mostly smaller roles for her.
Queen Elizabeth bestowed Newton-John with the Order Of The British Empire in 1979. She also received the Officer of the Order of Australia, that nation's highest honor.
Newton-John battled cancer more than once and did so publicly. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and beat it. Doctors found cancer in her shoulder after a 2013 car accident. Then in 2017, she learned her breast cancer returned and had spread to her back, resulting in a tumor at the base of her spine.
The cancer reached stage 4, and Newton-John revealed to "60 Minutes Australia" that she didn't want to know how much time she had.
"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 ideas of what they expect, or what the last person that has what you have lived, so I don't tune in," she said.
Olivia Newton-John is survived by her husband, “Amazon John” Easterling. Together they were dedicated to causes to protect the Amazon rainforest. She also has a daughter, Chloe, from her first marriage to Matt Lattanzi.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.