Olivia Newton-John, beloved as Sandy in 'Grease,' dies at 73 after breast cancer battle.
Olivia Newton-John, the Grammy Award-winning singer and actress best known as the goody two-shoes Sandy in "Grease," has died at age 73 following her battle with breast cancer.
Newton-John's husband, John Easterling, confirmed his wife's death Monday via her verified Facebook page, writing that Newton-John "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," Easterling wrote. "Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer."
A pop singer-turned-icon following her starring role in the hit movie musical, Newton-John was also a fierce advocate of cancer awareness.
She battled a third round of cancer in 2017, this time at the base of her spine. An initial breast cancer diagnosis came in 1992; doctors again found cancer, in Newton-John's shoulder, following a car accident in 2013.
When asked in a September 2018 interview with Australia's Channel Seven whether she was scared following the third diagnosis, she said, "I'd be lying if I said I never go there. There are moments; I'm human. If I allowed myself to go there, I could easily create that big fear. But my husband's always there, and he's there to support me.
"I believe I will win over it. That's my goal."
Newton-John was born Sept. 26, 1948, in Cambridge, England, and moved with her family to Australia at age 5. She grew up singing and won a talent show at 16 that sent her to England, after which she dropped out of high school to pursue performing full-time.
Her first major success as a pop star came with a cover of Bob Dylan's "If Not For You" in 1971, which hit No. 25 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and catapulted Newton-John to international stardom.
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