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Daily Record
Kirsten McStay & Siobhan Macdonald

Olivia Newton-John: Celebs pay tribute to star after she sadly passed away aged 73

After the sad news that Grease actress Olivia Newton-John passed away, famous faces around the world have paid their tributes.

Olivia's husband released a statement announcing that his wife had passed away at her ranch, surrounded by friends and family. In a statement from her husband, it read: "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 (

Chloe Lattanzi, Dame Olivia's daughter, shared a tribute on Instagram, without caption but the comments were soon filled by others paying their respects. Maureen McCormick, who played Betty Rizzo in stage show versions of Grease, said: "Rest In Peace Olivia Newton-Joh Love you. xoxoxo Sending my deepest heartfelt condolences to all her family and loved ones."

And many celebs have taken to social media to pay tribute to her. Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted about the first time she ever saw the Grease movie. She wrote: "This is really sad. I was 8 years old when I saw Grease in the cinema and remember it like it was yesterday. She was mesmerising. RIP Sandy."

Her Grease co-star John Travolta shared an old snap of Olivia and said: ""My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. 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!"

Actress Stockard Channing - who played Rizzo in Grease - said: "I don't know if I've known a lovelier human being. Olivia was the essence of summer - her sunniness, her warmth and her grace are what always come to mind when I think of her. I will miss her enormously."

The film's director Randal Kleiser said he had been friends with Newton-John for 40 years and "she never changed, she was always exactly the way everyone imagines her". "She was charming, lovely, warm... There are so many clichés you can say about her but in her case it was all true."

Asked what his everlasting memory of her will be, he told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Hanging out with her at her ranch. Seeing the real Olivia which was exactly like the Olivia she projected. No cameras around, no people around... she was exactly the same and as loving as ever."

Singer Rod Stewart called her "the perfect lady, gorgeous, with great poise and with a certain Aussie sophistication". "Her spandex trousers in Grease were my inspiration for my 'Da ya think I'm Sexy' era," he added, referencing the iconic tight black outfit that she wore at the film's end.

Scots TV presenter Jean Johansson shared a snap of Olivia as Sandy and simply said: "She was truly iconic."

Fellow Aussie Peter Andre wrote: "This has made me really really sad. I have had the privilege of meeting the incredible Olivia a few times and even worked with her on a special Spina Bifida concert in Australia. She was lovely in every way. Always lit up the room. Thoughts with her family. RIP. A brave woman. A true icon. Feel so sad."

Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin said: "I am SO saddened at the news of the passing of Olivia Newton John. I remember being so star struck when I met her at my first Hollywood gathering for Paramount. She was the sweetest and brightest light and I loved getting to know her on "It's My Party." RIP dear, sweet Olivia."

Kylie Minogue said she has "loved and looked up to" Dame Olivia since she was ten. "She was, and always will be, an inspiration to me in so many, many ways," she tweeted.

Hugh Jackman said Dame Olivia was his "first crush" and described her as "one of the most open, generous & funny people I've known" in a tribute on Twitter. He added: "She was a one of kind spirit. It's no secret Olivia was my first crush. I kissed her (poster) every night before bed. Her legacy will only grow stronger in the years to come."

Piers Morgan penned an emotional Twitter tribute with the star alongside a picture with Olivia. He wrote: "So sad to hear the fabulously gutsy, warm & talented Olivia Newton-John has died. At an auction of her Grease memorabilia in LA three years ago, she told me her favourite song from the movie was Hopelessly Devoted To You. Great song, great film, great lady. RIP."

Actress Viola Davis tweeted: "You were my childhood!! Your talent, poise, beauty!! Rest in glorious peace."

Mia Farrow said: "Very sad that lovely, talented, brave Olivia Newton-John has died. I never got to meet her, but everyone says she was wonderful- always kind."

Actor George Takei said: "We have lost a great, iconic artist in Olivia Newton-John, gone too soon from us at age 73. I trust she is now in the great Xanadu beyond. Know that we are forever hopelessly devoted to you, Olivia. Rest in song and mirth."

Director James Gunn said: "Really sad to hear about the passing of Olivia Newton-John. My first real crush as a kid. I loved Grease & her music & I coincidentally also bought & lived in for a while the wonderful home she built in Malibu. May she Rest In Peace."

US television host Oprah Winfrey said her "positivity was just infectious". "You'll be missed, Olivia," she wrote. "Here's to the good times."

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