Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Jamie Roberts

Olivia Newton-John's Grease co-star fights back tears in emotional interview

Olivia Newton-John's Grease co-star Barry Pearl almost broke down in tears when discussing the death of his long-time friend.

Barry, 72, played the role of Frenchy's boyfriend Doody in the iconic musical drama and was speaking on Australian TV after the actress's death was confirmed by her husband John Easterling.

Olivia died peacefully at home in California at the age of 73. She was surrounded by her family and friends.

Barry, who kept in touch with his co-star following their performance over four decades ago, fought back the tears as he reminisced over his last message to his pal prior to her death. Speaking to Aussie breakfast TV hosts Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon, the actor had to pause and recompose himself as he told how he'd heard from a colleague that Olivia's health had been deteriorating.

He told the duo that he had been informed recently that it "wasn't going to be long" until she passed away and made an effort to reach out to her before it was too late. He said: "I took it upon myself to write to her, as we would occasionally share emails amongst each other - [with] the other Grease-er pals too.

"She would always sign her emails, 'With love and light, Olivia'. And I wrote to her - basically if you read between the lines she would be able to tell that I knew there was something going on - and I basically said that, 'On your journey forward, simply know that you, Olivia , are the love and the light'."

He added: "She just always exuded that positivity. Just the way she handled this journey with grace. Her heart was so big."

His emotional words echoed the statements of fellow Grease stars who had been paying tribute to Olivia following the sad news.

John Travolta 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 moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!"

And Didi Conn, who played Frenchy in the film, said: "She was such a humungous, big, big pop star and her persona was of this beauty and well, let’s just say it, pure and sweet and in the movie we would call her Miss goody two shoes, you know. But simmering under that façade of innocence was a hot mama ready to come out…

"She loved it and we all loved it, nobody recognised her. She tried on that costume the night we were filming at the drive-in, and nobody recognised her, all of a sudden, in these high red pumps and this tight outfit and big hair, and it was Olivia and she loved it… and we all loved her.

"And she’s very special in my heart in many, many ways."

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.