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Daily Mirror
Katie Wilson

Stockard Channing leads Grease stars paying tear-jerking tributes to Olivia Newton-John

Stockard Channing has paid an emotional tribute to her Grease co-star Olivia Newton-John following her death from breast cancer at the age of 73.

The actress – famous for playing Pink Lady Rizzo alongside Olivia as Sandy in Grease – told fans: "I don’t know if I’ve known a lovelier human being.”

In an emotional statement to PEOPLE magazine, she added: “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.”

Fellow Grease star John Travolta, who famously starred as Sandy’s love interest Danny Zuko, also shared a touching tribute to the star.

Characters Kenicki, Sandy, Danny Zuko and Rizzo in Grease (Mirrorpix)

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Posting a throwback photo of Olivia on his Instagram page, he wrote: “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!

He signed off: "Your Danny, your John!"

John Travolta led the tributes and said he was hers 'forever' (Getty Images)

Didi Conn, who played Frenchy in the hit 1978 musical, also paid tribute saying Olivia was “very special in my heart in many, many ways”.

Recalling their time on set together, she said: “She was such a humongous, big, big pop star.

“And her persona was of this beauty and well, let’s just say it, pure and sweet.

“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 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.”

Olivia as Sandy with Putzie, Doody and Danny in Grease (Shutterstock)

Another of her Grease co-stars, Barry Pearl – who played Frenchy’s boyfriend Doody – fought back tears when discussing the death of his long-time friend on Australian TV.

The 72-year-old, who kept in touch with Olivia for four decades, revealed what his last message to her was before she died.

He told Aussie breakfast hosts Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon he’d heard from a colleague that Olivia’s health was deteriorating and that it “wasn’t going to be long” until she passed away.

Olivia and John at the 40th anniversary celebration of Grease in 2018 (AFP via Getty Images)

"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."

Olivia passed away surrounded by family and friends at her ranch in Southern California on Monday August 8 after a 30-year battle with breast cancer.

She is survived by her husband John, 70, and daughter Chloe, 36.

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