Actor/singer Olivia Newton-John is dead at 73, according to a statement from her husband. She received her first metastatic breast cancer diagnosis in 1992. Doctors found a tumor on her spine in 2018, and she opened up about her experience living with stage 4 cancer before she died.
Olivia Newton-John died ‘peacefully’ at home in California
According to Newton-John’s social media, she died at home in California. The following statement was released on Facebook: “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.”
The statement added, “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,” the statement shared. “In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund.“
Olivia Newton-John opened up about her experience with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer
In 2021, Newton-John spoke to Hoda Kotb on Today about living with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer (per USA Today). She was first diagnosed in 1992 and her cancer returned twice. In 2018, she learned it had spread to her back and caused a tumor at the base of her spine.
The star said she’d been coping, thanks partly to medical cannabis. “I have my days, I have my pains, but the cannabis that my husband grows for me has been such a huge part of my healing,” she explained, “and so I’m a really lucky person.”
Olivia Newton-John’s ‘Physical’ turned 40 just before her death
Not long before her death, Newton-John celebrated a milestone for one of her most iconic singles. “Physical” — a song once deemed “too sexy” for its time — turned 40. And it’s still a favorite with fans. “How is this possible that I’m still talking about a song that I recorded 40 years ago and people still like it?” she asked (per USA Today).
And though she was initially hesitant to release it, the song had an undeniable impact. She said it taught her a lasting lesson. “Very often the things that you’re most afraid of are the things that you really need to just go for it,” she said. “It’s one of my most successful records, and I never would’ve dreamt that could’ve happened.”