Entertainer and philanthropist Olivia Newton-John, who died on Aug. 8, will receive a state funeral in Australia, says her niece Tottie Goldsmith. Goldsmith says ‘Australia needs it” as celebrities and fans alike mourn the loss of the Grease star.
Olivia Newton-John was a ‘unique friend,’ says actor Jane Seymour
Newton-John’s longtime friend, actor Jane Seymour, spoke of her relationship with the entertainer to Fox News Digital ahead of her funeral.
Seymour says Newton-John was a “unique friend” and reflected on their 50-year relationship.
“I remember so clearly our conversations and the smile on her face. Also, the fact that she wasn’t afraid, I don’t think, to pass. She didn’t want to miss out on life,” Seymour shared.
“We trusted one another implicitly, and we were very similar kinds of people,” Seymour said of her friend. “But we also knew that family was everything. We had a lot in common.”
Olivia Newton-John will receive a state funeral in her native Australia, says her niece
To celebrate her contributions to her native Australia, Newton-John will receive a state funeral revealed her niece Tottie Goldsmith to A Current Affair.
“On behalf of not just our family, but I think Australia needs it. She’s so loved,” Goldsmith said.
The premier of the Australian state of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, said in a statement published by News.AU that the government would offer the funeral to celebrate Newton-John’s “amazing contributions.”
According to the Department of the Premier and Cabinet Strategic Engagement and Protocol, a state funeral is “arranged and funded by the Government held to honor prominent people (usually high-ranking public officials) who have given long and outstanding service to the State.”
Premier Andrews earlier said his government would speak to Newton-John’s family about hosting an official farewell.
“As for celebrating her life, her music and film, and all the other amazing contributions that she made, we would, of course, want to speak to the family and be as respectful as we can,” Andrews said on Tuesday.
“She took her cancer journey and used that to save lives and change lives, and that’s just a deeply impressive thing.
“The research done there, the treatment, the care, the love and support central to that place is a lasting legacy to the person she was.”
Goldsmith said Newton-John’s death ‘wasn’t a shock’ ahead of her funeral
Goldsmith is the daughter of the Newton-John’s sister Rona Newton-John, who died in 2013 at age 70 from brain cancer at her ranch in Southern California.
“It’s not a shock; we’ve known how sick she’s been, especially the last five days,” Goldsmith said of her aunt in the interview.
But, Goldsmith said that after a decades-long career with accolades galore, the one thing Newton-John was most proud of was her daughter Chloe Lattanzi.
“She just loved her girl so much,” Goldsmith said of Newton-John’s daughter.