Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta starred in 1978 one of the most iconic musical films of all time: ‘Grease’ in which they gave life to the innocent Sandy and the rebel Danny Zuko.
The film, set in the 50′s, would not only be relevant for the history of cinema, but also for their acting career and personal life, since they developed an unbreakable friendship of more than 40 years.
John Travolta says goodbye to Olivia Newton-John
One of the first to react to the news was her long-time friend, John Travolta, who posted on Instagram a photograph of the eternal Sandy, accompanied by an emotional message.
“My dearest Olivia, you made 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!” wrote the actor.
The friendship between Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta
Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta were on the verge of not starring in one of the most iconic musical films and is that at the time, she was 28 years old, a little too grown up for playing a teenager; while John was 23 years old. The actress was not convinced to give life to Sandy until he saw him on ‘Saturday Night Fever’ (1977), and that convinced her.
“I couldn’t have done the film if I hadn’t met John, because I wasn’t sure about doing it. He convinced me,” confessed Olivia Newton-John in an interview conducted in early 2019. And that’s how one of the most real friendships began in Hollywood.
They were together in the most important moments during the last 44 years since the premiere of ‘Grease’. In fact, as part of the film’s 40th anniversary, John Travolta confessed, “When you share a success as meteoric as that, impossible to surpass, there’s a bond that always remains.”
He added: “I’ve been by her side during the birth of her daughter, her divorce and when she lost her sister. The same for her, she was during my marriage, my children. A lot of shared memories. A friendship is there through thick, thin, and thin”, and so was the relationship between Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta.
Unlike many other co-stars, they were never involved in a media romance. They always maintained a real and loyal friendship with each other. John Travolta always showed his admiration for her fight against cancer, from 1992 when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer, in 2003 with shoulder cancer, and her relapse in 2018.
Olivia Newton-John always noted, “John is always there to lend a hand.” A great anecdote was when he arranged a special ‘Grease’ screening for the actress’s husband John Easterling, who had not seen the film until that day. The actor did not limit himself but invited her friend and husband to watch the film along with him and his wife.
Although both were recognized for their respective careers in Hollywood, they never again had a success as big as ‘Grease’: “We did something that changed our lives,” confessed Olivia Newton-John in an interview with People magazine. In 2012, they recorded a Christmas carol album together.
In an interview with Us Weekly, Travolta shared, “If I go to see her in person, we usually have dinner and catch up. Recently we’ve been talking about trying to do something together.” Not to mention their 2019 reunion, when the two, went back to being Sandy and Danny in their iconic costumes.
Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta to death
They were together in the good times and also in the worst, corroborating their great friendship. In July 2020 when the also actress Kelly Preston, John Travolta’s wife, passed away as a victim of breast cancer, Olivia Newton-John was always there. They also became great friends.
Newton-John posted a photo of Kelly Preston which she accompanied with emotional words for her: “She had a glowing, warm and tender spirit. She was a loving wife and mother and a sweet friend. My heart breaks for John, Ella, and Ben. No words can express my sorrow for her family. Kelly’s light shines on her beautiful children.”
“Thanks to Kelly’s passion for protecting children, under her own personal experience, she helped catapult the campaign for children’s environmental health,” the ageless Sandy added at the time.
Two years after the loss of Kelly Preston, John Travolta’s great love, the actor says goodbye to another of the most special women in his life. Sandy and Danny will be forever.
Story originally published in Cultura Colectiva in Spanish