Looking on the sunny side. Olivia Newton-John never let her cancer battles ruin her zest for life — being diagnosed three separate times before her death in August 2022.
“If you think positive thoughts, you’ll create a positive world around yourself and attract positive people to you,” the British-Australian actress exclusively told Us Weekly in April 2019 amid her third breast cancer battle. “I’m very lucky in all those areas; I have the best husband in the world and the best daughter. I’m lucky.”
The Grease star was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. She underwent partial mastectomy and reconstruction surgery before going into remission. Newton-John was diagnosed again in 2013 but chose to keep her fight private.
“I just decided I wanted to go through it myself,” the Likewise cookbook author told the Today show in March 2019 about why she didn’t announce the second health scare. “And I did a lot of natural healing and a lot of herbs that my husband [John Easterling] made for me.”
When the cancer returned in 2017, the “Physical” singer decided to publicly share the news. “I’m a very privileged person, and I’m very aware of that,” she said during a September 2018 appearance on Sunday Night, confirming her stage IV breast cancer diagnosis. “I have a wonderful husband, I have all the animals I adore, I have an incredible career. I have nothing really to complain about.”
Less than one year later, Newton-John gave Us an exclusive update on her health while promoting her new song, “Window in the Wall,” which she recorded with her daughter, Chloe Rose Lattanzi. (The late actress shared her daughter with ex-husband Matt Lattanzi.)
“I feel really well, thank you. Thanks to my husband and his plant medicine. I’m doing really well,” the Xanadu star told Us in January 2021, referring to Easterling’s cannabis treatments which aided in her pain management. “Plant medicine has been incredibly healing for me, but I think it’s just keeping a positive attitude and believing that I will be OK … is probably the most important part.”
Newton-John noted that amid her health journey she and Easterling started the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund to raise money for plant medicine and cancer treatments. She added that her “dream” was to “find a world beyond cancer.”
Following her death in August 2022 at the age of 73, her husband sang her praises and asked that Newton-John’s fans continue to help in her work to end cancer.
“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” Easterling wrote via social media after announcing her passing. “Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the @onjfoundation.”
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Scroll down to see what Newton-John said about her fight with cancer — and why she was optimistic that cancer will one day be non-existent — over the years: