Olivia Newton-John to get state memorial in Australia

Published August 13, 2022, 8:29 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

(FILES) In this file photo taken on Nov. 27, 2016 Olivia Newton John attends the 85th annual Hollywood Christmas parade on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. – Australian singer Olivia Newton-John, who gained worldwide fame as high-school sweetheart Sandy in the hit musical movie “Grease,” died on Aug. 8, her family said. She was 73. (Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP)

SYDNEY (AFP) – Screen legend Olivia Newton-John will be honored with a state memorial service in her adoptive homeland Australia, authorities said Thursday, touting an upbeat sendoff for the late Grammy-winning actress.

The British-born, Aussie-raised star of the 1978 hit musical “Grease” died on Monday at her home in Southern California.

The cause of death was not stated, but the 73-year-old Newton-John had spent three decades trying to — as she put it — “win over” breast cancer.

Victoria state Premier Dan Andrews said Newton-John’s family had accepted the offer of a state memorial that “would be much more of a concert than a funeral”.

“It will be an appropriate celebration of such a rich and generous life.”

A date for the memorial has not yet been set.

Her widower, John Easterling, on Thursday posted a tribute to her and thanked fans for the “vast ocean of love and support” that has come with her passing.

“She was the most courageous woman I’ve ever known,” he said.

“In her most difficult times she always had the spirit, the humor, and the will power to move things into the light.”