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Forget Sandy in Grease, this may have been Olivia Newton-John’s greatest role


Helena GARCIA HUERTAS | Shutterstock

Cerith Gardiner - published on 08/09/22

In an interview in 2017, the actress responded to a difficult question with candor and gratitude that is a lesson to us all.

Many were saddened to hear of the passing of Olivia Newton-John yesterday at the age of 73. While she was famous for her role as Sandy in the 1978 movie, Grease, during her battle with cancer over three decades, the singer and actress was also able to pass on a very valuable lesson to us all.

Details of an interview made nearly five years ago have emerged that show how the actress was coping with her most recent cancer diagnosis.

Karl Stefanovic spoke with the star during a 60 Minutes interview. In their conversation that was dubbed the “interview of the year” by the Daily Mail, Newton-John addressed her latest bout of cancer, having already beaten it in 1992 and again in 2013. Unfortunately, for Newton-John, the third diagnosis showed that she had Stage IV breast cancer which had spread to her bones, leaving her in great pain.

During the interview Stefanovic asked the difficult question: “How are you not broken?” The actress’ response was one of simple grace, gratitude, and positivity.

“Oh goodness, I’ve had, and am having, an amazing life so I have no complaints. I really don’t. Everyone goes through something. We all have something we need to go through in life. This has been my challenge.”

While she acknowledged that it was particularly difficult to share her news with her loved ones, she shared:

“Well, that wasn’t easy. But I did deliver it in a positive way, of course. Everybody has those conversations in their life. They are hard.”

Entertainer Olivia Newton

The interview particularly moved Stefanovic, who on hearing of her passing shared: “This woman, her family was everything. Her daughter and her extended family, nieces, nephews, the whole lot, knew her in an entirely different way and in a much more deeper way so we can only imagine what they’re going through this morning.”

While Newton-John spent a lot of time fighting the disease and looking at ways to combat cancer, she seemed to radiate a sense of deep gratitude and joy in the life she’d been given — something we could all stand to emulate, regardless of our health.

Of course, people have to deal with their own sufferings in the best way they can, but the actress provided a real glimpse of who she was beneath the leather jacket and perfectly coiffed hair that we were all so familiar with. Perhaps this was the greatest role of her life to her family and fans alike.

You can watch the interview in the video below:

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