Jane Seymour pays tribute to her close friend Olivia Newton-John for ‘changing the world’

Dame Olivia Newton-John’s close friend Jane Seymour paid tribute to the Grease star for “changing the world” as she recalled her final days before her death from cancer.

The British-born singer and actress died peacefully at her Southern California ranch on Monday morning at the age of 73, with her husband John Easterling confirming the news on social media.

Dame Olivia, who grew up in Australia, was best known for her lead role as Sandy in the 1978 film Grease, where she appeared opposite John Travolta, who played Danny Zuko.

Former Bond girl and Golden Globe winner Seymour met Dame Olivia in 1976 after moving to Los Angeles from the UK.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain, she took two photos showing them together and said: “She was a really special person. She changed the world in many ways, especially considering what she did with cancer. Basically, instead of hiding things in her life, she opened up and said, ‘This is what I have, this is what it looks like’.

“And when it came back again, she was very open again. I was talking to one of her family today and I said, ‘If I’m talking about her, is there anything I should or shouldn’t say?’ They said, ‘You know what? She put it all out there. She cared about everybody else, she made a big difference.

“Her legacy is extraordinary, not only as a performer, but as a friend, an advocate for people dealing with cancer.”

Recalling their last meeting before her death, Seymour added: “The last time … she didn’t know I was coming. She got the day wrong.

“Somehow she put on some kind of clothes and came out and she just kept looking around and saying, ‘Look at the hummingbirds, look at the sky, look at nature. Isn’t that beautiful? That’s who she was . She just seized every moment.”

Dame Olivia Newton-John has died aged 73

Tony Bennett with Dame Olivia Newton-John (Ian West/PA)

Appearing on BBC Breakfast, Australian singer Peter Andre said Dame Olivia was “always smiling”.

The pair performed together at a spina bifida charity concert in Australia and remained friends.

He said: “I would say she was one of those people who always presented a certain kind of aura, a certain kind of aura that not many people can give off.

“And I know we talk about warmth and kindness being separate from her professional career, but actually it looked like it was all merged into one – that’s the impression I always got.

“And you were never disappointed when you met her, she was always smiling, always so lovely.”

Australian TV presenter Richard Wilkins, a close friend of Dame Olivia, said he had spoken to Travolta and was “just devastated”.

Appearing via video call in a black suit and tie, he told Good Morning Britain: “He’s too raw to talk. They, of course, shared a hugely close bond after starring in one of the world’s most beloved films together, from 1978.

“Olivia leaves such a huge hole in the world, not only for music and her iconic film performances, but here in Australia and around the world she shared her battle with cancer very publicly and was a beacon of hope for millions of people around the world. “

It comes after Travolta paid tribute on Instagram shortly after news of Dame Olivia’s death was announced on Monday night.

“My dear Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better,” he wrote.

“Your influence 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!”

Other Hollywood A-listers and collaborators who paid tribute to Dame Olivia included Kylie Minogue, Peter Andre, Dionne Warwick, James Gunn and Edgar Wright.

Aside from her hit role in the film, Dame Olivia was also a multi-platinum selling artist, with two singles and two albums certified by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The singer also represented Great Britain in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 with the song Long Live Love.

She finished fourth in the competition, held in Brighton, losing to Abba, with their hit song Waterloo.

She is survived by her husband and daughter.

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