The late ‘Grease’ star Olivia Newton-John was an avid animal lover who has left behind a legacy of compassion.

Olivia Newton-John was known for lots of things – her singing, acting and her devotion to animals. While she was best known for her starring role in Grease, Olivia wanted to become qualified veterinarian before discovering a passion for singing at aged 14.

The four-time Grammy Award winner passed away at the age of 73 at her ranch in Southern California on Monday, August 8. While her cause of death has not been confirmed, the star, who had been battling breast cancer for 30 years, was surrounded by her family and friends.

When speaking to Interview Magazine in 2011, Olivia revealed she lived alongside four cats, five horses and nine dogs, stating her house was like a “zoo”. She told them: “I remember as a little girl I could tell you the name of the dog next door, but I couldn’t tell you the names of the kids. The dog was my best friend.

“I love animals. They give so much to you and demand so little. And you can trust them. When I was a young girl I was so crazy about animals that I wanted to do something associated with them, and I thought of being a vet. But then again, I figured I had to go to medical school and science wasn’t a good subject for me, so I dropped the idea pretty soon and thought maybe I could be a vet’s assistant. And then I thought of a mounted policewoman, because I figured I could ride horses and be paid for it – what a job! But they didn’t have them then, so I was kind of before my time. Suddenly, this singing career came along and I had to make that decision.”

Olivia was best known for her role as Sandy in Grease starring alongside John Travolta. Songs from the movie such as You’re the One I Want, Summer Nights and Hopelessly Devoted To You became a hit. However, she also enjoyed a successful music career of her own with hits such as If Not For You, and Let Me Be There.

When recording If Not For You, Olivia reportedly brought her dog into the booth during the session and the sounds of him knocking over the music stand can still be heard on the recording.

Olivia’s husband, John Easterling, announced the sad news of her passing on Monday as he shared a statement via Olivia’s Facebook page. It read: “Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time.

“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer. 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 Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund (ONJFoundationFund.org).

“Olivia is survived by her husband John Easterling; daughter Chloe Lattanzi; sister Sarah Newton-John; brother Toby Newton-John; nieces and nephews Tottie, Fiona and Brett Goldsmith; Emerson, Charlie, Zac, Jeremy, Randall, and Pierz Newton-John; Jude Newton-Stock, Layla Lee; Kira and Tasha Edelstein; and Brin and Valerie Hall.”

Tributes to the iconic actress poured in and were lead by John Travolta who shared a photo of Olivia on his Instagram page and wrote a touching message to his co-star in the caption. It read: “My dearest Olivia, you made all of 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 moment I saw you and forever!

Meanwhile, George Takei tweeted: “We have lost a great, iconic artist in Olivia Newton John, gone too soon from us at age 73. I trust she is now in the great Xanadu beyond. Know that we are forever hopelessly devoted to you, Olivia. Rest in song and mirth.”

And actress Marlee Matlin added: “I am SO saddened at the news of the passing of Olivia Newton John. I remember being so star struck when I met her at my first Hollywood gathering for Paramount. She was the sweetest and brightest light and I loved getting to know her on “It’s My Party.” RIP dear, sweet Olivia.”

Original source: https://www.mirror.co.uk