When John Travolta, 64, and Olivia Newton-John, 70, first became friends back in 1978 while playing one of the most cherished on-screen couples of all time in Grease, neither of them could predict the lifelong friendship that would grow from the experience.
But, 40-years post-Grease, and this pair have been by each other’s sides through all of the ups and downs that life has thrown their way.
While there have certainly been plenty of wonderful, celebratory moments that they have shared with each other over the years, it hasn’t been all smiles and happy times.
Each of the celebrities have dealt with some pretty significant struggles and found comfort and support in their long-lasting friendship, proving that good friends are truly one of life’s greatest gifts.
Since her iconic role as Sandy in Grease, Newton-John has fought cancer three times, with her most recent diagnosis occurring last year in the form of spinal cancer. Previously, she overcame breast cancer in 1992, and a second cancer diagnosis five years ago.
Throughout her continued battles with cancer, Travolta has been a dedicated friend and offered continual support, according to Newton-John, “He’s been a big support, he’s a good friend. We don’t see a lot of each other, but we see each other. We were just talking about this the other day when we saw each other at the reunion, we talk and text and see each other probably two or three times a year.”
And Newton-John has, unfortunately, had the opportunity to repay the favor by supporting Travolta through hard times, like during the unimaginable grief that he suffered after losing his 16-year old son, Jett, in 2009. Travolta’s son had suffered from autism and seizures throughout his life and passed away following a seizure during a Christmas family vacation in the Bahamas.
In an effort to cope with the inconceivable heartbreak that comes with losing a child, Travolta started the Jett Travolta Foundation, a non-profit charity that focuses on providing help and assistance to special needs children and their families.
Newton-John has spoken highly of Travolta’s ability to take his grief and use it as inspiration for doing something positive, like forming his non-profit charity; similar to how one of Newton-John’s other friends started a children’s health environmental coalition following the untimely death of her daughter.
Focusing on something positive following a devastating loss or struggle can be helpful according to Newton-John, who says, “Because of their grief they created something positive that will help other people – as has John with the Jett Foundation, and hopefully I have with the [Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research] centre. So, I think putting your energy into something positive is going to help others, it feels good and it’s helpful.”
In addition to the continued support of close friends, like Travolta, Newton-John maintains her strength by helping other people and exploring natural therapies for her cancer as opposed to difficult treatments like chemotherapy.
“I’m hoping cannabis oil (which is completely natural) will become available to everyone for pain relief and stress and everything. We’re doing a lot of research into cannabis and cancer and I’m hoping we’re going to find the cure with the right strains.”
And although Newton-John is clearly busy with her Wellness and Research Center, she always tries to make time to catch up with her good friend, Travolta, like at the recent 40th anniversary reunion for Grease, where her and Travolta had a chance to hang out and reminisce about their claim-to-fame film experience.
“We had a chat before the movie. That was really fun, I got to see it on a huge screen and they’ve improved the music, it was great, it was fun.”
Were you a fan of the movie Grease? Do you have any friendships that have stood the test of time for decades? Share your thoughts and join the conversation below!