Every year, the Academy pays tribute to prior Oscar winners and nominees who have died since the previous award event. The Oscars in 2023 were no exception.
During the “Oscars In Memoriam” section, significant figures such as composer Burt Bacharach, who won three Oscars, and Irene Cara, who is best known for her role in the 1980 musical “Fame,” were honored.
In addition to French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, who died in September 2022, and two-time Oscar nominee Wolfgang Peterson, actors Angela Lansbury and Louise Fletcher were honored.
John Travolta, who has had his fair share of loss over the years, was invited to introduce this year’s Oscars In Memoriam segment. Travolta’s then-girlfriend Diana Hyland died of breast cancer in 1977. Despite moving on and finding love with Kelly Preston, tragedy struck again in 2009 when the couple’s 16-year-old son Jett died while on vacation.
Preston, Travolta’s wife of nearly 30 years, died in 2020 after being diagnosed with breast cancer two years earlier. “She fought a heroic battle with the love and support of so many,” Travolta said in a Facebook post mourning her death. “Kelly’s love and life will be remembered forever.”
The “Hairspray” actor has opened up on coping with his various losses over the years. “Grief is personal, and finding your own way to recovery is what may lead to healing,” Travolta previously told Esquire Mexico. Nevertheless, at the 2023 Academy Awards, Travolta demonstrated firsthand what anguish may look like – and how much he misses his dear friend Olivia Newton-John.
John Travolta is still ‘hopelessly loyal’ to his late friend.
As he ascended the stage to introduce the “Oscars In Memoriam” section, John Travolta delivered a moving monologue that brought him to tears. He began by emphasizing the significance of honoring individuals committed to the entertainment industry, stating that it is a privilege for entertainers to pursue their passion.
Nevertheless, a few minutes into his remarks, the “Welcome Back, Kotter” star became noticeably emotional while paying respect to his late “Grease” co-star, Olivia Newton-John.
He stated, “Each left an individual and permanent stamp that shared and informed us through their enormous contributions. They’ve touched our hearts, made us smile, and become good friends to whom we will always be hopelessly dedicated,” Newton-1978 John’s song “Hopelessly Devoted To You” says.”
Fans reacted positively to Travolta’s touching gesture, with many rushing to Twitter to express their gratitude. “With his passionate Olivia Newton-John shout-out, John Travolta attempts to make your boy cry… Damn, “Someone wrote.
“I was destroyed by John Travolta choking on his words. Olivia Newton-John, rest in peace. Sandy will always be my friend, “A second person tweeted.
Travolta paid a poignant homage to Newton-John, who played his love interest in the 1978 musical after her passing in August 2022. “I adore you to pieces. We’ll see you later, and we’ll all be together again. Yours from the minute I saw you to the end of time,” he posted on Instagram.
Olivia Newtin-John and John Travolta had a long friendship.
What began as an on-screen romance between John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John quickly evolved into a lifetime friendship. Travolta and Newton-John returned five years after the debut of “Grease” to co-star in the 1983 film “Two of a Kind.” Travolta and Newton-John continued their friendship, eventually becoming best friends.
So much so that, despite their hectic schedules, the twosome tried to see each other as frequently as possible. “If I go to see her in her performance, we hang out backstage, and I watch the show and everything,” Travolta told US Weekly in 2019. “When I see her, we normally have dinner and catch up. And we’ve recently spoken about doing something together.”
Newton-John previously spoke about her connection with Travolta, crediting him with pushing her to play Sandy in “Grease.” According to Marca, she once acknowledged, “I couldn’t have done the movie if I hadn’t met John since I wasn’t sure I wanted to. He persuaded me.”
Given the length of their connection, it’s no wonder that the two have supported each other through terrible times. “[At difficult times], John constantly reaches out to me,” Newton-John previously said.
Travolta said, “I’ve seen her have a child, get divorced, and lost her sister. She’s been through my marriage and having children. It’s amazing and full of shared memories.”