EXCLUSIVE – Suzanne Somers on Olivia Newton-John’s death and how the 1970s blonde bombshells bonded over cancer: ‘She taught me to not be afraid’
Three’s Company actress Suzanne Somers has offered her condolences on the sad passing of Grease actress Olivia Newton-John on Monday at the age of 73.
Both were blonde bombshells in the 1970s, both faced mega fame and both were breast cancer fighters, which they bonded over.
Now Somers has talked to DailyMail.com exclusively about what it was like to have the Australian mega star as a friend.
‘Everyone would want an Olivia Newton-John in their life,’ began the 75-year-old beauty. ‘Olivia taught me not to be afraid when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.’
So much in common: Three’s Company actress Suzanne Somers has offered her condolences on the sad passing of Grease actress Olivia Newton-John on Monday. Both were blonde bombshells in the 1970s, both faced mega fame and both were breast cancer fighters, which they bonded over
Her past issues: Somers was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 She had a lumpectomy and radiation, but declined to undergo chemotherapy; seen in 2021
Somers was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. She had a lumpectomy and radiation.
Newton-John was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992.
Suzanne was impressed with how down-to-earth the Have You Ever Been Mellow singer was.
‘Olivia was exactly what you would expect. She was kind and sweet. I never heard her say a bad word about anyone,’ shared the 70s and 80s pinup with DailyMail.com.
They were blonde bombshells at the same time: Both Olivia (seen here in 1976) and Suzanne hit mega fame in the late 1970s. Both were breast cancer fighters and they had bonded over that. ‘Everyone would want an Olivia Newton-John in their life,’ began Somers. ‘Olivia taught me not to be afraid when I was diagnosed with breast cancer’
On top of her game: Suzanne was impressed with how down-to-earth the Have You Ever Been Mellow singer was. ‘Olivia was exactly what you would expect. She was kind and sweet. I never heard her say a bad word about anyone,’ shared the 70s and 80s pinup
And she felt like Newton-John was like a ‘sister’ after they had a shared struggle.
‘There is a sisterhood that grows larger every year. It’s a sisterhood you never want to join but when allowed entry you find great comfort with other “sisters,”‘ began the actress.
‘Olivia provided great comfort for me when diagnosed 25 years ago. Her fight was my fight, as she won, I won.
‘She taught all of us so much through her bravery and “never give up” philosophy. We got strength through Olivia and her example of life.
‘As a 70’s icon she lived a full life. I loved her and will miss my “sister” forever.’
Legendary movie: She had sparks with John Travolta in the 1978 movie Grease. ‘As a 70’s icon she lived a full life. I loved her and will miss my “sister” forever,’ added Somers
Newton-John died aged 73 on Monday.
The Xanadu star died with loved ones by her side at her ranch home in Southern California, according to her husband, John Easterling, who did not give a cause of death.
A Facebook post read: We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time.’
However, a source known to TMZ said: ‘After a 30-year cancer journey, she lost her battle to metastatic breast cancer,’ which was first diagnosed in 1992, more than 30 years ago. In 2013, it resurfaced before going into remission again until it reappeared in 2017.
Her family: The singer with daughter Chloe and Patrick Kim McDermott
Later in life: The beauty seen here with husband John Easterling
Olivia got her big break in the 1978 movie musical as good two shoes teenager Sandy Olsen – in which she starred opposite John Travolta’s hunky bad boy Danny Zuko – and originated the new song Hopelessly Devoted To You.
This came after her pop career – which began in the early 70s – where Olivia made her name with a string of pop hits, such as If Not for You, Let Me Be There and the smash hit Have You Never Been Mellow.
The Glee guest star had daughter Chloe Lattanzi, now 36, with her ex Matt Lattanzi, who she married in 1984 and split from in 1995.
Olivia tied the knot with John in 2008, who appealed for donations to her cancer charity in her memory.
A hit! Somers came to fame with John Ritter on Three’s Company which debuted in 1976; also seen here is Joyce DeWitt
Still looking great! Somers at the Clive Davis 90th Birthday Celebration at Casa Cipriani in April in New York City
He added on the post: ‘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).’
John concluded: ‘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.’
SOME OF SUZANNE’S BEST MOMENTS IN HOLLYWOOD
Somers played the mysterious blonde in a white Thunderbird car in the 1973 classic film American Graffiti from George Lucas.
Somers played the mysterious blonde in a white Thunderbird car in the 1973 classic film American Graffiti from George Lucas
She played a passenger on the first episode of The Love Boat.
She played a passenger on the first episode of The Love Boat in 1976
She made a splash as the ditzy but darling blonde beauty Chrissy Snow on the sitcom Three’s Company that was considered racy because a straight man (played by John Ritter) was living with two single women (Suzanne and Joyce De Witt).
John Ritter, Joyce Dewitt, Suzanne Somers Three’s Company – 1977
She had a guest starring role as a pinup in the ABC TV movie Ants! The star filmed the show in Qualicum Beach, Canada in 1977.
Here she is seen with nothing on under a beige sheet in a bed.
Somers appearing in the ABC tv movie Ants! in 1977
Somers promoting the Cerebral Palsy Telethon in Central Park 1978. She wore a pink bathing suit which won the attention of onlookers.
Somers promoting the Cerebral Palsy Telethon in Central Park 1978
The California native is seen here in a skimpy bikini for a segment on the popular late night show The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
On The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson for a skit as she wore a skimpy bikini
She took to doing bathing suit photo shoots on the beach in the late 1970s to boost her career.
Here she had on a strapless one piece with her hair in a side ponytail, the look of the day.
She had a toned figure which led to her being the spokesperson for ThighMaster which made a fortune.
Get ready to surf! She modeled swimsuits on the beach to show off her incredible shape
She made a name for herself with pinup photos with goofy hair styles. Here she is seen in a Three’s Company publicity photo.
In a beige workout outfit for a publicity shoot for her hit show Three’s Company
The beauty in 1980 on the episode of Three’s Company titled Lee Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. Jack (Ritter) disapproved of his visiting brother’s relationship with Chrissy (Somers).
She was fired during season five when she asked for a big pay raise.
The show ran from 1977 until 1984.
Lee Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother was the name of this episode for season four in 1980. Jack (Ritter) disapproved of his visiting brother’s relationship with Chrissy (Somers)
In 1991 she was on the hit TV show Step By Step with costar Patrick Duffy of Dallas fame.
In 1991 she was on the show Step By Step with costar Patrick Duffy of Dallas fame. This episode was called Rules of the House and it aired on October 4, 1991