Olivia Newton-John’s best friend Susan George pays moving tribute to the late Grease star

‘I just feel privileged to have known her’: Olivia Newton-John’s best friend Susan George pays moving tribute to the late Grease star as she recalls their last conversation

Olivia Newton-John‘s lifelong friend of almost 60 years Susan George has paid a heartfelt tribute to the late actress.  

The iconic Grease star died peacefully at the age of 73 at her home in southern California on Monday, surrounded by her family and friends. 

And reflecting on her memories of Olivia, fellow actress Susan, 72, told how she felt ‘privileged to have known her’, while she also recalled their last conversation together.

Best friends: Olivia Newton-John's lifelong friend of almost 60 years Susan George (R) has paid a heartfelt tribute to the late actress (pictured together in 2009)

Best friends: Olivia Newton-John’s lifelong friend of almost 60 years Susan George (R) has paid a heartfelt tribute to the late actress (pictured together in 2009)

Having grown up amid the glitz and glam of Hollywood, away from the camera the two women cemented their friendship as they bonded over their love of nature and horses.

Writing for The Mirror, Susan recalled the pair meeting as teens and growing a lifelong friendship, remarking that the film star ‘filled my heart and head with pride.’

Detailing Olivia’s rise to fame thanks to her role as Sandy in Grease, Susan said: ‘I was with her through the making, and at the premiere in London and when our stretch limo was mobbed, she was staggered and playfully humbled by all the amazing attention. Did she ever know how beautiful she was? No, never, and that was part of her magic.’

Rest in peace: The iconic Grease star died peacefully at the age of 73 at her home in southern California on Monday, surrounded by her family and friends

Rest in peace: The iconic Grease star died peacefully at the age of 73 at her home in southern California on Monday, surrounded by her family and friends

She went on to say that while Olivia enjoyed the swanky premieres, parties and lunches that fame brought, the Australian beauty felt happiest when she was surrounded by horses, calling Susan’s stud farm her ‘sanctuary’.  

The TV star went on to remember several funny moments they shared throughout the years, including a hilarious moment that she struggled to control Olivia’s Shetland ponies – the Grease star filmed and Susan still has the ‘precious video’.

She added that despite the pair living far apart, they were ‘always there for one other’ no matter what, through the ‘good times and bad’.

Honour: reflecting on her memories of Olivia, fellow actress Susan, 72, told how she felt 'privileged to have known her', while she also recalled their last conversation together

Honour: reflecting on her memories of Olivia, fellow actress Susan, 72, told how she felt ‘privileged to have known her’, while she also recalled their last conversation together

Bond: Having grown up amid the glitz and glam of Hollywood, away from the camera the two women cemented their friendship as they bonded over their love of nature and horses

Bond: Having grown up amid the glitz and glam of Hollywood, away from the camera the two women cemented their friendship as they bonded over their love of nature and horses

Speaking of when Olivia was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, Susan told how Olivia had a ‘sort of acceptance’, adding that the star ‘knew’ that she could use her battle as a ‘platform to help others’, and had ‘no seed of doubt’ that she’d survive it.

Indeed Olivia did go on to survive, having battled the disease twice more before finally succumbing to it earlier this month. 

Detailing their last phone call, Susan said: ‘We spoke a few weeks ago and had the longest talk about times past and present, laughed a lot and I worried that it might have been too tiring, but she insisted not. 

‘She seemed to have things she wanted to get out and share and I will always treasure what was devastatingly to be our last conversation.’

Way back when: Susan recalled the pair meeting as teens and growing a lifelong friendship, remarking that the film star 'filled my heart and head with pride' (pictured in 1980)

Way back when: Susan recalled the pair meeting as teens and growing a lifelong friendship, remarking that the film star ‘filled my heart and head with pride’ (pictured in 1980)

Strong: Speaking of when Olivia was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, Susan told how Olivia had a 'sort of acceptance', adding that the star 'knew' that she could use her battle as a 'platform to help others', and had 'no seed of doubt' that she'd survive it

Strong: Speaking of when Olivia was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, Susan told how Olivia had a ‘sort of acceptance’, adding that the star ‘knew’ that she could use her battle as a ‘platform to help others’, and had ‘no seed of doubt’ that she’d survive it 

The Straw Dogs star concluded her tribute with touching words about her dearest friend, describing her as ‘talented’, ‘loving’, ‘generously spirited’ and ‘beautiful like no other’, who always put others before herself.

She shared: ‘For me, I just feel privileged to have known her as a friend, loved her and been a part of it all. Her light for one tiny moment may have been dimmed but is now shining somewhere brighter than ever.’

Olivia died peacefully surrounded by family and friends after a brave and extraordinarily public decades-long battle with cancer.

Memory: Detailing their last phone call, Susan said: 'We spoke a few weeks ago and had the longest talk about times past and present, laughed a lot and I worried that it might have been too tiring, but she insisted not'

Memory: Detailing their last phone call, Susan said: ‘We spoke a few weeks ago and had the longest talk about times past and present, laughed a lot and I worried that it might have been too tiring, but she insisted not’

Lovely: The Straw Dogs star concluded her tribute with touching words about her dearest friend, describing her as 'talented', 'loving', 'generously spirited' and 'beautiful like no other'

Lovely: The Straw Dogs star concluded her tribute with touching words about her dearest friend, describing her as ‘talented’, ‘loving’, ‘generously spirited’ and ‘beautiful like no other’

Her husband John Easterling announced her death on her Facebook page.

‘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.

Tragic: The Grease star died peacefully aged 73 at her home in southern California on Monday morning, surrounded by family and friends after a brave and extraordinarily public decades-long battle with cancer (Pictured Olivia and husband John Easterling)

Tragic: The Grease star died peacefully aged 73 at her home in southern California on Monday morning, surrounded by family and friends after a brave and extraordinarily public decades-long battle with cancer (Pictured Olivia and husband John Easterling)

‘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,’ he said.

He also said Olivia and her family requested donations to be made to her charity, the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, in her memory instead of flowers.

The foundation funds research into plant-based medicine and holistic treatments for cancer.

Charity: Easterling has said Olivia and her family requested donations to be made to her charity, the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, in her memory instead of flowers

Charity: Easterling has said Olivia and her family requested donations to be made to her charity, the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, in her memory instead of flowers

Olivia, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and twice before in 1992 and 2013, has spent years lobbying the Australian government to approve the use of medicinal cannabis for cancer patients.

Easterling grew medicinal cannabis for Olivia on their ranch in the U.S to ‘help with her symptoms’.

Olivia is survived by her 36-year-old daughter, Chloe Lattanzi.

The actress famously beat breast cancer twice but was diagnosed again in 2017.

She spent the last few years at home, campaigning for animals’ rights and raising money for her charity online.

Family: Olivia is survived by her 36-year-old daughter, Chloe Lattanzi

Family: Olivia is survived by her 36-year-old daughter, Chloe Lattanzi

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