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Dame Olivia Newton-John sent actress ‘beautiful letter’ after cancer diagnosis

Delta Goodrem has spoken of her experiences with the late Olivia Newton John, including when the star sent her a letter following her cancer diagnosis.

August 10, 2022
By Mike Bedigan
10 August 2022

Australian singer Delta Goodrem, who played Olivia Newton-John in a 2018 TV show, has recalled the “beautiful letter” the entertainment icon sent her following her own cancer diagnosis.

Goodrem originally met the Grease star at the age of seven in a chance encounter in New York, years before her own successful singing career and landing a role on Neighbours.

The 37-year-old said it was important that people all over the world came together and continued to “celebrate this beautiful woman who has touched all of our lives”.

Newton-John’s death was announced on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.

Describing her first meeting with Newton-John, Goodrem said she had been drinking hot chocolate with her mother in New York when the actress had walked into the shop.

“All of a sudden Sandy from Grease walks in the door and I remember I was in my sparkly glasses, and I said to my mum… ‘Sandy’s there mum, Sandy, Sandy, it’s Sandy,” she told Sunrise.

“Olivia heard my Australian accent and she walked over to our table and came over and said, ‘Oh, I hear that you’ve got Australian accents so you must not be from around here then?’

“She said, ‘I hope I see you round tomorrow’ and so the next day I looked around the entire (of) New York looking for Olivia Newton-John.”

The pair met again when Goodrem was 14 years old, and when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2003 at the age of 18, Newton-John reached out to her.

“I got a beautiful letter from Olivia and just talking about a journey and that you’ll see this as a gift to be able to give back to people and we bonded instantly,” she told Sunrise.

“There was something about everything, every moment.

Fom left, Delta Goodrem, Mel Gibson, and Olivia Newton-John at the Penfolds Black Tie Gala Dinner in Los Angeles in 2005
Delta Goodrem (left), Mel Gibson, and Olivia Newton-John in Los Angeles in 2005 (Francis Specker/Alamy/PA)

“She was an example of what it was to be a role model and an example of what it was to lead in kindness.

“It’s the same with…what she did for so many. She continued to tap into this pillar of strength, this constant positivity and hope, and that’s what people feel from her.”

The pair continued to work together on charitable events and Ms Goodrem said that Newton-John would always make time and say yes to her requests.

Speaking about the letter’s impact on her, the Neighbours star added: “Having someone who has walked it, it’s a very different exchange…it’s not as taboo to have the conversation about maybe what you might experience.

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Delta Goodrem originally met the Grease star at the age of seven in a chance encounter in New York. (Delta Goodrem/PA)

“I think that you know, especially in Australia and the whole world, that she is there for people, you know, and she still will be through her music and through her life.”

As well as the biopic miniseries, Ms Goodrem also released a covers soundtrack album called I Honestly Love You in May 2018.

Country music legend Dolly Parton was also among those paying their respects to Newton-John.

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