Barry Paul breaks down over Olivia Newton-John's death
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Barry Pearl, who made up part of the T-Birds in the 1978 classic Grease, talked about the loss of Olivia Newton-John, 73. Her husband John Easterling announced on social media Olivia had died peacefully after a three-decade-long battle with cancer. Best known for her iconic role as Sandy, her Grease co-star Barry had to pause to compose himself during a TV interview on Australia’s Today.
Barry played Doody in the musical film and had stayed in touch with Olivia ever since they met on set.
He became emotional as he recalled his last message to his beloved friend before her death.
Speaking to TV presenters Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon, he was forced to take a moment to stop talking as he detailed Olivia’s deteriorating health ahead of her death.
He explained he had been told “it wasn’t going to be long” for the iconic actress.
He began: “I has just…” before taking a breath as he became overwhelmed.
After a pause, he continued: “I had just written to her, this was about a week or so ago.
“I took it upon myself to write to her, as we would occasionally share emails amongst each other – [with] the other Grease-er pals too.
“She would always sign her emails, ‘With love and light, Olivia.’
“And I wrote to her – basically if you read between the lines she would be able to tell that I knew there was something going on.
“And I basically said that, ‘On your journey forward, simply know that you, Olivia, are the love and the light’.”
He went on to say: “She just always exuded that positivity.
“Just the way she handled this journey with grace. Her heart was so big.”
Barry’s homage to Olivia is one of many stars who have paid emotional tributes to the singer.
The man behind her Grease partner Danny Zuko, John Travolta, penned a heartfelt message on social media following the news.
He wrote: “My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better.
“Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again.
“Yours from the moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!”
Didi Conn, who stared alongside Olivia as Frenchy in the hit film, commented: “She was such a humungous, big, big pop star and her persona was of this beauty and well, let’s just say it, pure and sweet and in the movie we would call her Miss goody two shoes, you know.
“But simmering under that façade of innocence was a hot mama ready to come out…
“She loved it and we all loved it, nobody recognised her.
“She tried on that costume the night we were filming at the drive-in, and nobody recognised her, all of a sudden, in these high red pumps and this tight outfit and big hair, and it was Olivia and she loved it… and we all loved her.
“And she’s very special in my heart in many, many ways.”
Today airs daily on Australia’s Nine Network.
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