Julie Bishop recalls sweet moment between Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta

"His eyes never left her face, he was absolutely smitten."
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Julie Bishop appeared on Today this morning to remember her friend Olivia Newton-John, who passed away on Tuesday morning (Australian time) at the age of 73.

WATCH: Julie Bishop remembers Olivia Newton-John

Speaking on the morning show, Julie described the icon as “a global superstar” who was “so relatable and loveable.”

“Everybody wanted to be her friend. I remember as a teenager at school when her first big hit came out, every girl wanted to be Olivia. It continued in Grease – You either wanted to be sweet Sandy or Spandex Sandy. She was gorgeous. 

“She was not only a global ambassador for the music industry, but she was also an ambassador for Australia. In 2018, we honoured Olivia at the G’Day USA awards and she was there with her husband and on stage looking radiant and beautiful with that gorgeous blonde hair and sang a few numbers from Grease. 

RELATED: BREAKING: Olivia Newton-John has died aged 73

Julie said that John was “smitten” with Olivia. (Credit: Getty)

“John Travolta was in the audience, he was at our table, and I was sitting opposite him. His eyes never left her face, he was absolutely smitten. Throughout her singing, he was saying, ‘She is just so beautiful’, and she was.

“I was so proud to get to know her. She did come to Canberra on one occasion advocating for breast cancer research and she came into my office, we were like two girlfriends. We were giggling about events and people and I had a picture wall with various superstars that I’d met over the years and I desperately wanted one of Olivia because she was such a darling. Everyone loved her as I did.”

RELATED: Chloe Lattanzi’s heartbreaking tribute to mum Olivia Newton-John

Julie continued, “She got things done, didn’t she? She was determined. She was resilient. Even though you knew that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, she was forceful in her advocacy. She came to Parliament House and went from minister’s office to minister’s office seeking more support on a range of health issues but particularly breast cancer research.

“I admired her resilience, her determination, her energy. She was tenacious in all she fought for in terms of causes, yet she was an idolised singer and performer.”

Julie remembered Olivia during an appearance on the Today show. (Credit: Nine)

Julie went on to reflect on how proud Olivia was to represent her country, and how she personified what it meant to be Australian.

“I think she was emblematic of what everybody thought Australia was about,” she said.

“The outdoor lifestyle, with her radiant looks and girl-next-door persona. She epitomised everything that was good and great about our country.

“When she opened up the shop, Koala Blue, in Los Angeles, it was a wonderful thing to do in raising Australia’s profile overseas, not only in the United States but around the world. She was Australian at heart, even though for 45 or more years she lived in the States, she never lost the accent. She always sounded like one of your girlfriends down the road.

She added, “Of course, when she did ‘Physical’, everybody took up aerobics!”

Olivia was a strong advocate for breast cancer research. (Credit: Getty)

Olivia’s husband revealed the news of the Grease star’s death via social media this morning, saying she had passed away “surrounded by family and friends” on her ranch in Southern California after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Her husband John Easterling, confirmed the news in a post on social media, saying that Olivia was “a symbol of triumphs and hope”.

“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,” Olivia’s husband wrote.

“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 @onjfoundation.”

Olivia also leaves behind her 34-year-old daughter Chloe Lattanzi.

We’re supporting the Olivia Newton-John Foundation by giving them 100% of the profits from the sales of this fabulous ONJ tribute tee. Get yours here.

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