NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: In an exclusive interview with Page Six, Didi Conn, known for her role as Frenchy in the musical ‘Grease,’ revealed that she spoke with her co-star and dear friend Olivia Newton- John just weeks before his death. Conn, 71, shared that she and Newton-John stay in frequent contact and are fast friends.
“We spoke about once a month,” Conn said. “She was in the hospital at the time [we last spoke]. She had broken her leg and hadn’t even realized it. Like, his bones were just cracking. Despite her battle with cancer, Newton-John was concerned for Conn’s health when she learned that her friend was ill. ” What did she say ?! Why didn’t you tell me?” recalls Conn. “And the next day I had this beautiful orchid. And three days before he died, an orchid flower fell and my heart stopped. I said, ‘I hope that’s not a sign.'”
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Newton-John’s battle with breast cancer
As previously reported, beloved actress and cancer research advocate Newton-John died in August 2022 at the age of 73 after a long battle with breast cancer. Newton-John had been diagnosed with cancer three times, with the disease eventually progressing to stage 4. She died peacefully at her home in Southern California, surrounded by her loved ones. In a statement on his Facebook page, her husband John Easterling asked for family privacy during this difficult time.
In the interview with Page Six, Didi Conn also shared her memories of Newton-John’s cancer journey. “Chloé [her daughter] was very small,” Conn recalls. “Her priorities about fame and all that just turned into living, being the best mom, being the best friend. And also to be an advocate and spokesperson for cancer and thrive, as she said, survive but thrive. And that’s really what she’s dedicated her life to – in addition to acting.”
Olivia Newton-John has been an inspiration to many for over three decades, sharing her journey with breast cancer and raising awareness about the disease. She became involved in plant medicine and founded the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, which aimed to research the intersection of plant medicine and cancer.
A lifelong friendship began on the set of ‘Grease’
Conn and Newton-John’s friendship began on the set of the iconic movie “Grease” and has remained strong in the decades since. In an interview with “Good Morning America,” Conn fondly recalled the first day of filming and how she helped calm Newton-John’s nerves. “I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to improvise with her, bring her into character,'” she said. “So I said, ‘Oh, I’m so glad I have an Australian friend, and you live next door!’ And she understood… The nerves were gone, and time passed with ease as the two quickly became friends.”
Their friendship continued to flourish, with Newton-John supporting Conn through his health issues. “When I had my own health issues, she sent me an orchid,” Conn revealed. “And even at the end of his life, we were still in touch.” The bond between the two actresses was strong and they stuck together through life’s ups and downs. The depth of their friendship was also evident during Conn’s exclusive interview with Page Six, where she shared her memories of Newton-John’s final days.