John Travolta cried in tribute to Olivia Newton-John at the Oscars

The “In Memoriam” portion is a unique, yearly component of the Academy Awards ceremony, interrupting the celebration of cinema to memorialize the persons who died in the film business in the previous year.

Seeing names on the screen and recalling people who may have been close friends or colleagues may be an emotional experience.

This year, John Travolta presented the section, and he couldn’t stop crying as he remembered a beloved co-star who passed away lately.

The Saturday Night Fever superstar took the stage last night and presented the section while appearing distraught.

“We have the unique pleasure in this profession of getting to do what we love for a career and occasionally getting to do it alongside individuals we’ve come to love,” Travolta remarked. “And as tonight is a celebration of our community’s efforts and successes over the previous year, it’s only fair that we also remember those we’ve lost—who dedicated their lives to their profession, both behind and in front of the camera.”

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 12: John Travolta speaks onstage during the 95th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Travolta couldn’t stop crying as he spoke, and it was immediately evident what was causing him to cry:

“With their incalculable contributions, each of them left an individual and a mark that shared and enlightened us; they’ve touched our hearts, they’ve made us smile, and they’ve become great friends to whom we will always be hopelessly dedicated.”

At that sentence, the audience knew he was crying because he was remembering his friend and Grease co-star, the late Olivia Newton-John, who sang “Hopelessly Devoted to You” in the film.


Newton-John, a platinum-selling recording artist and one of the most popular musicians of the 1970s and 1980s, died in August at the age of 73, after a protracted battle with breast cancer.

Grease, the 1978 smash-hit musical picture, was a career-defining film for both Travolta and Newton-John, who remained friends for decades after.

“My precious Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better,” Travolta wrote after her passing. Your influence was enormous. I adore you to pieces. We’ll see you later, and we’ll all be together again. Yours from the first time I saw you to the end of time!”

Newton-name John’s was the first to appear in the “In Memoriam” portion, which was introduced by Lenny Kravitz.

Newton-John was not Travolta’s only renowned co-star to appear in the segment: Kirstie Alley, who co-starred with Travolta in the Look Who’s Talking films, died in December at the age of 71. Travolta also paid homage to Alley upon her death, saying, “I love you, Kirstie. I’m sure we’ll see each other again.”

It also included recently deceased celebrities such as Angela Lansbury, James Caan, Ray Liotta, Burt Bacharach, and Raquel Welch.

Nonetheless, the section has sparked criticism for missing some of the year’s most outstanding actors, like Anne Heche, Paul Sorvino, Tom Sizemore, and Topol.

Charlbi Dean, who died this year at the age of 32, was also not present. Dean was a lesser-known actress who appeared in Triangle of Sorrow, one of this year’s Best Picture candidates.

Even though it didn’t include everyone who should have been there, John Travolta and many other people found the section to be very emotional.

What a sweet and sad tribute John Travolta paid to his beloved co-star Olivia Newton-John. She will undoubtedly be remembered and adored for a long time.

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