Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times

John Travolta Chokes Up While Referencing Olivia Newton-John During Oscars' In Memoriam Segment


The 2023 Oscars awards show Sunday celebrated the current stars in the movie industry, but it also honored those who have passed away within the past year. The "In Memoriam" segment of the show honored stars including Ray Liotta, Kirstie Alley, Raquel Welch and more. John Travolta introduced the segment and became teary-eyed when he referenced another beloved star who passed away this year: his Grease co-star, Olivia Newton-John.

Travolta made a reference to Newton-John's famous tune, "Hopelessly Devoted to You," from the 1978 motion picture during his introduction, and the emotion was clear in his face and voice.

"In this industry, we have the rare luxury of getting to do what we love for a living, and sometimes getting to do it with people that we come to love," Travolta said during the segment. "Since tonight is a celebration of the work and the accomplishments of our community and this past year, it is only fitting then that we celebrate those we've lost who've dedicated their lives to their craft, both in front of and behind the camera. Through their immeasurable contributions, each of them left an individual and indelible mark that shared and informed us."

Holding back tears, he added, "They've touched our hearts. They've made us smile, and became dear friends who we will always remain hopelessly devoted to."


Travolta's introduction led into the official "In Memoriam" video, which gave nods to many of the actors, actresses and members of the film industry who passed away recently. Lenny Kravitz provided music as the video played, performing "Calling All Angels." The segment included tributes to Angela Lansbury, James Caan, Robbie Coltrane, Louise Fletcher and Burt Bacharach, among others.

Newton-John passed away on Aug. 8, 2022, at the age of 73. Travolta shared a tribute to his former co-star on social media after the news of her death, including a sweet message:

"My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better," he wrote. "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 first moment I saw you and forever!  Your Danny, your John!"


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