Radio host Jackie ‘O’ Henderson broke down on Tuesday’s Kyle And Jackie O show as she discussed the death of Olivia Newton-John.
The Australian actress died peacefully at the age of 73 at her home in Southern California on Monday morning, surrounded by family and friends. Her husband John Easterling announced her death on her Facebook page.
Henderson, 47, couldn’t hold back her tears as she reacted to the sad news, telling her co-host Kyle Sandilands: ‘She literally was my idol growing up.’
Her voice quivering as she wept on-air, Henderson recalled how important Newton-John was to her growing up.
‘Every single day I would be in my bedroom and I’d dress up as her and I’d pretend I was her, and I Iived for her,’ she sobbed.
‘I was watching a video of her – it was only two days ago – and I thought, “jeez it’ll be a sad day when Olivia Newton-John dies”. And here we are. It’s so upsetting.’
Radio host Jackie ‘O’ Henderson, 47, (left) broke down on Tuesday’s Kyle And Jackie O show as she discussed the death of Olivia Newton-John (right)
The Australian actress died peacefully at the age of 73 at her home in Southern California on Monday morning, surrounded by family and friends. Her husband John Easterling announced her death on her Facebook page
Newsreader Brooklyn Ross admitted he almost teared up reading the headlines about her death, as Henderson added: ‘She’s so beautiful, inside and out.
‘She’s always been a wonderful ambassador for Australia and she does a lot for charity.’
Sandilands then recalled a memorable incident where the Xanadu star generously offered to give up her taxi to him in Melbourne.
‘Every single day I would be in my bedroom and I’d dress up as her and I’d pretend I was her, and I Iived for her,’ she sobbed. Pictured right is Henderson’s co-host Kyle Sandilands
‘[I said], “Oh no, you’d better get in it”, [while thinking] “You’ve got the cancer”. And she looked at me and said, “Thank you”,’ he said.
Henderson wasn’t the only Australian media personality to break down publicly over Olivia’s death on Tuesday morning.
Richard ‘Dickie’ Wilkins burst into tears on the Today show as he spoke about the death of his long-time friend.
Richard ‘Dickie’ Wilkins also broke down on the Today show as he spoke about the death of his long-time friend Olivia
The entertainment presenter, 68, was overwhelmed with emotion as a past interview was aired of Wilkins speaking with Olivia.
Host Karl Stefanovic left his seat on the panel to comfort his colleague who wiped his eyes.
‘I didn’t want to do this,’ Wilkins wept.
‘It’s alright, it’s alright,’ Karl said while hugging the presenter. ‘This woman was extraordinary.’
The entertainment presenter, 68, burst into tears as a past interview was aired of Wilkins speaking with Olivia
Host Karl Stefanovic left his seat on the panel to comfort his colleague who wiped his eyes
Wilkins was close to tears earlier in the show when he delivered the heartbreaking news about Olivia’s death.
‘Dickie, I’m so sorry for your loss,’ Karl said.
‘It’s our loss,’ Dickie replied. ‘The world has lost a beautiful human being today.’
Pictured: Richard Wilkins (left) with Olivia Newton-John (centre) and Paul Hogan (right)
He then went on to open up about the devastating early morning phone call he received of the news.
‘I was just sort of numb,’ he said to Karl and Ally.
‘You know, all the dates and facts and figures and things just disappear and I just felt completely, just completely numb. I didn’t really know what to think.’
Speaking on Nova’s Fitzy and Wippa on Tuesday morning, Dickie discussed his first ever encounter with the Grease star.
Olivia Newton-John, left, in one of her last public appearances in 2019. The actress died on Monday aged 73. She is shown, right, in her most iconic role in Grease in 1978
‘I think I was hosting a sort of a meet and greet thing she must have been promoting a record or something,’ he recalled.
‘And that was I think the first time I met her and we just got on like a house on fire at this thing.’
The journalist went on to say he’d been a fan of Olivia for his whole life and that he ‘never heard a bad word about her’.
‘She was never flashy. She was never a show off. You never see her on the social pages. She would just she just was so dignified,’ he added.
Olivia’s death was announced by her husband John Easterling on Monday on her social media pages, saying she died surrounded by family and friends
‘And such a classy, beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful lady and a great mum to Chloe [Lattanzi].’
Olivia Newton-John passed away at the age of 73 after a brave and extraordinarily public decades-long battle with cancer.
The actress died peacefully at her home in Southern California on Monday morning, surrounded by family and friends. Her husband John Easterling announced her death on her Facebook page.
‘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 and John Travolta in the iconic 1978 movie Grease that catapulted her career. He was among the first to pay tribute to her on Monday
‘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,’ he said.
Flowers were laid on her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as fans celebrated the life of the much-loved actress and singer.
John Travolta was among the first to pay tribute to Newton-John on Instagram. Their joint performance catapulted both of their careers in 1978
Among the first to pay tribute to her on Monday was John Travolta, her co-star in Grease – the 1978 movie that catapulted her career and made her a global icon.
‘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,’ he wrote in an Instagram post.
‘Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!’
Among other tributes included Australian singer Delta Goodrem, who honoured her beloved ‘mentor and friend’.
Heartbroken Delta Goodrem has paid tribute to her beloved ‘mentor and friend’ Olivia Newton-John after the Grease star’s death at the age of 73 following a lengthy cancer battle
Delta, 37, shared pictures of herself hugging Olivia in happier times and said she was ‘like family’ to her.
‘I love you forever,’ Delta wrote in her moving post. ‘The whole world will feel this heartbreak today because the entire world felt Olivia’s unmatched light. A force for good. A force of nature. Strong and kind.’
‘My mentor, my friend, my inspiration, someone who always guided me… she was always there for me. Family to me.’
‘The whole world will feel this heartbreak today because the entire world felt Olivia’s unmatched light. A force for good. A force of nature. Strong and kind,’ Delta wrote. The pair are pictured together in Hollywood in 2019
She added: ‘I don’t have all the words I would like to say today but I hope everyone will join in celebrating our beloved Olivia, her heart, soul, talent, courage, grace… I love you forever ❤️.’
The ‘Lost Without You’ songstress famously played the Aussie icon in the 2018 TV miniseries, Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You.
The family asked for donations to be made to her cancer organization, the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, instead of flowers.
The pair bonded after their respective battles with cancer – Delta was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma at the age of 18 and Olivia had been battling stage-four metastatic breast cancer for years
Olivia is survived by her 36-year-old daughter, Chloe Lattanzi – Chloe posted a loving tribute to her mother on Instagram three days ago, saying: ‘I worship this woman. My mother. My best friend.’
The actress famously beat breast cancer twice but was diagnosed again in 2017.
She spent the last few years at home, campaigning for animals’ rights and raising money for her charity online.
Lattanzi shared this touching image on Instagram on Monday along with other photos from her childhood. She did not post a caption, but was inundated with support and messages of sympathy from followers
Olivia is survived by her 36-year-old daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, 36
In a haunting interview with The Guardian in 2020, she said of the disease: ‘It’s been a part of my life for so long.
‘I felt something was wrong. It’s concerning when it comes back, but I thought ‘I’ll get through it again’.
In other interviews, when asked how she battled the disease so bravely, she said: ‘I’ve had and am having an amazing life so I have no complaints.’
Olivia had been battling stage-four metastatic breast cancer for years