Australian singer Delta Goodrem, who portrayed Dame Olivia Newton-John in a 2018 biopic miniseries, has recalled the “beautiful letter” the actress sent her following her own cancer diagnosis.
Ms Goodrem originally met the Grease star at the age of seven in a chance encounter in New York, years before her own successful singing career and landing a role on Neighbours.
Speaking to the Australian breakfast show Sunrise, the 37-year-old actress said it was important that people all over the world came together and continued to “celebrate this beautiful woman who has touched all of our lives”.
Describing her first meeting with Dame Olivia, Ms Goodrem said she had been drinking hot chocolate with her mother in New York when the actress had walked into the shop.
“All of a sudden Sandy from Greece walks in the door and I remember I was in my sparkly glasses, and I said to my mum… ‘Sandy’s there mum, Sandy, Sandy, it’s Sandy.
“Olivia heard my Australian accent and she walked over to our table and came over and said, ‘Oh, I hear that you’ve got Australian accents so you must not be from around here then?’
“She said, ‘I hope I see you round tomorrow’ and so the next day I looked around the entire (of) New York looking for Olivia Newton-John.”
The pair met again when Ms Goodrem was 14 years old, and when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2003 at the age of 18, Dame Olivia reached out to her.
“I got a beautiful letter from Olivia and just talking about a journey and that you’ll see this as a gift to be able to give back to people and we bonded instantly,” she told Sunrise.
“There was something about everything, every moment.
“She was an example of what it was to be a role model and an example of what it was to lead in kindness.
“It’s the same with…what she did for so many. She continued to tap into this pillar of strength, this constant positivity and hope, and that’s what people feel from her.”
The pair continued to work together on charitable events and Ms Goodrem said that Dame Olivia would always make time and say yes to her requests.
Speaking about the letter’s impact on her, the Neighbours star added: “Having someone who has walked it, it’s a very different exchange…it’s not as taboo to have the conversation about maybe what you might experience.
“I think that you know, especially in Australia and the whole world, that she is there for people, you know, and she still will be through her music and through her life.”
As well as the biopic miniseries, Ms Goodrem also released a covers soundtrack album called I Honestly Love You in May 2018.
The pair also recorded a duet, Right Here With You to help raise money for Dame Olivia’s cancer hospital in Melbourne.
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