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EastEnders’ Samantha Womack reveals cancer battle in Olivia Newton-John tribute

Samantha Womack (Ian West/PA)
Samantha Womack (Ian West/PA)

EastEnders star Samantha Womack revealed she has breast cancer as she paid tribute to Dame Olivia Newton-John following her death at 73.

The 49-year-old actress recalled meeting the Grease star, who was a cancer campaigner, adding: “I now start my own battle with this disease.”

In a tribute to the late actress, the soap star shared a photo on Twitter of Dame Olivia and her daughter Chloe, taken when they went to see Womack play Sandy in the West End production of Grease.

She wrote: “This was the most magical of evenings. Olivia and Chloe had come to see Grease in London and we had dinner together afterwards.

“I was so excited and in awe, she was my childhood.

“I now start my own battle with this disease and am left feeling deeply moved. #OliviaNewtonJohn”.

Womack is best known for her role as Ronnie Mitchell in long-running BBC soap opera EastEnders.

National Television Awards 2014 – Arrivals – London
Samantha Womack (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

She has also starred in a number of films, television series and stage shows including comedy drama Mount Pleasant and the film spy series Kingsman.

She initially planned a career in singing and represented the UK in the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest, performing A Message To Your Heart to finish 10th.

Dame Olivia died at her ranch in California on Monday morning, surrounded by family and friends.

The actress, who was catapulted into fame after starring as Sandy in the 1978 film Grease, will also be remembered for her campaigning around breast cancer.

The British-born singer was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992.

The disease returned in her shoulder in 2013 and in her spine in 2017.