An emotional John Travolta chocked up while introducing the “In Memoriam” segment at the 2023 Oscars on Sunday night — the segment featured a performance by Lenny Kravitz and comes just seven months after the death of Olivia Newton-John, who co-starred with the actor in the 1978 hit movie “Grease.”
“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 from the Dolby Theatre stage, in Los Angeles. “And since tonight is a celebration of the work and the accomplishments of our community in this past year, it is only fitting that we celebrate those we’ve lost who dedicated their lives to their craft, both in front of and behind the camera.”
“They’ve touched our hearts,” the actor added, as tears began to well up. “They made us smile and became dear friends who we will always remain hopelessly devoted to.”
Our hearts our hopelessly devoted to this moment. John Travolta gives an emotional nod to Olivia Newton-John while introducing the 2023 #Oscars In Memorium. pic.twitter.com/tnLIgfAsW9
— E! News (@enews) March 13, 2023
Travolta did not name his former costar, but Newton-John’s name was the first name displayed on stage. She died at her ranch in Santa Ynez, California, on the morning of August 8, 2022, after a long battle with breast cancer.
Other names of lost actors and performers displayed included Irene Cara, Ray Liotta, Nichelle Nichols, Angela Lansbury, Louise Fletcher, Burt Bacharach, Mary Alice, Gina Lollobrigida, James Caan and Raquel Welch, according to the Associated Press. Recently deceased actors Tom Sizemore and Robert Blake were not included.
At the time of Newton-John’s death, Travolta mourned his “dearest” friend in a touching statement that spoke about how she “made all of our lives so much better.”
“Your impact was incredible,” he wrote on Instagram. “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!”
He signed the post, “Your Danny, your John!”
Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:
Find yourself a friend in life who clearly loves you like John Travolta loved Olivia Newton-John. #Oscar #Oscars pic.twitter.com/XICYs708bR
— Courtney Theriault (@cspotweet) March 13, 2023
Not John Travolta quoting hopelessly devoted to you by Olivia newton john in his introduction to the #Oscars tribute performance pic.twitter.com/pJATpFMbaD
— . (@barchiebaby) March 13, 2023
The minute I saw John Travolta walk out I knew what was coming and I still wasn’t prepared for his speech #OliviaNewtonJohn #Oscars pic.twitter.com/s8pXzazKQO
— Meghan McCain’s Trashy Side Account (@Matty2857) March 13, 2023
john travolta and olivia newton-john at the 50th oscar ceremony (1978) pic.twitter.com/83wnbd6trq
— NOSTALGIA (@notgwendalupe) March 13, 2023
John Travolta getting emotional talking about Olivia Newton John was the most wholesome and sweet moment from the evening thus far.
Their friendship and love was off the scales. ❤️#Oscars #Oscars95 pic.twitter.com/OCf3wHLJ3Z
— Tyler Dilbeck (@tyldil204) March 13, 2023
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