WASHINGTON — Actor John Travolta held back tears as he introduced the In Memoriam section of the 95th annual Academy Awards on Sunday night.
"They've touched our hearts. They've made us smile, and became dear friends who we will always remain hopelessly devoted to," Travolta said in a clear reference to his late “Grease” co-star Olivia Newton-John.
Newton-John, who was honored first during the segment that featured Lenny Kravitz's live performance, died last August. She was 73.
Travolta had posted a tribute to the Newton-John shortly after her death.
"My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better," Travolta wrote at the time. "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!"
From 1973-83, Newton-John was among the world’s most popular entertainers. The fast-stepping Travolta-Newton-John duet, “You’re the One That I Want,” was one of the era’s biggest songs and has sold more than 15 million copies.
With perennial complaints about the In Memoriam segment excluding some figures, a website was flashed at the end, encouraging people to check out legends lost. Among the many who were remembered during the telecast: Irene Cara, Ray Liotta, Nichelle Nichols, Angela Lansbury, Louise Fletcher, Burt Bacharach, Mary Alice, Gina Lollobrigida, James Caan and Raquel Welch. Among those who were not: the recently deceased actors Tom Sizemore and Robert Blake.