Olivia Newton-John Sister Diagnosed with Brain Cancer

Image: Olivia Newton-John Sister Diagnosed with Brain Cancer Olivia Newton-John, right, and her sister Rona.

Tuesday, 23 Apr 2013 09:17 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Olivia Newton-John, the English-born Australian actress and singer, has confirmed that her older sister Rona has brain cancer.

"As a cancer 'thriver' myself, as many people are, I am very aware of the importance of love, support and family during this journey she is about to begin," said Newton-John, who was diagnosed with breast cancer close to 20 years ago. "I want to thank everyone in advance for respecting our privacy during this difficult time."

The 64-year-old singer and actress has been free of the disease since undergoing treatment and a mastectomy.

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Newton-John revealed the news about her sister on Monday in an exclusive interview with "Entertainment Tonight." She has postponed a series of engagements she was scheduled to perform at Las Vegas' Flamingo hotel in order to spend time with her family.

Newton-John is best known for her starring role in the 1978 film adaptation of the Broadway musical "Grease," where she played opposite John Travolta. The film's soundtrack went on to become one of the most successful film soundtracks in Hollywood history.

Rona Newton-John, 69, is also an actress and was married to "Grease" co-star Jeff Conaway from 1980 to 1985.

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Conaway died in 2011 from complications related to pneumonia and a degenerative brain condition. During their five-year marriage, the couple had a son, Emmerson, 38, who is presently a race car driver.

In her younger years, Rona Newton-John was a model and actress, who had a recurring role on the internationally popular British comedy series "The Benny Hill Show."

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