On March 12, 2023, when he delivered the in memoriam portion at the Oscars, John Travolta was visibly moved. The actor mentioned his collaborations with the late Olivia Newton-John, who he famously appeared alongside in “Grease,” during his introduction.
In this industry, we have the unusual privilege of earning a job doing what we love, and occasionally doing it alongside people we fall in love with, he said. “And as today is a celebration of the efforts and successes of our community over the past year, it is only appropriate that we also honor those who have passed away.
who committed their entire lives to their trade, both in front of and behind the camera; each of them left a lasting legacy via their tremendous contributions.
Unfortunately, Travolta lost other friends and colleagues in the months since.
Travolta and Kirstie Alley, who died in December 2022, starred together in 1989’s “Look Who’s Talking.” Travolta also paid tribute to her on Instagram at the time, writing, “Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.”
Then, in January, Travolta’s long-time friend Lisa Marie Presley died just days after she appeared at the Golden Globes to support “Elvis.”
Travolta wrote of his friend’s death, “Lisa baby girl, I’m so sorry. I’ll miss you but I know I’ll see you again. My love and heart goes out to Riley, Priscilla, Harper and Finley.”
During the Oscars in memoriam segment, Lenny Kravitz performed “Calling All Angels” over a tribute to some of the greats the entertainment industry lost in the last year, including Newton-John and Alley. Others honoured in the tribute included Irene Cara, Ray Liotta, and James Caan. The Academy’s website has a longer list of stars who’ve died in the last year. See the full tribute at this year’s ceremony ahead.