The actor attended the ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday (March 12) where he introduced the in-memoriam section to remember those from the industry who had died over the past year.
While he didn’t name Newton-John, Travolta quoted her track ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’ from the 1978 musical during his introduction.
“In this industry, we have the rare luxury of getting to do what we love for a living,” an emotional Travolta said. “And sometimes getting to do it with people we come to love. Since tonight is a celebration of the work and accomplishments in our community over this past year, it’s only fitting then that we celebrate those we’ve lost.”
I got very teary watching John Travolta referring to Olivia at the Oscars.
Lovely to hear how everyone responded when he did that 💔pic.twitter.com/u3MhTdYFYc
— JON DEE (JonDee.com) (@JonDeeOz) March 13, 2023
He added: “Through their immeasurable contributions, each of them left an individual and indelible mark that shared and informed us. They touched our hearts, they made us smile and became dear friends who we will always remain hopelessly devoted to.”
After Travolta’s speech, Lenny Kravitz performed his track ‘Calling All Angels’ while the in-memoriam slideshow played on screen.
Newton-John, who played Sandy Olsson in Grease opposite Travolta’s Danny Zuko, died aged 73 on August 8 last year following a battle with breast cancer.
Shortly after her death Travolta paid tribute on Instagram, writing: “My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. 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!”
Everything Everywhere All At Once led the winners at this year’s Oscars, picking up seven awards including Best Picture and Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh. You can check out the full list of winners here.