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Olivia Newton-John's state funeral set for Melbourne in December

BANG Showbiz logo BANG Showbiz 11/10/2022 BANG Showbiz
a person holding a sign posing for the camera © Provided by Bang Showbiz

Dame Olivia Newton-John's state funeral in Australia is expected to take place in December.

A service for the late 'Grease' actress, who died of breast cancer on August 8, aged 73, is to be held at Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens, one of the singer's most-loved places, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra are expected to perform.

That's according to family friend and entertainment reporter Peter Ford, who told 'The Morning Show': "People might say, 'Why there?' Well, that was one of Olivia's favourite places. She used to go there with her mum.

"In fact, there is a park bench in the gardens there dedicated to her mum. And she used to live in Jolimont not far and they used to go there all the time.

"It's going to be much more serene, elegant, laid back. A time for reflection and that will be announced, I think, later this week."

In September, Olivia's family held a "very private" memorial service in California for the late actress.

A rep for the family said at the time: "There was a small and very private family gathering in California last week to celebrate Olivia.

"The family prefers to keep the details of the event private at this time."

John Easterling, the actress' husband, announced her death via social media in August, revealing she was "surrounded by family and friends" when she passed away at her ranch in California.

He wrote on Facebook at the time: "Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time. (sic)"

The Grammy-winning star battled breast cancer three times and was an advocate for breast cancer research.

John - who married Olivia in 2008 - also encouraged fans to donate money to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, which sponsors research into plant medicine for cancer.

His statement continued: "Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund ("

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