Jane Seymour and Olivia Newton-John had been friends for around 40 years.
On TODAY Tuesday, Seymour, 71, recalled one of the last times she saw Newton-John before the “Grease” star’s death.
“I knew she was really really ill for a very long time, as a lot of people did, and I have the privilege of seeing her not that long ago and talking to her,” Seymour said. “She was just an amazing person.”
“You know what brings tears to my eyes is that she always cared about other people. She’d always asked about me, she’d asked about my family about people we mutually knew who are going through cancer and she was just this positive light and an amazing, amazing person,” Seymour continued.
The “Somewhere in Time” actor explained that she saw Newton-John when she and her sisters traveled far to visit her. But by the time they arrived, Newton-John forgot that they were coming over.
“She got the day wrong,” Seymour said. “But she knew we traveled like two or three hours to get there. And she got out of bed, got dressed and came out in a walker. I mean, she shouldn’t have gotten out of bed at all. And she just sat down with us for quite a while and asked about us: ‘How are we? How were our lives? How could she help us?’ And then she just looked around and she said, ‘Isn’t it beautiful here?’ And I said, ‘Yes, it is.’ She said, ‘I sit out here and I just look at the world. How beautiful! Look at the sky, look at the hummingbirds, look at that dog, look at this life that we have and look at us together after all these years.’”
Seymour said that Newton-John’s perspective on life reminded her that “life is a journey.”
“It has its ups and its downs and she just had such strength and fortitude and as much as she was suffering, she never spoke about it ever,” Seymour said. “She just put a smile on her face and said, ‘You know what? I’m thriving.’”
On Monday, Newton-John’s husband, John Easterling, announced that she had died “peacefully at her ranch in Southern California,” surrounded by family and friends. Newton-John was 73.
“We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time,” he said in a statement on Facebook.
Newton-John’s death comes after she was treated multiple times for breast cancer. Seymour said that if there’s anything anyone can ever learn from Newton-John, it’s that she “always did her best and gave back,” like the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre she built in Australia.
“I actually had the privilege of going to her hospital. The one that she built in Melbourne and it was extraordinary,” Seymour said.
“There was an atmosphere when you went there,” she added. “You just went, ‘Oh my gosh, Olivia has built the dream place for people who are having to go through the cycle of cancer.”
Newton-John’s accomplishments were among the many things that Seymour adored about the singer. She also liked the fact that she and Newton-John had a lot in common and could relate to the challenges that they faced in being superstars.
“We had a lot of ups and downs with careers, and husbands, and children and life. We had a very special bond and it was pretty unique for me,” Seymour said. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a friend that really could understand or wanted to understand what that life was like and I really miss her.”