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John Travolta pens heartfelt tribute to late Grease star Susan Buckner: 'We will miss you'

The actress played cheerleader Patty Simcox

Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
May 9, 2024
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John Travolta has paid tribute to his late Grease co-star Susan Buckner following her death aged 72. 

The actor penned a heartfelt message to Susan – who plated cheerleader Patty Simcox – on Wednesday after her death was confirmed by her family. 

Taking to his Instagram Story, John shared a side-by-side image of Susan featuring a photo of her later in life and one from around the time they filmed the hit 1978 musical. 

"Susan you made Grease that much more special!" he sweetly wrote, adding: "We will miss you!" 

john travolta tribute susan buckner© Instagram
John starred opposite in Susan in Grease

A publicist for Susan's family revealed that she "died peacefully" in Miami, Florida, on Thursday, May 2, "surrounded by loved ones". Her cause of death has not been disclosed. 

Susan's daughter, Samantha Mansfield, also paid tribute to her mother, telling People: "The light she brought into every room will be missed forever. She was magic, and I was very lucky to call her my best friend." 

Susan isn't the only Grease star John has paid tribute to over the years. In August 2022, his good friend, Olivia Newton-John – who played Sandy opposite John's Danny – died following a lengthy battle with cancer

The actor took to Instagram to share a throwback picture of Olivia, alongside an emotional message. It read: "My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. 

susan buckner and olivia newton john in grease© CBS Photo Archive
Susan played Patty Simcox opposite Olivia and John

"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!" 

Olivia's husband, John Easterling, announced the heartbreaking news on Monday, August 8, alongside a photograph of her on Instagram and an emotional statement. 

It read: "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. 

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in a promotional for Grease © Getty
Olivia and John starred in Grease

"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." 

The statement continued: "Olivia is survived by her husband John Easterling; daughter Chloe Lattanzi; sister Sarah Newton-John; brother Toby Newton-John; nieces and nephews Tottie, Fiona, and Brett Goldsmith; Emerson, Charlie, Zac, Jeremy, Randall, and Pierz Newton-John; Jude Newton-Stock, Layla Lee; Kira and Tasha Edelstein; and Brin and Valerie Hall." 

Olivia died after a brave and public decades-long battle with cancer in which she was diagnosed three times in 1992, 2013, and, for a final time, in 2017. 

john travolta tribute olivia newton john death© Getty
Olivia and John became lifelong friends after Grease

After starring with John in Grease, the two became lifelong friends. "We formed great bonds making that film, as you can imagine," she told ET Canada in 2020. 

"It's always amazing to me that every... it's 40 years now and every ten years I thought it's going to fade away now," she added. "But it just gets bigger and bigger and it seems to find a younger audience all the time. It's really quite amazing." 

Olivia's death followed John's heartbreaking loss of his wife Kelly Preston, who passed away from breast cancer in July 2020.

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