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John Travolta Skips 'Grease' TV Show Premiere, 'Protective' Of Film's Legacy After Costar Olivia-Newton John's Death

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Source: OConnor/AFF-USA.com / MEGA; ZUMAPRESS.com / MEGA

Apr. 10 2023, Published 7:00 p.m. ET

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John Travolta was noticeably absent from the LA premiere of the new Paramount+ prequel TV series Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, and insiders said it was part of his choice to protect the legacy of the 1978 classic, RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned.

Stars from the show gathered for the premiere held on March 29 at the Hollywood American Legion Post 43, and fans were quick to spot that Travolta was a no-show.

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john travolta blows off grease tv show premiere
Source: ZUMAPRESS.com / MEGA

The new series is set in 1954, predating the famous Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson love story told in the original film, and tells how the Pink Ladies came to be.

"John is super protective of the original, more so now that Olivia Newton-John has passed," an insider shared about his stance on the prequel. Grease casting director Joel Thurm had said both stars "passed on everything pertaining to sequels or sequel-like things. Why be part of something that could never be as good as the original?"

RadarOnline.com has reached out to a rep for Travolta.

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john travolta blows off grease tv show premiere
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Thurm previously told PEOPLE the two icons had instant chemistry as on-screen lovers and they certainly helped to make the film the masterpiece it was.

"There was never anything untoward or romantic or stuff like that, but there was a great deal of mutual respect and friendship that lasted forever. They definitely had a spark," he added.

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Newton-John died in August 2022 after a decades-long battle with breast cancer, breaking the hearts of countless Grease enthusiasts.

"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 @onjfoundation," read a statement shared by her husband, John Easterling.

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john travolta blows off grease tv show premiere
Source: ZUMAPRESS.com / MEGA

Travolta tragically lost his 16-year-old son Jett in 2009.

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Travolta paid tribute in his own special way at the time, sharing a heartfelt message alongside throwback portraits. "My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better," he wrote in the caption. "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 moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!"

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