Former EastEnders star Samantha Womack has revealed she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
The actress, 49, announced on Tuesday that she has “started her own battle” with the disease as she paid tribute to Dame Olivia Newton-John, who died on Monday, aged 73, after a three-decade fight with cancer.
Taking to Twitter, she shared a throwback picture of her with the late icon, along with Newton-John’s daughter Chloe.
It was taken when Womack played Sandy in the 1993 West End production of Grease - the role Newton-John infamously played in the beloved 1978 movie musical.
This was the most magical of evenings. Olivia and Chloe had come to see Grease in London and we had dinner together afterwards. I was so excited and in awe, she was my childhood. I now start my own battle with this disease and am left feeling deeply moved. #OliviaNewtonJohn pic.twitter.com/7vkgT5oCMf
— Sam Womack (@Sam_Womack) August 9, 2022
“This was the most magical of evenings. Olivia and Chloe had come to see Grease in London and we had dinner together afterwards,” she wrote alongside the photo.
“I was so excited and in awe, she was my childhood. I now start my own battle with this disease and am left feeling deeply moved. #OliviaNewtonJohn.”
Womack - who played Ronnie Mitchell in Eastenders from 2007 to 2017 - was met with a flood of support from her followers.
“Love you forever sis,” wrote Rita Simons, who played her onscreen sister Roxie Mitchell.
Acknowledging her support, Womack replied to her with three red heart emojis.
Referencing the Brighton-born personality’s upcoming stint in the West End production of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, comedian Shappi Khorsandi tweeted: “Sending the most brilliant White Witch support and love x”
Also sending their well-wishes were This Morning’s soap expert Sharon Marshall, who wrote: “Wishing you love and strength,” while actress Lucia Keskin added: “Sending strength. Love you loads!!!!!!”
Mum-of-two Womack - who represented the UK in the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest - did not disclose any other information about her current state of health.