Former EastEnders star Samantha Womack shares cancer diagnosis

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

EastEnders favourite Samantha Womack has been diagnosed with cancer.

The Ronnie Mitchell actress shared the news on Twitter today (August 9), while posting a tribute to the late Olivia Newton-John, who passed away after a lengthy battle with the same disease this month.

The iconic Grease star and her daughter Chloe Lattanzi had once seen Womack perform as Sandy in a West End production of the classic film, and Womack shared a backstage picture from that day.

"This was the most magical of evenings," she wrote. "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."

Reacting to this reveal, Emmerdale star Samantha Giles commented: "I don't know you but I saw this tweet and wish you lots of luck with your treatment. You can beat this xxxx."

Rita Simons, who portrayed Ronnie's sister Roxy in EastEnders, added: "Love you forever my sis [red heart emoji]", while Laurie Brett replied: "Bloody hell Sam, am speechless. Sending you all the love in the world. You got this, and we got you.. [three red heart emojis]."

Photo credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett - Getty Images

Newton-John's husband John Easterling confirmed the 73-year-old's death via Facebook yesterday (August 8), writing to her followers and friends: "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 ("

EastEnders airs on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One, with some episodes airing on BBC Two during summer sporting events. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.

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