On July 12, 2020, actress Kelly Preston died at the age of 57 following a two-year battle with breast cancer. “Choosing to keep her fight private, she had been undergoing medical treatment for some time, supported by her closest family and friends,” a family representative told People in a statement. “She was a bright, beautiful and loving soul who cared deeply about others and who brought life to everything she touched. Her family asks for your understanding of their need for privacy at this time.”
Preston’s husband, John Travolta, also took to Instagram on July 13, 2020, to pay tribute to his late wife, to whom Travolta was married for almost 29 years. “She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many,” he wrote. “My family and I will forever be grateful to her doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Center, all the medical centers that have helped, as well as her many friends and loved ones who have been by her side. Kelly’s love and life will always be remembered.”
Preston — who was known for her roles in Jerry Maguire and Mischief — is survived by Travolta, and their two kids, daughter Ella and son Benjamin. (Their son Jett passed away at 16 years old in 2009, per People.) Before Preston’s untimely passing, the Hollywood star’s life was full of love and happiness — let’s take a look.
Kelly Preston was a doting mother to her children
Kelly Preston passed away on July 12, 2020, after a two-year battle with breast cancer, People reported. However, before Preston tragically died, she was a doting mom to her two kids, daughter Ella and son Benjamin, whom she shared with her husband, John Travolta.
But in 2009, the Travolta clan endured a terrible tragedy: Their other son, Jett, died after a seizure at just 16 years old, per People. Nonetheless, the couple persevered and surprisingly got pregnant with their youngest son, Benjamin, in 2010, per the Daily Mail. “When I found out I was pregnant, I was floored,” Preston gushed to Health magazine in 2013. “I’d snuck out of bed and then came back and woke up Johnny in bed. We both started crying. It was wonderful.”
“I absolutely adore my kids,” she added in her interview with Health. “Johnny and I love them up constantly. Ella’s like, ‘Mom, ugh! Thank god you had Ben because now he can take some of the kisses!’ And Johnny sings to them — a lot of Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand.”
At the end of the day, Preston — who described herself as “very hands-on” parent — enjoyed spending time with her kiddos. “I’ve always wanted to be a mother, ever since I was 11,” she admitted. “I’m just in a good place, and am able to really be with my kids.”
Kelly Preston enjoyed acting alongside her husband, John Travolta
Before Kelly Preston passed away on July 12, 2020, she starred alongside her husband, John Travolta, in the 2018 film Gotti, in which Travolta played famous mobster John Gotti, while Preston played John’s wife, Victoria Gotti. “A lot of people wanted the role many years ago, and the Gotti family chose John,” Preston told InStyle magazine in 2018.
“They wanted him to play the father, and Victoria Sr. specifically wanted him to play her husband,” the actress continued. “Then there was high interest in me playing Victoria — and she was really happy that I would.”
With 72 credits to Preston’s name on IMDB, the Hawaii native had quite the career in Hollywood. From Jerry Maguire to Mischief, Preston took on many different roles. However, it seemed like she enjoyed acting alongside her husband since the pair starred in several movies together, including the aforementioned Gotti, as well as Old Dogs and From Paris With Love.
But the film that probably resonates the most with the couple is The Experts, where Preston met Travolta for the first time. In 2018, Preston admitted on an episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen that it was “kinda” love at first sight with Travolta on set. “I was not that happily married, let’s put it that way,” she added, referring to her relationship with Kevin Gage at the time. “I was really with the wrong person.”
Kelly Preston and John Travolta's relationship stood the test of time
John Travolta and Kelly Preston met on the set of The Experts in 1989, and the two got married in 1991, per Entertainment Tonight. Even though the couple faced their fair share of ups and downs over the years — including when their son Jett suddenly died in 2009 — they stuck together through it all.
Clearly, Preston and Travolta’s love stood the test of time since they constantly gushed over one another on social media. “To my dearest Johnny, the most wonderful man I know,” Preston wrote in September 2019 in honor of their 28th anniversary.
“You have given me hope when I have felt lost, loved me patiently and unconditionally … made me laugh harder than any other human being possible … shared the most beautiful highs and at times lows,” she added. “You’re a dream Daddio and make life so much fun!! I trust my love with you implicitly … with you, I know I will always be okay no matter what happens. I love you forever and completely.”
So, what was the secret to their lasting marriage? “I think it’s communication, keeping it fresh, checking in with each other, and evolving. You change, so you want to change together,” she said on Good Morning America in 2018. “Keep it fun. It doesn’t just happen on its own — you’ve got to work on it.”
Kelly Preston became skin savvy
Kelly Preston always looked stunning at any age, but especially as she got older, her skin continued to glow. Of course, there was a good explanation for that. “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I eat 70 percent organic, and I use [organic products] — it’s clean living,” she told Women’s Wear Daily in a 2018 interview. That same year, the Hollywood star launched her own beauty brand, Breathe, per Women’s Wear Daily.
“I’m trying to educate a new consumer — somebody who has heard about organic and knows enough that they are looking for organic products,” the actress explained. “The thought has been, ‘Oh, it doesn’t work as well as a chemical or synthetic counterpart,’ and I’m here to say that it does.”
Over the years, Preston admitted she was “willing to use” any products “that worked,” but she became more “conscious of what [she] put on [her] skin” and “into [her] body” later in life. Preston’s venture into skincare was something she was passionate about since the line took a decade to develop. “I wanted products that worked as well, if not better, than conventional products that might contain chemicals or fillers and synthetic ingredients,” she said. “These products are like food for your skin. I’ve always said that if you can catch your skin early, you can prevent so much damage.”
Clearly, Preston had a zest for life, and Hollywood will certainly miss her.
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