Actress Kelly Preston died of breast cancer on Sunday, July 12, 2020, as shared by husband John Travolta. She was 57.
A family representative told People in an exclusive statement: “On the morning of July 12, 2020, Kelly Preston, adored wife and mother, passed away 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,” the statement continued. “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 was previously married to actor Kevin Gage from 1985 to 1987. They did not have any children together.
Here’s what you need to know about Kelly Preston:
1. Travolta Thanked the Doctors & Nurses Who Helped Preston in a Beautiful Tribute to His Late Wife on Instagram
Travolta, who proposed to Preston on New Year’s Eve at the Palace Hotel Restaurant in Gstaad, Switzerland in 1991, according to People, shared a heartbreaking tribute to Preston after she died on Sunday night. He wrote:
“It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer. She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many. 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.”
Travolta continued, “I will be taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother, so forgive me in advance if you don’t hear from us for a while. But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead as we heal.”
2. Preston’s Final Instagram Post Was a Tribute to Travolta for Father’s Day
News of Preston’s death was shocking since she never went public with her breast cancer diagnosis. Based on her Instagram posts, she appeared to be in good health, sharing photos of her family and children with loving captions.
On Father’s Day, Preston captioned a family photo and a separate photo of Jett with the caption, “Happy Father’s Day to the best one I know, we love you.”
On Mother’s Day, Travolta also sent his love Preston. He captioned a photo, “Today, and every day, we celebrate you @therealkellypreston for being the best mother to our kids! Happy Mother’s Day! And Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms today!”
3. Preston’s Upcoming Film ‘Off The Rails’ Is Expected to Be Released in 2020
Preston, who was born Kelly Kamalelehua Smith on October 13, 1962, in Honolulu, Hawaii, first traveled to Los Angeles to study acting at the University of Southern California. After booking a series of guest-star parts on TV shows like Hawaii 5-0, Quincey M.E. and CHiPs, she landed a major role in the movie Mischief, which jump-started her very successful career in Hollywood.
She starred in numerous films such as Twins, Citizen Ruth, Jerry Maguire, Nothing to Lose, Addicted to Love, For Love of the Game, Battlefield Earth, The Cat in the Hat, What a Girl Wants and Return to Sender. In 2018, she starred alongside her husband in the film Gotti. Her latest film, Off the Rails, which co-stars Judi Dench, is still in post-production, according to IMDb.
4. Preston’s Daughter Ella Bleu Is Following in Her Parents’ Acting Footsteps
Ella Travolta had her big-screen debut in the 2009 movie Old Dogs, which starred both her parents along with Rita Wilson and Robin Williams. In 2019, she again starred alongside her dad, Morgan Freeman and Brendan Fraser in the thriller The Poison Rose.
She wrote a moving tribute to her mother on Instagram. She posted the same photo her father shared and wrote:
I have never met anyone as courageous, strong, beautiful and loving as you. Anyone who is lucky enough to have known you or to have ever been in your presence will agree that you have a glow and a light that never ceases to shine and that makes anyone around you feel instantly happy. Thank you for being there for me no matter what. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your help and thank you for making this world a better place. You have made life so beautiful and I know you will continue to do so always. I love you so much mama.
5. Preston Credited Scientology for Getting Past Her Son’s Death
Travolta and Preston welcomed their first child, Jett, on April 13, 1992. Born with autism, he was diagnosed at age 2 with Kawasaki disease, which causes inflammation in the arteries. At age 16, Jett died after he suffered a seizure and hit his head in the bath while the family vacationed in the Bahamas.
Jett was immediately taken to Rand Memorial Hospital where he was declared dead, according to the Hartford Courant. It wasn’t until after his death that the family revealed Jett’s previous diagnosis of autism and Kawasaki Syndrome.
Preston and Travolta credited their faith in Scientology for getting past the tragic loss of their son. “In Scientology, we have what’s called ‘auditing,’ and that helps you to address things in your life and to strip them away, ” Preston said. “It’s a path of spiritual enlightenment. Also, it helps rid the mind of painful experience completely. Through that, the people at my church literally held my hand and got me through .. I will forever be indebted.”