John Travolta’s nephew Sam Travolta Jr. died on September 23, 2020, as first reported by The Sun. Sam Travolta Jr.’s death happened a little over two months after Travolta’s wife, Kelly Preston, died of breast cancer on July 12. She was 57.
Sam Travolta Jr. died at his home in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, according to his obituary. Commenters on the obituary said he “added light to my day” and had a “gentle soul.” His father was Travolta’s older brother, Sam Travolta Sr. A cause of death was not immediately revealed. He was 52.
Travolta went by the name “Sammy Tea” on Facebook. Like his famous uncle and father, he was born in New Jersey and worked in the entertainment industry as a screenwriter. His dad was a prop master on the TV series L.A. Heat from 1997 to 1999 and appeared in small roles in 13 films throughout his career, according to his IMDb page.
Many of his father’s acting roles were in movies that starred his uncle: Wild Hogs, Old Dogs, Lonely Hearts, Swordfish and A Civil Action.
Sam Travolta Jr. Attempted Suicide After Leaving the Church of Scientology
John Travolta’s nephew spoke out on what he said were the dangers of the Church of Scientology in a 2015 interview with the National Enquirer. “Scientology almost killed me,” he said. “It’s psychological warfare and after a while, it gets to you. Things got so bad that I tried to jump off a bridge in Los Angeles in January 2007, trying to kill myself.”
Following his suicide attempt, he spent 28 days in a mental health treatment center.
While his uncle is one of Scientology’s most famous members, Sam Travolta Jr. claimed he was continuously harassed by the church after escaping. He said Scientology members were “planting drugs on me” and “spreading rumors around town that I was psychotic and even worse – a pedophile!”
The Grease star could not help stop the alleged harassment, according to Sam Travolta Jr., but he told the Enquirer that his uncle helped him out financially.
“I’m a struggling screenwriter living in a tiny one-bedroom apartment, so John’s money helps,” Travolta said. “My Uncle John never pressured any of his family to join Scientology. But he appeared to be ‘friendlier’ to you when he knew you were involved with the religion.”
The Enquirer reported in 2015 that the two hadn’t spoken since 2006.
John Travolta Recently Paid Tribute to His Late Wife Kelly Preston on What Would’ve Been Her 58th Birthday
John Travolta recently shared a throwback photo of his wedding day with Kelly Preston on what would’ve been her 58th birthday. The Pulp Fiction star posted the picture alongside a photo of his parents’ wedding day and wrote, “Happy Birthday hon! I found this photo of my mom and dad’s wedding. It was nice to see ours alongside theirs. All my love, John.”
Preston’s cause of death stemmed from a two-year battle with breast cancer, which came as a shock to many because she never went public with her diagnosis. Married to Travolta since 1991, she is survived by her mother, Linda Carlson, Travolta, and their two children, Ella, 20, and Benjamin, 9. Their eldest son, Jett, preceded Preston in death following a seizure at age 16 in 2009.
Following his wife’s death, Travolta, 66, wrote on Instagram:
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.”