Kelly Preston, 57, has passed away after a private, two-year battle with breast cancer. Her husband of almost 30 years, fellow actor John Travolta, announced the sad news on Monday.
Travolta shared a photo of his late wife on Instagram and wrote that Preston “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.”
Although she chose to focus more on her family than her career, Kelly Preston enjoyed a long career in both film and television. The highlight was likely her role as Avery Bishop in Jerry Maguire, but she has more than 70 credits to her name on IMDb.
Born Kelly Kamalelehua Smith in Honolulu, Hawaii, Kelly Preston often played the all-American love interest in romcoms and sitcoms. In the later part of her career, she more often portrayed moms–such as in the 2003 film What a Girl Wants with Amanda Bynes.
Before marrying John Travolta in 1991, she briefly dated George Clooney and was engaged to Charlie Sheen. Preston gave Clooney his beloved pet pig, Max. As for Sheen, he allegedly shot her in the arm–although she later denied it.
A representative from the family told People that Kelly Preston intentionally kept her condition out of the public eye: “Choosing to keep her fight private, she had been undergoing medical treatment for some time, supported by her closest family and friends.”
Preston had not been seen in public for a little over two years. She was last pictured on the red carpet in June 2018 for the premiere of Gotti. Travolta took on the lead role as the infamous mob boss, while Preston played Gotti’s wife.
We had no idea that she was struggling with her health over the last two years. The couple was already private, preferring to keep their personal life out of the news as much as possible. They closed ranks following the death of their oldest child, Jett, in 2009. The 16-year-old was born with autism and suffered from seizures which eventually caused his death.
However, we would not even know that about the Travolta-Preston family if a group of extortionists hadn’t targeted them, forcing a public trial.
They have two surviving children, 20-year-old Ella Bleu and 9-year-old Benjamin. Preston and Travolta have been active, high-profile members of the Church of Scientology for decades.