John Travolta’s actress wife Kelly Preston has died following a private two-year battle with breast cancer.
The 57-year-old actress, who starred in movies such as 1996’s Jerry Maguire, passed away on Sunday (July 12, 2020) morning, a representative for the family confirmed to People.
“Choosing to keep her fight private, she had been undergoing medical treatment for some time, supported by her closest family and friends,” the rep added. “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.”
Kelly launched her acting career in 1985 with her first major movie role in Mischief after several minor roles in television shows, including For Love and Honor.
She went on to land screen credits including 1986’s SpaceCamp, Twins, Jack Frost, For Love of the Game, and 2003 comedy View From the Top. She also starred opposite her husband in 2000’s Battlefield Earth. Her last screen credit was 2020 movie Gotti, in which she played Victoria Gotti, the wife of mob boss John Gotti – also played by her husband.
Grease star John paid tribute to his late wife via Instagram, adding: “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.”
John, who shares daughter Ella, 20, and nine-year-old son Benjamin with his late wife, added he plans on “taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother”.
The couple became engaged on New Year’s Eve 1991 when John popped the question at the Palace Hotel restaurant in Gstaad, Switzerland, and later wed on September 5, 1991.
At the time, she was two months pregnant with their son Jett, who suffered with Kawasaki disease and sadly died aged 16 in January 2009 after a seizure at his family’s vacation home at the Old Bahama Bay Hotel on Grand Bahama Island, when he hit his head in a bathtub.
Taking to Instagram after news of her mom’s passing was announced, Ella shared her own tribute, writing: “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,” she penned. “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.”