John Travolta and his family have been through a couple of very tough years. In 2020, his wife and mother to the couple’s children, Kelly Preston, passed away from breast cancer. As always, John has focused on being the best father he can be since then.
October 13 was Kelly Preston’s birthday. She would have turned 59 years of age this year. Despite her passing, her family celebrated her memory in the best way possible.
Via his Instagram, John Travolta posted a heartfelt message to his late wife, alongside a wonderful picture.
Through the years, Travolta evolved into one of the greatest actors of the century. Along the way, he met the love of his life, and together they created a wonderful family.
In 1992, following a proposal at the Palace Hotel restaurant in Gstaad, Switzerland the year before, John Travolta married Kelly Preston.
She was born Kelly Kamalelehua Smith on October 13, 1962 in Honolulu, Hawaii, and like John, she worked in the film industry. She studied acting at the University of Southern California, and in 1985, she started her acting career, appearing in several major movies such as Mischief, Twins, Jerry Maguire, and For Love of the Game.
Preston had some minor television roles during the course of her career as well. In 2018, she starred in the film Gotti, which would be her final film role.
´Kelly passed away
In July 2020, Kelly died after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 57.
“On the morning of July 12, 2020, Kelly Preston, adored wife, and mother, passed away following a two-year battle with breast cancer,” a family representative told People at the time.
“Choosing to keep her fight private, she had been undergoing medical treatment for some time, supported by her closest family and friends,” the family representative 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.”
John Travolta wrote on Instagram: “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.”
In a heartfelt message on social media later in 2020, Travolta thanked all the people that had reached out to him and his family following his wife’s passing.
Kept her cancer diagnosis private
“I just wanted to take this moment to thank each and every one of you for supporting me in such an incredible way this year,” Travolta said.
It turned out that Kelly had kept her diagnosis private. Speaking on the British talk show Loose Woman, her co-star in Off the Rails – which was her last film role – Sally Phillips, said that they didn’t know anything while filming.
“That’s what people do—they go through it on their own because of worries about insurance for the film, and working again afterward,” Phillips said, as reported by the Mirror.
“We’ve had a couple of high profile examples of that recently, haven’t we? Chadwick [Boseman] and Helen McCrory didn’t tell anyone,” she added.
Losing a loved one just like Travolta did is the biggest tragedy you can go through. He’s still in grief over his beloved Kelly’s passing, though friends have reportedly been trying to him back on the dating scene.
John Travolta not yet ready to date
For his part, Travolta isn’t ready to start seeing anyone quite yet.
“John’s had no shortage of friends wanting to set him up and there are a lot of women who would love to go out with him,” an insider told OK! Magazine.
“John is flattered, but he just isn’t interested.
“No one wants to push him because they understand he’s torn between opening himself up to love again and staying single and being the best father he can be. Until John can figure things out, everyone is giving him the space he needs.”
In August, Travolta appeared on Kevin Hart’s Peacock talk show, Hart to Hart, and spoke about the conversation he had with Benjamin about his mom’s death.
“[Ben] said to me once, ‘Because mom passed away, I’m afraid you’re going to,’” Travolta recalled. “I said, ‘Well, it’s a very different thing.’ And I went through the differences about my longevity and her limited life.”
“I said, ‘But you know, Ben, you always love the truth and I’m going to tell you the truth about life. Nobody knows when they’re gonna go or when they’re going to stay,’” he continued.
“I said, ‘Your brother [Jett] left at 16. Too young. Your mother left at 57. That was too young. But who’s to say?’ I said, ‘I could die tomorrow. You could. Anybody can. So let’s look at it that it’s a part of life. You don’t know exactly. You just do your best at trying to live the longest you can.’”
In April, John opened up about the grief he’s experienced since Preston’s death.
“Help another person when they are in mourning”
“I learned that mourning someone, dealing with grief is something very personal,” he told Esquire Spain.
“Mourning is individual and experiencing your own journey is what can lead you to heal. Your grief is different from another person’s journey.”
“The most important thing you can do to help another person when they are in mourning is allowing them to live through it and not complicate it with yours,” he continued.
“Even though it’s great to have company, sometimes it turns into you helping them instead of you working on your loss and grief.”
Of course, Kelly wasn’t the first family member John has had to bury amid tragic circumstances.
In 2009, his and Kelly’s firstborn son, Jett, passed away after suffering a seizure at their family vacation home in the Bahamas. At the time, the family’s attorney said that Jett had suffered seizures before.
On the seventh anniversary of his son’s passing, John wrote a lengthy, heartbreaking tribute to Jett.
“They say the hardest thing in the world is losing a parent. I can now say that isn’t true. The hardest thing in the world is losing a child,” he wrote. “Someone you raised and watched grow every day, someone you taught how to walk and talk. Someone you showed how to love. It’s the worst thing to ever happen to anyone.”
Heartbreaking Facebook message
Travolta added that the 16 years he had with Jett taught him to love unconditionally. Furthermore, he added that we, as humans, have to stop for a second to be thankful for our children. Simply put, life is very short.
“Spend time with your parents and parents spend time with your children,” John Travolta wrote.
“Treat them well. Because, one day, when you look up from your phone, they won’t be there anymore. What I truly learned most of all is, live and love everyday like it’s your last. Because, one day, it will be.
“Take chances and go live life. Tell the ones you love, that you love them every day. Don’t take any moment for granted. Life is worth living.”
Earlier this year, Travolta had the wonderful opportunity to see daughter, Ella Bleu, walk in her mother’s footsteps. The 21-year old traveled to the Hungarian capital of Budapest to film a reimagining of Alice in Wonderland named Get Lost. At the same time, it was also the moment fans got to see her new look.
“I am so excited to be here—amazing cast, amazing crew, I can’t wait to share it with you guys, and I’ll keep you posted,” Ella Bleu Travolta said in the video.
Travolta took the time to sing his lovely daughter’s praises. Through Instagram, he shared a picture of his daughter dressed as Alice in Wonderland.
Wonderful dance video
“I’m a very proud dad!’” he wrote in the caption.
John and his wife Kelly oftentimes danced together, and it was always a special moment when they did. In a Superbowl commercial in February of 2021, Travolta reprised his role as Danny Zuko for a reenactment of the classic dance scene from Grease.
Only this time, it wasn’t Olivia Newton-John by his side, but his daughter Ella Bleu.
“It was magical because there is no one in the world with whom I wanted to dance more than with my daughter Ella. It worked on so many levels,” he told Esquire Mexico about the dance.
“First, as a unique piece of entertainment that people enjoyed watching; second, it allowed me to introduce my daughter to the whole world on a huge stage, show her talent and beauty; and it also became a beautiful tribute to her mother.”
On October 13, Kelly Preston would have turned 59. The mother of four didn’t get to experience her 58th birthday last year, and this year, John Travolta made sure to pay tribute to his beloved late wife.
New tribute for Kelly’s birthday
Through his Instagram page, Travolta shared a picture of Kelly, writing: “Happy Birthday Kelly. We miss and love you very much”.
Ella Bleu also paid tribute to her mother on social media. The 21-year old posted an old picture of her and Kelly together.
“Happy Birthday Mama, I love and miss you so much,” Ella wrote.
Rest in peace Kelly, you are truly missed. We’re sending all our love to John Travolta and the rest of his family.
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