Kelly Preston was an American actress who appeared in more than 60 television and film productions, including Mischief, Twins, Jerry Maguire, and For Love of the Game. She married John Travolta in 1991, and collaborated with him on several projects, such as The Experts and Gotti. She also starred in the films SpaceCamp, The Cat in the Hat, What a Girl Wants, Sky High, and Old Dogs. She passed away in 2020, after a two-year battle with breast cancer. She was 61 years old.
In this blog post, we will explore the life and legacy of Kelly Preston, the wife of John Travolta, and one of the most captivating performers in Hollywood.
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Kelly Preston was born on October 13, 1962, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her birth name was Kelly Kamalelehua Smith, which means “garden of lehuas” in Hawaiian. Her father, who worked for an agricultural firm, drowned when she was four years old. Her mother, Linda, was an administrator of a mental health center. She remarried Peter Palzis, a personnel director, who adopted Kelly and gave her his surname.
As a child, Kelly lived in Iraq and Australia, where she attended Pembroke School, Adelaide. She then attended Punahou School in Honolulu, graduating in 1980. She studied drama and theater at the University of Southern California, but dropped out to pursue a career in acting.
Kelly Preston started her career as a model, appearing in commercials and magazines. She was discovered by a fashion photographer at age 16, who arranged her first film audition for the role of Emmeline in The Blue Lagoon, which she lost to Brooke Shields. She then changed her last name to Preston, and landed her first prominent film roles in 1985, as Marilyn McCauley in Mischief, and Deborah Ann Fimple in Secret Admirer.
She continued to work in various genres, such as comedy, drama, romance, action, and sci-fi. Some of her notable films include SpaceCamp, Twins, Jerry Maguire, For Love of the Game, From Dusk Till Dawn, Jack Frost, Battlefield Earth, The Cat in the Hat, What a Girl Wants, Sky High, and Old Dogs. She also appeared in several television shows, such as Medium, CSI: Cyber, and Joey.
She received several awards and nominations for her performances, such as the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress for Battlefield Earth, the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for Jack Frost, and the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Couple for Old Dogs.
She also collaborated with her husband, John Travolta, on several projects, such as The Experts, a comedy film that marked their first meeting; Gotti, a biographical film about the notorious mobster John Gotti, in which they played husband and wife; and a Super Bowl commercial for Scotts Miracle-Gro, which was their last appearance together before her death.
Kelly Preston met John Travolta in 1987, on the set of The Experts. They began dating in 1990, after she divorced her first husband, Kevin Gage, whom she married in 1985. They had a lavish wedding ceremony in Paris, France, on September 12, 1991, followed by another one in Daytona Beach, Florida, to legalize their marriage in the US.
They had three children together: Jett, Ella Bleu, and Benjamin. Jett, who was born in 1992, suffered from Kawasaki disease, a rare condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels, and had a history of seizures. He tragically died in 2009, at age 16, after hitting his head in the bathtub during a seizure at their vacation home in the Bahamas. Ella Bleu, who was born in 2000, followed her parents’ footsteps and became an actress, appearing in films such as Old Dogs and The Poison Rose. Benjamin, who was born in 2010, was a surprise and a blessing for the couple, who had been trying to conceive for three years.
Kelly Preston and John Travolta were devout Scientologists, and credited their faith for helping them cope with their son’s death and their marriage troubles. They also supported several charitable causes, such as the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition, the Jett Travolta Foundation, and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre.
Kelly Preston was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, and underwent treatment privately. She did not reveal her condition to the public, and continued to work on some projects, such as the film Off the Rails and the documentary The Way I See It. She died on July 12, 2020, at her home in Clearwater, Florida, surrounded by her family. Her death was announced by her husband on Instagram, who wrote: “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.”
Kelly Preston was widely praised for her beauty, talent, and kindness. She was remembered by her co-stars, friends, and fans as a loving and generous person, who brought joy and light to everyone she met. She was also admired for her strength and courage in facing her illness and her loss.
She left behind a rich and diverse body of work, that showcased her versatility and charisma as an actress. She also left behind a loving and devoted family, who cherished her and honored her memory. She was a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a star.
Here are some interesting facts about Kelly Preston:
|61 (at the time of her death)
|5’6″ (1.68 m)
|John Travolta (1991-2020)
|Jett Travolta (1992-2009), Ella Bleu Travolta (2000-), Benjamin Travolta (2010-)
|University of Southern California (dropped out)
|Peanut M&M’s in buttered popcorn
|$180 million (estimated)
|Chris Palzis (half-brother)
|Favorite TV Show
|Max (a pet pig given by George Clooney)
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