Hollywood marriages aren’t particularly renowned for longevity, but every once in a blue moon, a Hollywood couple comes along and passes the test of time. John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s relationship is the quintessential example of this. They had a long and tender marriage until Preston’s demise in July 2020.
The Grease star met Preston in 1987 while working on the set of “The Experts,” and they hit it off big time. But Preston was married to Kevin Gage then before separating in 1987. In 1989, she had dated George Clooney, and in 1990, she was engaged to Charlie Sheen for a brief duration.
Sparks Flew Between the Pair From Day 1
In 2018, Preston reminisced over the first time she set eyes on Travolta. She said she saw a really hot guy with two dogs walking towards her from across the hall. Travolta then stopped and greeted Preston, making her blush heavily. After seeing him in SNF and Grease, we don’t blame her for feeling that way! We’re sure a lot of gals agree.
In 2018, Travolta revealed to reporters that the infatuation went both ways during their first meeting. Not only did he mention having instant chemistry with her, but he also casually mentioned how he had found her to be a stunning woman.
The Proposal Came on New Year’s Eve in 1990
With time, the pair began dating. In 1990, while celebrating New Year’s Eve together at the Palace Hotel in Switzerland, Travolta popped the question. Preston said, “yes!” In fact, the couple was so madly in love that they actually had two marriage ceremonies in 1991…
First, they wed in France, and just a month later, the happy couple had a second ceremony in Florida. A few days after committing their lives to one another, they were photographed passionately kissing each other at the Deauville Film Festival.
They Were Pregnant With Their First Child in April 1992
It was the 20th anniversary of the movie “Grease” when the duo was pictured side-by-side for the occasion in Universal City, California. Preston was visibly pregnant, and the soon-to-be parents were seen smiling from ear to ear.
In April of 1992, their first son, Jett, came into the world. Almost exactly eight years later, they had their second baby. This time, it was a girl, and they named her Ella Bleu. By 2000, they were married for a decade and had two beautiful children together.
Travolta Puts His Pilot License to Use
More than four decades before, the action hero had become a trained and certified pilot. He personally flew his wife and two kids in a Boeing 707 to the French Polynesian island Bora Bora and spent the summer of 2002 there.
Thanks to his generous income as a Hollywood actor, Travolta was able to purchase multiple aircraft. His Florida home even has two runways leading all the way up to his front door.
A 40th Birthday to Remember for Preston
Preston turned 40 in October of 2002, and Travolta surprised her with a beautiful cake. The couple was attending a concert to raise money for the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition when Travolta revealed the surprise, much to everyone’s delight.
The One World, One Child Benefit Concert for the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition occurred at Cindra and Alan Ladd’s Beverly Hills home. Preston was photographed singing beside Australian singer Olivia Newton-John who, like Preston, went on to battle breast cancer.
Preston and Travolta Shake a Leg Together on Stage
A photographer snapped a photo of Preston and Travolta dancing on stage during the Church of Scientology’s Annual Charity Gala concert, which was held in East Grinstead, England. For many years, Travolta’s relationship with Scientology has been the subject of a lot of speculation.
In more recent years, Travolta has allegedly distanced himself from the controversial religion. Travolta had adopted Scientology in 1975, many years before he even met Preston. On several occasions, he had spoken about how the religion helped him and his family deal with grief.
Unfathomable Tragedy Strikes in 2009
Jett died at the age of 16 on January 2, 2009, while on vacation with his family in the Bahamas. The teenager was autistic and had Kawasaki disease, a disorder that causes blood vessels to become inflamed. Jett experienced a seizure while on the trip and banged his head on a bathtub.
Two years after the tragic and untimely death of her firstborn, Preston did an interview in which she spoke about how the loss impacted her. She said she felt as though she was drowning, and there was an ocean of wet blankets weighing down on her.
Next Public Appearance After Jett’s Passing
It could not have been easy for the pair to muster up the energy and appear happy for the world premiere of the movie “Old Dogs.” But the couple showed up with their daughter for the event in November 2009, just 10 months after Jett’s passing.
There were a lot of celebrities attending the premier, including Robin Williams, Seth Green, Dax Shepard, Rita Wilson, Conner Rayburn, and Lori Loughlin, among others. Special guests included Tom Hanks, Kristen Bell, Colin Hanks, and Jon Voight.
Couple Welcomed Their Third Child in 2010
Almost two years after Jett’s passing, Travolta and Preston welcomed their third child into the world. They had a son named Benjamin. Very recently, Travolta appeared on comedian Kevin Hart’s talk show and disclosed a touching conversation he had with his youngest son.
When Benjamin expressed concern that his dad would also pass away as his mom had, Travolta explained that Preston had limited time, but there was no reason for Benjamin to fear the same for his dad. However, he added that nothing in life was certain.
Travolta, Preston, Ella Bleu, and Benjamin at the Cannes Film Festival
In May 2018, Travolta and Preston attended the Cannes Film Festival along with Ella Bleu and Benjamin. The family was impeccably dressed with, Travolta in a tux and Benjamin sporting a trendy little blazer. Preston and Ella wore elegant, flowing dresses.
The festival marked the first screening of the Star Wars spin-off film about Han Solo in his younger days. There was plenty of excitement around the screening in the Grand Amphitheatre Lumiere as it promised to be a memorable event for Star Wars fans.
Preston Talks About What She Loved About Travolta
In June 2018, Kelly Preston appeared as a guest on Andy Cohen’s talk show “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.” When Andy asked her about the first time the couple met and questioned if it was love at first sight, Preston answered, “Kinda.”
She then said she was in an unhappy marriage when she first met Travolta. When asked about what she thought were the best things about being married to the Pulp Fiction star, Preston said it was his lips, laughing, and all the dancing they did together.
The Acting Duo Pair Up On-Screen for the Last Time
Also in June 2018, the real-life couple paired up to play in a biographical film about New York mobster John Gotti and his wife, Victoria. It would be Preston’s second-to-last movie she’d ever make.
Unfortunately, the couple’s last professional project together wasn’t exactly a huge hit. Gotti attracted a spectrum of negative reviews and low ratings from movie critics around the world. The movie was nominated for Worst Picture, while Travolta was nominated for Worst Actor in the 39th Golden Raspberry Awards.
Pulp Fiction Actor Talks About How to Keep the Spark Alive
The film’s failure and the wide criticism it received didn’t really seem to faze the experienced actors. Travolta did a quick interview where he spoke to reporters about how he and his wife had managed to keep sparks flying, even after nearly three decades of marriage.
Travolta acknowledged how busy both of their daily schedules were. He spoke about how the kids, their acting careers, and their active participation in the Church of Scientology took up most of their time. Since they didn’t have too much time together, he said that every night was date night.
Preston Chimed in on How to Make a Relationship Work Long Term
Preston said that even if a couple is extremely busy, they could make their marriage work if they had an honest marriage and were right for each other. She added good communication was the key.
Preston also said a successful marriage doesn’t just happen and that the people involved need to make it happen every day. She said that partners must keep things light, fun, and find exciting things to do together.
Celebrating 28 Years of Marriage
In September of 2019, John Travolta shared a picture on his Instagram where he tagged his wife of 28 years on their wedding anniversary. He captioned a photo of the couple sitting together at a restaurant with “Happy Anniversary to my wonderful wife.”
Fans from around the world poured into the comment’s section to congratulate the couple who had a rare Hollywood marriage that survived longer than most. As always, their daughter, Ella, added a comment of her own that consisted of three red heart emojis. She was probably at a loss for words.
The Best Mother to Our Kids
On Mother’s Day 2020, Travolta took the time to post a picture of his wife and kids onto his Instagram account. Not only did he thank Preston for being a great mother to their kids every day, but he also wished all the moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day.
The picture featured Preston and Ella standing next to each other with Ella’s arm around Preston’s shoulder. Ella was a couple of inches taller than Preston. Benjamin stood nearby sporting a tank top. The women wore flowery sundresses under open sweater cardigans.
Preston Pays Tribute on Father’s Day
Preston and Travolta did not attend any public events together in a few months, so the only way fans could keep tabs of their sweet and loving relationship was via social media. Thankfully, the pair did not shy away from expressing their appreciation for each other on Instagram.
On Father’s Day, Preston posted a family selfie to her Instagram that featured all four of them. Travolta seemed to have actually taken the selfie himself. Preston captioned the picture of the loving family with “Happy Father’s Day to the best one I know, we love you.”
Preston Loses Battle to Cancer
Little did the fans and general public know that Preston’s Father’s Day post in June of 2020 would be her last. Preston and Travolta had kept their battle with cancer under the radar for the most part, and the news came as a shock to their fans.
Preston passed away at 57 after having battled breast cancer for two years. Once again, Instagram was Travolta’s go-to platform. He posted a picture of his wife and said that she had fought a brave fight and would always be remembered.
Travolta Breaking the News to His Following
Travolta’s exact words on Instagram were, “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.”
He continued with, “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.”
Travolta Asks for Time and Apologizes in Advance
In the same post where he broke the tragic news of his late wife’s battle with breast cancer and her subsequent passing, Travolta also asked for some time for him and his family to grieve. He wanted to be there for his children.
“Kelly’s love and life will always be remembered. 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.”
Travolta Posts to Instagram Remembering His Late Wife
The “Get Shorty” star took to Instagram again in October 2020 and dedicated a post to his late wife on what would have been her 58th Birthday. The photo was a picture from when the couple got married in 1991. Preston had her trademark golden curls.
Travolta 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.” The couple’s picture was placed beside a photo from Travolta’s parent’s wedding.
Another Happy Mother’s Day Tribute
It seems like posting to Instagram had become a way for Travolta to feel like he was communicating with his late wife somehow. On Mother’s Day 2021, Travolta posted a two-picture post to Instagram.
The first one was a family picture of Kelly, Ella, John, and baby Benjamin all in bed wearing white. The second picture was of the couple with their first child, Jett, in Preston’s arms. Travolta thanked Preston for bringing the three wonderful children into his life.
Travolta Promotes Preston’s Final Film on Instagram
In July of 2021, Travolta posted to Instagram promoting his late wife’s final film, “Off the Rails” (a comedy-drama). He captioned the 2:21-second trailer of the movie with “Off the Rails starring Kelly Preston. Off the Rails is Kelly’s Last Film.”
He continued, “She was very proud of it and of all of the wonderful talent that she got to work with in it.” The film also starred Jenny Seagrove, Sally Phillips, Andrea Corr, Judi Dench, Franco Nero, Ben Miller, and Lucille Howe, among others. Kelly played the role of Cassie in the film.
Kelly Preston was a Wonderful Mom
Kelly Preston had always wanted to be a mom. In one interview, she had talked about how being a mom is something that had excited her since she was a little girl. It is no wonder that she was a terrific mom, and Travolta pays tribute to her every Mother’s Day.
In the interview, Kelly said, “I’ve always wanted to be a mother, ever since I was 11. I was an expert babysitter. I was doing commercials for thousands of dollars, but I’d still babysit for $3 an hour just because I loved it.”
Kelly Preston’s First Priority was Her Kids
Almost ironically, Kelly had once said, “Don’t sweat the small things, love your kids like it could be the last moment.” Jett’s passing in 2009 was very hard for the couple. Travolta had said in an interview that the birth of Benjamin helped them bounce back from the loss.
It’s apparent that Preston and Travolta held Jett’s memory in high regard. Preston posted a photo on Instagram in 2019 of herself and Travolta kissing Jett. “To my beautiful sweetheart, Jett… you will always be in our hearts,” she captioned the photo.
Ella’s Tear-Inducing Tribute to Her Mom
Preston’s daughter, Ella, paid a touching tribute to her mother on Instagram after learning of her death. She added, “I have never met anybody as brave, powerful, gorgeous, and loving as you.” She went on to say that anyone who had known Preston would agree.
Ella added, “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.”
Preston Had Also Shared How Proud She Was of Ella
Preston was close with her daughter, who is also an actor. Preston raved over her daughter during a series of media appearances in 2019 when she was promoting “The Poison Rose,” which she co-starred in with her father. Preston was obviously proud of her daughter.
On the same Instagram post, Preston wrote about how she was more than proud of Ella and everything she had achieved. However, she said that she was most proud and honored to have Ella as her loving daughter. She was happy about who Ella was as a person.
John Travolta and Kelly Preston Didn’t Shy Away From Working Together
Although most couples try to keep their professional and personal lives independent, Travolta and Preston frequently blended the two. They collaborated on several, beginning with “The Experts,” the movie where they first met and instantly felt chemistry, as both admitted.
Other films in which the couple worked together included “Battlefield Earth,” “Old Dogs,” “Gotti,” and “From Paris, with Love,” although Preston’s role in the latter was a pretty small gig and more of a cameo appearance. It was always a treat for fans to watch the real-life couple together on screen.
Preston Opens Up About Starring in Gotti With Travolta
Even though the crime biography movie “Gotti” failed, it was a great experience for the real-life couple to play a married couple onscreen too.
In an interview, Preston opened up about what it was like to co-star with her husband for the film. She said that their natural bond, chemistry, and rapport made it easy for them to portray the same sentiments and intimacy on screen. She said that they lived for such creative experiences together.
Travolta and Preston’s Almost Three Decade Marriage Was a Happy One
Marriages aren’t easy to keep alive and exciting, especially when you’ve been together for almost 30 years. This is particularly the case if it is a Hollywood marriage. However, Travolta and Preston’s marriage is one that many younger couples can learn from. What was their secret?
Travolta once said that they deeply love and care for each other. He also added that the couple would keep their relationship fresh and try new things. Preston had spoken about how to keep the spark alive on more than one occasion. Date nights and a lot of dancing seemed to be the key.
A Look Back at Preston’s Acting Career
John Travolta is evidently the more famous actor of the two. He may have been a household name during the late 70s and throughout the 80s, but his late wife, Kelly Preston, was quite a remarkable actor herself. Her career dated back to 1980.
Preston acted in both movies and TV shows. Some noteworthy films and TV shows she played prominent roles in included “Quincy M.E,” “Tale from the Crypt,” “Medium,” and “Hawaii Five-O.” She was also part of the blockbuster movie “Jerry Maguire,” which came out in 1996.
Talent Runs in the Family
Having talented parents such as John Travolta and Kelly Preston can be a lot of pressure for a kid, and it can be tough to get separate recognition. Still, John and Kelly’s daughter, Ella Blue Travolta, made a name for herself.
Ella, born April 2021, is now 21-years-old and has already played notable roles in movies, such as “Old Dogs,” “The Poison Rose,” and “Get Lost.” What’s more, she’s also a talented musician and very recently released her own single called “Dizzy.”
Secret Battle Against Breast Cancer
Before she passed away after losing a battle to breast cancer, Kelly Preston and her family had kept their struggles with the disease out of the public eye as much as possible. In fact, even during the filming of her final movie, “Off the Rails,” not a single person on the set knew that Kelly was struggling with cancer.
Appropriately, the movie tells a touching story where a young girl embarks on a journey across the country. The journey was actually a dream of the girl’s mom, and the girl wanted to fulfill her mom’s dream after losing her to cancer.
How John Travolta is Coping With the Death of his Wife
On Instagram and in the public eye, John Travolta appears strong and happy. He never misses an opportunity to post a tribute to his late wife, be it on her birthday, Mother’s Day, or even when her latest and final film was released.
Recently, he did an interview where he spoke about how living in mourning is something personal. “The first thing you should do when you experience grief is to go to a place where you can mourn, without any interference,” he said.