Kelly Preston, the actress and wife of John Travolta, has died aged 57.
Travolta posted on Instagram: “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.”
The couple had been married for nearly 29 years. Preston’s career included roles in Twins, From Dusk Till Dawn, Jerry Maguire and The Cat in the Hat.
She also collaborated with her husband on Battlefield Earth and Old Dogs.
In his post, Travolta thanked the health workers who had looked after his wife “as well as her many friends and loved ones who have been by her side”.
“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. All my love, JT”.
The couple’s son Jett Travolta died at the age of 16 in January 2009 from a seizure during a family holiday in the Bahamas.
They have two other children, Ella Bleu and Benjamin.
Ella Bleu wrote on Instagram: “I have never met anyone as courageous, strong, beautiful and loving as you.”
A family representative told People magazine that she died on Sunday morning and that she had kept her cancer diagnosis private.
“She had been undergoing medical treatment for some time, supported by her closest family and friends,” the family representative said.
“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.”
Born Kelly Kamalelehua Smith in Honolulu, she changed her name to Kelly Preston before securing her first film role in the 1985 romcom Mischief, then appeared in another teen comedy, Secret Admirer.
Early tributes included those from Maria Shriver and Josh Gad.
Gad said he was “in absolute shock”.
Spencer Breslin, who played Preston’s son in The Cat in the Hat, remembered his “screen mom” as being “a lovely woman”, adding: “Such a sad loss.”
Lost star Daniel Dae Kim, meanwhile, said he had been “lucky enough to work with her on one of my very first films,” 1999’s For Love of The Game.
“We were shooting on cold days in Colorado, but she couldn’t have been warmer or kinder to a young, nervous actor trying to make good,” he continued.
One of Preston’s last screen roles came in the 2018 crime biopic Gotti, in which she appeared opposite her husband.
While promoting the film at the Cannes Film Festival, the actress spoke to reporters about their long relationship.
“We took the time to get to know each other,” she said. “Marriage doesn’t just happen on its own; you have to keep creating love.
“We also keep it light. Neither of us like to fight so we purposely do not push each other’s buttons.”
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