Kelly Preston Dead at 57: Look Back at Her Life in Pictures

Fans are mourning the death of Kelly Preston. The actress died at the age of 57 after a two-year battle with breast cancer.

By Elyse Dupre Jul 13, 2020 5:29 PMTags

Fans are mourning the death of Kelly Preston.

The actress died at the age of 57 on Sunday. 

"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, which was first to break the news. "Choosing to keep her fight private, she had been undergoing medical treatment for some time, supported by her closest family and friends." 

The representative described Preston as a "bright, beautiful and loving soul who cared deeply about others and who brought life to everything she touched." The rep also noted that the family asked for fans' "understanding of their need for privacy at this time." 

John Travolta shared the heartbreaking news via Instagram, as well.

"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," the 66-year-old actor wrote via the social network. "She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many."

Travolta also wrote about how he and his family "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," he continued. "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."

Celebrity Deaths: 2020's Fallen Stars

Preston, née Kelly Kamalelehua Smith, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1962. Over the course of her career, she starred in a number of films, including Mischief, Twins, Jerry Maguire, What a Girl Wants and more. She also appeared in several TV shows, including For Love and Honor.

Preston married Travolta in 1991, and they acted alongside each other in a number of films over the years, including The Experts, Battlefield Earth, Old Dogs and Gotti. In addition to Travolta, Preston is survived by children Ella, 20 and Benjamin, 9. Son Jett died at the age of 16 in 2009.


Ella paid tribute to her late mother on Instagram.

"I have never met anyone as courageous, strong, beautiful and loving as you," she wrote. "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. 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."

Many celebrities did, as well.

"@therealkellypreston Such a beautiful soul, sparkling eyes exuding kindness and strength," Rita Wilson, who also appeared in Old Dogs, wrote on social media. "She found the joy in life. She loved fiercely. Loved her beautiful children Jett, Ella and Ben and loved her husband, @johntravolta She was a blast to work with, made everything more fun. She always supported others. Please keep Kelly, John, Jett, Ella and Ben in your prayers. She will be so missed."

"I was blessed to do a film with you," Toby Keith, who appeared in Broken Bridges with Preston in 2006, said in a statement. "You were our daily sunshine.  What a sweet soul. Rest well girl. My prayers today will be for your family."

Kelly Preston on Working With Husband John Travolta in "Gotti"

To look back at Preston's personal life and career, see the gallery below.


Preston acted alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in the 1988 movie Twins.

The Experts

Travolta and Preston both appeared in the 1989 movie The Experts. Travolta played Travis while Preston played Bonnie. The pair starred in many more films together over the years, including Battlefield Earth, Old Dogs and Gotti.

John Travolta

Preston married Travolta in 1991. She opened up about their most romantic moments during a 2018 interview with People.

"I think it's when Johnny just whisks me away, and we'll jump on the airplane and go out to dinner, and I don't know where we're going," she told the magazine at the time. "It's good to be married to a pilot!"


Travolta and Preston welcomed son Jett in 1992.

Jerry Maguire

The actress played Avery Bishop in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire.


Travolta and Preston welcomed daughter Ella in 2000. Here, they were seen attending a 2018 party in Cannes, France in honor of Travolta's Inaugural Variety Cinema Icon Award.

What a Girl Wants

Preston played Libby Reynolds and acted alongside Amanda Bynes and Colin Firth in the 2003 movie What a Girl Wants.

The Cat in the Hat

She also gave the Dr. Seuss book a new twist by acting in the 2003 movie The Cat in the Hat along with Mike Myers, Alec BaldwinDakota FanningSpencer BreslinSean Hayes and more stars.

Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved" Music Video

Preston also appeared in Maroon 5's 2009 music video for "She Will Be Loved."

Jett Passes Away

In 2009, Jett suffered a seizure and died at the age of 16. Preston paid tribute to the late child, who had autism, by sharing the following photo and message on World Autism Awareness Day in 2019.

"To my sweet love, Jett... you are in our hearts forever," she wrote at the time. "I send love to all of the beautiful autistic children and the wonderful people who love them. May we all shine and grant love and respect to children with special needs. #autismawareness #autism."


Travolta and Preston welcomed son Benjamin in 2010. Here, they were pictured at the Solo: A Star Wars Story premiere at the 71st Cannes Film Festival in France back in 2018.


Preston played Victoria in the 2018 project Gotti

To read more tributes, click here.

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