John Travolta, Preston’s husband of 29 years and fellow actor, took to Instagram Sunday evening to confirm her passing.
View this post on Instagram
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. 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. 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
In addition to starring as Tom Cruise’s fiancee Avery Bishop in 1996’s Jerry Maguire, Preston’s other roles included SpaceCamp, Twins, Jack Frost, View From the Top, and The Cat in the Hat, as well as 1999’s For the Love of the Game where she co-starred opposite Kevin Costner.
She and Travolta have starred together in several films, including The Experts, Battlefield Earth and Old Dogs. Their most recent screen credit together was 2018’s Gotti, in which she played mob boss John Gotti’s (Travolta) wife, Victoria Gotti.
Preston was born on Oct. 13, 1962 in Honolulu, Hawaii as Kelly Kamalelehua Smith. She attended the University of Southern California to study acting. Prior to her first film and breakout role in the 1985 rom com Mischief, she had landed small roles in Hawaii Five-O, Quincy M.E. and CHiPs and became a regular in the TV series For Love and Honor, which only lasted one season.
Preston and Travolta first met while filming 1989’s The Experts. Just two years later, they tied the knot in 1991. They had three children together: daughter Ella (20), son Benjamin (9) and son Jett, who passed away at 16 in 2009.
Ella also posted a poignant tribute on Instagram Sunday to remember her mother.
“I have never met anyone as courageous, strong, beautiful and loving as you. 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,” she wrote in her post. “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.”