Kelly Preston, the actress who starred in such movies as Jerry Maguire and, most recently, opposite husband John Travolta in Gotti, has died. She was 57. Preston died Sunday after a two-year battle with breast cancer, Travolta wrote 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,” he 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. 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.”
The news of her breast cancer battle came as a surprise to many. Her rep acknowledged in a statement to People that she had chosen to keep her diagnosis private. “Choosing to keep her fight private, she had been undergoing medical treatment for some time, supported by her closest family and friends,” the rep added. “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.”
In addition to 1996’s Jerry Maguire, Preston’s credits also included 1986’s SpaceCamp, 1988’s Twins, 1998’s Jack Frost, 1999’s For Love of the Game and 2003’s View From the Top and The Cat in the Hat. She starred opposite Travolta in several films, including 1989’s The Experts, 2000’s Battlefield Earth and 2009’s Old Dogs. Her most recent screen credit was 2018’s Gotti, in which she played Victoria Gotti, the wife of mob boss John Gotti, who was played by Travolta. According to IMDB.com, her final credit is the upcoming film Off the Rails, a comedy that also features Judi Dench and Franco Nero.
Preston was born Oct. 13, 1962 in Honolulu, Hawaii (birth name: Kelly Kamalelehua Smith). She studied acting at the University of Southern California before landing bit parts in such 1980s series as Hawaii Five-O, Quincy M.E. and CHiPs. She went on to become a regular in the TV series For Love and Honor, which lasted only one season, before landing her breakout role in the 1985 film Mischief. Preston and Travolta, who met while filming The Experts, celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary last year. They have three children together: daughter Ella, who is 20; son Benjamin, who is 9; and son Jett, who died in 2009 at age 16.
Read Travolta’s tribute to his wife below, as well as tributes from Josh Gad, Maria Shriver, Johnathon Schaech, Holly Robinson Peete and Daniel Dae Kim .
I’m in absolute shock. What a beautiful and amazing actress and person. So sad to hear of her passing at such a young age. My heart goes out to John Travolta and the entire family. What a loss. RIP #KellyPreston https://t.co/yRqOmI3CjW
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) July 13, 2020
Shocked by this sad news. Kelly was such a bright loving soul, a talented actress, and a loving mom and wife. My heart breaks for her family who have already known such sadness and grief. Join me in sending them love and strength. #RIP #KellyPreston https://t.co/DndcfOtlOn
— Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) July 13, 2020
I was lucky enough to work with her on one of my very first films, “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. I’ll never forget that. Thank you Kelly. #RestInPeace https://t.co/szGCXxAxyI
— Daniel Dae Kim (@danieldaekim) July 13, 2020
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.
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