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Kelly Preston’s Life and Career in Photos

The actress, a mother of three and wife of John Travolta, died on July 12, 2020, after a two-year battle with breast cancer

The stars of Hollywood dimmed a bit when Kelly Preston died on July 12, 2020. The actress, known for many of her major hits in the 1980s and 1990s, was the longtime love of John Travolta and a devoted mother of three.

Here, on the third anniversary of her death, look back on the actress’ life in photos.

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Kelly Preston’s Early Years

Kelly Preston
CBS VIA GETTY IMAGES

Kelly Preston was born in Honolulu on Oct. 13, 1962. At age 5, her family moved to Iraq and later to Australia, though she returned to Hawaii to graduate from Punahou High School.

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Kelly Preston’s First Roles

Spacecamp (Space Camp), Joaquin Phoenix, Tate Donovan, Kelly Preston, Kate Capshaw, Lea Thompson, Larry B Scott
MOVIESTORE/SHUTTERSTOCK

According to a Yahoo! bio, Preston was discovered by an agent at age 16 in Australia, and eventually joined the cast of 1986’s SpaceCamp, where she met first husband Kevin Gage.

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Kelly Preston in the 1980s

SECRET ADMIRER, from left: C. Thomas Howell, Kelly Preston, 1985, © Orion/courtesy Everett Collectio
ORION/COURTESY EVERETT COLLECTION

SpaceCamp led her to further roles in mid-’80s teen films Mischief and Secret Admirer (pictured).

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Kelly Preston and George Clooney

Kelly Preston
FRANK EDWARDS/FOTOS INTERNATIONAL/GETTY IMAGES

Before falling for John Travolta, Preston was married to SpaceCamp costar Kevin Gage (not pictured) from 1985 to 1987. She was also briefly linked to George Clooney in the ’80s.

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Kelly Preston in the 1990s

JERRY MAGUIRE, Kelly Preston, Tom Cruise
EVERETT COLLECTION

She found even more on-screen prominence in late ’80s and ’90s movies including Twins with Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger, For the Love of the Game with Kevin Costner, Holy Man with Eddie Murphy and Jeff Goldblum and Jerry Maguire (pictured) with Tom Cruise.

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Kelly Preston and Charlie Sheen

Kelly Preston and Charlie Sheen
FRANK TRAPPER/CORBIS/GETTY

Preston dated and was briefly engaged to Charlie Sheen in 1990.

“We were together for a year, and he wasn’t drinking, and he wasn’t doing drugs,” Preston told PEOPLE in 2011. “And there’s a beautiful person in there. He really is a great man.”

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Kelly Preston and John Travolta

John Travolta And Kelly Preston
JOAN ADLEN/GETTY

Preston met John Travolta at a screen test for their 1989 comedy, The Experts, while Preston was still married to Gage.

On New Year’s Eve 1991, Travolta got down on one knee inside the Palace Hotel restaurant in Gstaad, Switzerland, and proposed with a six-carat yellow-and-white diamond ring.

Preston was two months pregnant with the couple’s son Jett when they got married on Sept. 5, 1991, by a Scientology minister. They said their “I dos” in an unannounced ceremony at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris.

They later got married for a second time on U.S. soil in Daytona Beach, Florida. Jett arrived in 1992.

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Kelly Preston’s Daughter Ella Bleu

Image
COURTESY KELLY PRESTON

On April 3, 2000, the couple welcomed their second child, a daughter named Ella Bleu.

The only daughter of Travolta and Preston decided to follow in her parents’ footsteps to become an actress, and starred in the 2019 film, The Poison Rose, alongside her famous father and Morgan Freeman.

Proud mom Preston took to Instagram to celebrate her daughter’s rise as an actress, writing, “Still in absolute awe of my stunning daughter @ella.travolta I just re-watched all of her interviews this past week doing press for #thepoisonrose and she has jumped into ‘the family business’ as an absolute natural.”

“I am beyond proud of her and all of her accomplishments, but most of all I am proud and honored to have her as my daughter,” Preston added. “I love you and congratulations.”

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Kelly Preston’s Son Jett

Kelly Preston and John Travolta
KELLY PRESTON/INSTAGRAM

In 2009, the couple’s son Jett died while on vacation in the Bahamas with the family. He suffered a seizure and hit his head in a bathtub. He was 16.

“[John] never dreamed of this — their relationship was so close,” said family attorney Mike Ossi. “He always said ‘I’m happy as long as my kids are happy.’ He is heartbroken. To bury your son is the worst thing you can ever do.”

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Kelly Preston’s Son Benjamin

travolta family
Kelly Preston, John Travolta, Ella and Benjamin. VIANNEY LE CAER/INVISION/AP/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Preston and Travolta added to their family once more in 2010 with the arrival of son Benjamin.

“Certainly having little Ben has been a beautiful kind of glue for us to rebond after tremendous loss,” Travolta said in an interview with Good Morning America.

“He’s given the house a renewed spirit and purpose,” the actor added to PEOPLE in 2011.

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Kelly Preston Dies of Breast Cancer

John Travolta and Kelly Preston
Kelly Preston and John Travolta with their kids Benjamin and Ella. KELLY PRESTON/INSTAGRAM

In her final Instagram photo, Preston wished Travolta a Happy Father’s Day, with Ella and Benjamin by her side, plus a throwback shot of Jett.

“Happy Father’s Day to the best one I know, we love you 😘💕,” she wrote.

Three weeks later, Preston died on July 12, 2020, following a private, two-year battle with breast cancer. She was 57.

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