In a statement posted to his social media accounts, Travolta wrote, “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.”
Preston was best known for her work in films, including her performances as Marnie Mason in 1988’s Twins, Avery Bishop in 1996’s Jerry Maguire, and Jane Aubrey in 1999’s For Love of the Game. Preston, who was born in Hawaii with the given name Kelly Kamalelehua Smith, is also known for her roles in movies like SpaceCamp, Nothing to Lose, Holy Man, Jack Frost, Sky High, and The Cat in the Hat.
The actress is survived by Travolta and their two surviving children Ella Bleu and Benjamin. The couple’s first son, Jett, passed away in 2009.
Tributes to Preston have been pouring in on social media.
Maria Shriver wrote of the news, “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.”
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
Actor Daniel Dae Kim, who appeared alongside Preston in For Love of the Game, wrote, “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.”
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
See more social media tributes to Kelly Preston below.
Can’t remember where, but, met first in late ‘92 I think.
Such a lovely person. In 1995 we auditioned together for Breaking Up, Salma Hayek got that gig.
I havent seen her much, but when I did, she was always the same sparkly eyed gem.
Love to her family.
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) July 13, 2020
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
RIP to my on screen mom, #kellypreston. What a lovely woman. Such a sad loss.
— Spencer Breslin (@Spencerbreslin) July 13, 2020
Kelly Preston was enormously kind and unbelievably lovely. Can’t believe this. My thoughts are with her sweet Ella and the rest of her incredible family. RIP 🤍🤍🤍
— Chloe Bennet (@chloebennet) July 13, 2020