Kelly Preston would have been 59 on Wednesday, Oct. 13. John Travolta marked his late wife’s birthday with a touching tribute on his Instagram. Sharing a photo of a smiling Kelly from the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, the Grease star, 67, wrote, “Happy Birthday Kelly. We miss and love you very much.”
The actress lost her private battle with breast cancer in July 2020. She was 57. At the time of her passing, John released a statement saying: “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,” he continued. “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.”
Kelly shared three children with the Pulp Fiction actor, whom she married in 1991: 10-year-old son Benjamin, 21-year-old daughter Ella and Jett, who died in 2009 at the age of 16. During an episode of Peacock’s Hart to Heart series in August, John opened up about a discussion he had with his youngest child Ben following the death of Kelly.
“He said to me once, he said, ‘Because mom passed away, I’m afraid you’re going to.’ And I said, ‘Well, it’s a very different thing.’ And I went through the differences about my longevity and her limited life,” John recalled. “I said, ‘But you know, Ben, you always love the truth and I’m gonna tell you the truth about life. Nobody knows when they’re gonna go, or when they’re going to stay.’ ”
“I said, ‘Your brother [Jett] left at 16. Too young. Your mother left at 57. That was too young.’ But who’s to say? I said, ‘I could die tomorrow. You could. Anybody can,’” he added. “I said, ‘So let’s look at life, that it’s part of life. You see, you don’t know exactly. You just do your best at trying to live the longest you can.’”