Kelly Preston Dies: ‘Jerry Maguire’ Actress Was 57; Spouse John Travolta Reveals Death

By Dominic Patten, Anthony D'Alessandro

Kelly Preston

Kelly Preston died today, her husband John Travolta has revealed. She was 57. The Twins and Jerry Maguire star passed away Sunday after a long fight against breast cancer.

Hawaii-born Preston’s spouse of nearly 30 years and her Gotti co-star  took to social media late tonight in a heartfelt post:

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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

A post shared by John Travolta (@johntravolta) on

Married in 1991, the couple have a 20-year old daughter Elia and a nine-year old son Benjamin. Travolta and Preston lost their 16-year old son Jet in 2006 from circumstances related to his autism and seizures.

Born Kelly Kamalelehua Smith (her middle name “Kamalelehua” meaning ‘garden of lehuas’ in Hawaiian) in Honolulu Hawaii; Preston took on her current stage name when she began acting in 1984. She studied drama and theater and USC. While living in Australia, Preston reportedly was discovered at 16 by a fashion photographer, who assisted her in landing her first film audition for the role of Emmeline in the 1980 Randal Kleiser-directed movie The Blue Lagoon, a part she would lose to Brooke Shields.

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Her major film roles came in 1985 as Marilyn McCauley in the Doug McKeon romantic comedy teen flick Mischief, as Deborah Ann Fimple in the teen comedy Secret Admirer. Other credits included Twins, SpaceCamp, and of course, as the aggressive ex-girlfriend of Tom Cruise’s sports agent Jerry Maguire in Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire, who ditches him when hits rock bottom in his career at the onset of the film.

Preston also played Jane Aubrey in the Kevin Costner baseball movie For Love of the Game and Kate Newell in the Eddie Murphy 1998 comedy Holy Man. Preston starred in 2010’s Casino Jack opposite Kevin Spacey, Barry Pepper, and Jon Lovitz. She also had the lead in the ABC/20th Century Fox TV/21 Laps TV movie Adopted directed by Gail Mancuso, in which played Karey, a clean-nosed black sheep in a family of drug addicts and petty thieves, who raises her brother’s kids when he’s sent to prison. Other credits included an appearance in the Maroon 5 music video “She Will Be Loved”. She starred in three episodes of CBS’s 2016 series CSI: Cyber as Greer Latimore.

In 1987, Preston met Travolta on the set of the Dave Thomas-directed comedy The Experts. She would continue on (in full billing) to work with Travolta three more times, notably as the girlfriend of his character in the 2000 sci-fi movie Battlefield Earth based on the L. Ron Hubbard novel, in the Robin Williams 2009 comedy Old Dogs, and most recently, the mafia movie Gotti as Victoria Gotti, to Travolta’s mob boss John Gotti.

IMDB lists her last movie Off the Rails being in post-production. The pic directed by Jules Williamson stars Judi Dench and follows four friends in their ’50s who recreate an inter-rail journey across Europe. Preston was repped by CAA.

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