The Untold Truth Of Kelly Preston

From What A Girl Wants to The Last Song, actress Kelly Preston became one of the silver screen's most devoted on-screen parents in recent years. Yet while this "adored wife and mother" will always be in our hearts, Preston passed away on July 12, 2020 after her two-year battle with breast cancer. "Choosing to keep her fight private, she had been undergoing medical treatment for some time, supported by her closest family and friends," Preston's family representative told People. "She was a bright, beautiful and loving soul who cared deeply about others and who brought life to everything she touched."

Born Kelly Kamalelehua Smith, the 57-year-old came to fame in classics, like Twins, Jerry Maguire, and For Love of the Game. However, Preston's decades-long romance with husband John Travolta also captured fans' hearts. Devastated by her loss, the actor took to Instagram to honor his late wife.

"She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many," Travolta wrote. "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." We, too, are heartbroken over this tremendous loss.

Kelly Preston and John Travolta had 'immediate chemistry'

Although actress Kelly Preston had her fair share of high-profile romances — she was briefly married to actor Kevin Gage in the late '80s and dated two of the industry's most eligible bachelors, George Clooney and Charlie Sheen — the star somehow knew she'd end up with her true love, actor John Travolta. "I did have sort of a flash," Preston once said (via PopSugar). "I came out of a film, saw the poster for Grease and I knew I'd be with him. I just knew. I was about 16 years old. I really knew it and it turned into, 'I'm going to marry that man,' and so he likes to tease me that I walked out and said, 'I'm going to marry that man,' and then did, ultimately."

When the pair finally did meet on the set of The Experts, both felt "immediate chemistry," which led them down the aisle in 1991. "I see, no lie, coming across the hall with his two dogs, this really hot guy," Preston told Us Weekly about the first time she met Travolta. "Then he stops and says hello. And I was like, 'Oh s**t. Kill me now.' You know, like, 'Oh my God.' And that was my first meeting with him." Travolta added that a friend predicted he and Preston would "fall in love" and "get married."

With 28 years under their belts, it's clear to see they were meant to be!

How Kelly Preston and John Travolta kept their marriage 'up to date'

While Hollywood marriages often end in divorce, Kelly Preston and John Travolta discovered that to keep their relationship exciting, they needed to establish a solid foundation. "We really care deeply about each other and we protect each other — and we keep [our relationship] up to date," he told Closer Weekly. He added that many couples "don't explore what the new needs are for each other. If you take a little bit of energy to take inventory of 'What are you interested in lately?' then you can keep it fresh."

Preston agreed, noting that couples should "keep doing things, just the two of you." She also said on Live with Kelly and Ryan that she and Travolta always danced together, which was just one of the reasons these two kept each other so happy throughout their 28-year marriage. "I think it's communication, keeping it fresh, checking in with each other and evolving," Preston added during an interview with Good Morning America. "You change so you want to change together. Keep it fun, it doesn't just happen on its own. You've gotta work on it."

Before her illness, Preston and Travolta teamed up for 2018's Gotti, in which he played the eponymous mob boss and she played his wife Victoria. Travolta told Entertainment Tonight that he and Preston "live for" that "creative experience together," while she said, "You can see the intimacy." We're so glad they caught these memories on film.

Kelly Preston and John Travolta survived tragedy, thanks to Scientology

In January 2009, Kelly Preston and John Travolta endured the greatest pain any parent could ever face — the loss of their 16-year-old son Jett. Diagnosed with autism, Jett also suffered from seizures and one such episode ended the young man's life while he and his family were vacationing in the Bahamas. While it's never easy to lose a child, Preston told Health that her family, friends, and faith helped pull the entire family back from the brink of sadness.

"Johnny is definitely my rock," she said. "Kirstie [Alley] is one of my absolute best friends. My mom, my brother. And to be honest, the Scientology center. I don't know if I would have made it through without it. We've been able to navigate through it and to come to a place that is a lot better."

Travolta echoed the sentiment. According to Us Weekly, he said, "It's the worst thing that's ever happened in my life. The truth is, I didn't know if I was going to make it." Travolta told the magazine, "The church never left our sides for two years. I don't know if I would have made it through without their support. Our church is the number one thing that keeps us grounded." While many have criticized the Church of Scientology, it served as the Travolta family's saving grace as they recovered from this devastating loss. We hope they'll find the same solace as they mourn Preston.

Kelly Preston and John Travolta's son Benjamin was their 'new beginning'

After years of trying to conceive, Kelly Preston and John Travolta welcomed their son Benjamin on Nov. 23, 2010, nearly two years after Jett passed away at age 16. The couple told People that they were "completely blown away" by this "miracle," because their newborn son gave their home "a renewed spirit and purpose."

"For us it's been uplifting," Travolta added. "He's brought us a new beginning, and his presence has brought joy to all the people who have wanted the best for us." Preston, who was 48 at the time of his birth, told People that Benjamin was born via C-section. "We had a silent birth, with no spoken words as much as possible that was performed in a calm and caring environment." Preston and Travolta likely opted for this quiet introduction into the world because she partly blames her "fast and hard" labor for son Jett's health issues.

But, as Travolta noted, Jett might be gone, but he'll never be forgotten. "I don't think there is any time that we don't think about him," Travolta added. "All our memories are connected to Jett over the last 18 years — our photos, our homes, our travel. It's not something that will ever leave us." And now, as the family mourns the loss of their matriarch, hopefully they'll find comfort in knowing that Preston wanted nothing but the best for those she loved most in this world.

Kelly Preston gave up drugs and alcohol for her children

Before actress Kelly Preston became a mother, she lived rather recklessly. As the former fiancée of actor Charlie Sheen, Preston drank and experimented with drugs — as she told Lifetime's The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet (via New York Daily News), she "used to do everything and a lot of everything." But after welcoming her late son Jett, daughter Elle Bleu, and son Benjamin, Preston came to learn who she was and what she needed to do to ensure her children had the greatest life possible.

"With drinking, I just decided that I wasn't always at my best," she explained. "There were times where I drank too much, for sure. When I didn't drink, I felt amazing, and I woke up feeling amazing every single day. For me, I find that our kids came in half the time to teach me about myself and to help me with others, and they have helped me so extraordinarily."

Not only did Preston go on to work with Narconon Hawaii in an effort to curb drug use in her home state, but she also taught her kids how drugs can impact your life. "I've already started on education: what drugs do to your body and how they are addictive," she told Health. "There was this fallacy in Hawaii, where I grew up, that pot's not addictive, and that it's natural, and all this other B.S. I went from that to...bam!" What a proactive mother!

Did Kelly Preston's ex-fiancé Charlie Sheen really shoot her in the arm?

Before marrying actor John Travolta, actress Kelly Preston was engaged to Hollywood's bad boy Charlie Sheen. Yet while most have forgotten about their brief relationship, it's hard to disregard the events that might've led to their breakup. Shortly before Preston and Sheen split, the Mischief star received stitches after a supposed gunshot wound left her injured. While both stars remained mum about the details at first, Sheen finally opened up while on the Vancouver stop of his My Violent Torpedo of Truth tour in 2011.

"I was downstairs early in the morning making coffee and I thought she was still asleep upstairs," Sheen told the crowd (via E! News). "And I heard a f**king gunshot go off. I thought, 'She did it, she finally f**king did it. She killed herself and they're going to f**king blame me.'" Sheen eventually found Preston at the top of the stairs covered in her own blood.

"She explained to me when she lifted my pants off the scale in the bathroom... the tiny revolver I used to carry... it fell out of the back jeans pocket and hit the floor and shot a bullet right between her legs," he added. "So she got hit with shrapnel from the toilet bowl." And, while some will likely continue to believe that Sheen tried to shoot Preston himself, we are glad Preston's "great man" finally shared the details of that mysterious night!

Kelly Preston 'always wanted to be a mother'

Although Kelly Preston and John Travolta were open about their struggles to conceive son Benjamin, the mother-of-three always knew she wanted a home filled with children. I've always wanted to be a mother, ever since I was 11," she told Health in 2013. "I was an expert babysitter. I was doing commercials for thousands of dollars, but I'd still babysit for $3 an hour just because I loved it. I'm just in a good place, and am able to really be with my kids."

And, when she discovered she was pregnant with Benjamin, she couldn't contain her excitement. "When I found out I was pregnant, I was floored," she said. "I'd snuck out of bed and then came back and woke Johnny up in bed. We both started crying. It was wonderful." Having been crushed by the sudden loss of their eldest son Jett the year before, both Preston and Travolta endured great heartbreak, but as she told Health, even when life seems hopeless, "things always get better."

Yet while Preston also told the magazine that she learned to not "sweat the small things" and "give [her] kids the space to discover who they are," she also imparted one prescient piece of advice: "Love your kids like it could be the last moment." It seems eerie now, but you can tell by Preston's last family photo on Instagram that she took her own words to heart, as she clearly loved her brood.

Ella Bleu Travolta's tribute to her 'courageous' mom will break your heart

Just as it's difficult for a parent to lose a child, it's also hard to lose your parent at such a young age. But Ella Bleu Travolta, the 20-year-old daughter of Kelly Preston and John Travolta, continues to handle her mother's death with grace and compassion.

As she wrote on Instagram, Ella Bleu had "never met anyone as courageous, strong, beautiful and loving as you." She added, "Anyone who is lucky enough to have known you or to have ever been in your presence will agree that you have a glow and a light that never ceases to shine and that makes anyone around you feel instantly happy. Thank you for being there for me no matter what. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your help and thank you for making this world a better place. You have made life so beautiful and I know you will continue to do so always."

While she's relatively new to Hollywood, Ella Bleu has always loved "performing, singing, dancing and putting on shows at home for my family and friends," she told People in 2019. And in recent years, she decided to follow in both her parents' famous footsteps. "Whatever I would have chosen to do, they would have supported me," Ella added. "But they're really proud of me for [acting]... and that makes me proud, too!" Preston has truly left behind an incredible legacy.

Hollywood's biggest names paid tribute to Kelly Preston on social media

As news of actress Kelly Preston's death spread throughout the industry, Hollywood's biggest stars took to social media to share their shock and grief. "Such a beautiful soul, sparkling eyes exuding kindness and strength," actress Rita Wilson wrote on Instagram. "She found the joy in life. She loved fiercely... She was a blast to work with, made everything more fun. She always supported others. Please keep Kelly, John, Jett, Ella and Ben in your prayers. She will be so missed."

"Kelly Preston was extraordinary," Twins co-star Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted. "I was lucky enough to star with her and direct her, and her talent was off the charts. She had such a big heart, she was a wonderful wife and mother, and my thoughts are with John and the whole family." Schwarzenegger's ex-wife Maria Shriver also tweeted: "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."

Country music star Shania Twain also tweeted her grief alongside a photo of her and the Travolta family. "I'm unbelievably saddened by the news that Kelly Preston has passed and at such a young age. A beautiful and kind person I was fortunate enough to have known." We're all lucky to have had Preston's immeasurable talent in our lives.

What can we expect from Kelly Preston's Scientology funeral?

As devout members of the Church of Scientology, actress Kelly Preston has lauded the institution for its help after her son Jett passed away in 2009. But now that Preston herself has died, what can we expect from her inevitable funeral? The service will likely be "a reaffirmation of the knowledge that we are immortal spiritual beings," that's for sure.

According to Mirror U.K., a Scientology funeral service "celebrates the life of the person who has departed his body." As the church's website states, "Friends and family have the opportunity to say goodbye, to acknowledge and thank the person for what he has done in this lifetime and to wish him well as he moves on to his next." Moreover, the funeral ceremony "serves to end the cycle of the life passed and focus on the future."

"Scientology is rich in knowledge which can help a person live a happier, more productive life. When that life draws to a close, the religion can also help ensure the being is in the best condition possible and is helped on their way to a new life," the site continues. "It is true that bodies wear out and pass away. But it is also true that the being never does. Scientology funeral ceremonies recognize this truth and impart a profound understanding of the nature of Man." While no one knows what happens after death, we hope these customs will bring the Travoltas peace.