Hollywood star John Travolta became a single dad after losing his wife of two decades to a disease. He is a family-oriented man who adores his children.
Actor John Travolta was born in Englewood, New Jersey, on February 18, 1954. He is best known for his roles in the TV sitcom, “Welcome Back, Kotter,” and the hit film, “Saturday Night Fever.”
After the 1970s, Travolta disappeared from the limelight, only to reappear in the 1990s. He re-emerged as a Bonafide star after his stint in the 1994 classic film, “Pulp Fiction.”
Travolta developed an interest in the arts from a young age and was fortunate enough to receive his mother’s support – an actress and a drama teacher – in cultivating his talent for performing.
With his mom and dad’s approval, he dropped out of high school at age 16 to pursue an acting career. Travolta bagged commercial gigs and some minor TV roles right up his alley while trying to get a foot in the door.
He later made his Off-Broadway debut in “Rain” (1972), and following the show, he landed a role in the icon movie “Grease” before making his Broadway debut in “Over Here!”
Travolta Met His Wife through His Passion for Acting
It was through his love for acting that Travolta crossed paths with his future wife, actress Kelly Preston in 1987. The pair met while doing a screen test for the film, “Experts” (1989).
Preston recalled their encounter in an interview with Us Weekly in 2018 and admitted the “Hairspray” star instantly caught her eye:
“I see, no lie, coming across the hall with his two dogs, this hot guy. Then he stops and says hello. And I was like, ‘Oh. Kill me now.’ You know, like, ‘Oh, my God.’”
Meanwhile, Travolta revealed that he was equally besotted with the Hawaii native and shared they developed an instant connection upon meeting. He said Preston was a “gorgeous woman.”
Despite falling for each other, Preston was still married to actor Kevin Cage, but they divorced in 1987. She then dated Hollywood A-lister George Clooney in 1989 and when that relationship failed, she became briefly engaged to TV star Charlie Sheen in 1990.
Fate eventually brought her and Travolta together, and the pair got engaged on New Year’s Eve in 1990. The lovebirds wed a year later, in September 1991, and had two weddings.
They soon started a family when they welcomed their first child, son Jett, in 1992. The couple’s only daughter Ella arrived several years later in 2000, and it took a decade for Travolta and Preston to have their third child, son Benjamin, born in 2010.
His arrival was a year after his big brother, Jett, tragically died after a seizure at age 16. Travolta expressed in 2016 that his youngest son’s birth mended their hearts after losing his oldest:
“Certainly, having little Ben has been a beautiful kind of glue for us to rebound after tremendous loss.”
In 2018, his spouse talked about spending quality time with their brood. Preston said she was the happiest when in her family’s company:
“I experience bliss a lot, and it’s always when I’m with my kids and husband we’re all together alone. As a family, it doesn’t get better than that.”
She juggled her busy Hollywood career with being a wife and a mom and divulged that motherhood inspired her in all aspects of her life. The mother of three was best known for her unforgettable roles in “Twins” “For the Love of the Game” and “Jerry Maguire.”
Preston Died from Cancer
Preston sadly passed away in July 2020 at age 57 after secretly battling breast cancer for two years. Her husband announced the devastating news on Instagram:
“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.”
Travolta penned a heartfelt tribute to his beloved spouse of nearly 29 years, saying she fought a good fight and did that with the outpouring of “love and support” from those who stood by her.
He thanked medical professionals at “MD Anderson Cancer Center” for caring for Preston, including her friends and those who adored her.
The father of three added the mother of his kids would forever remain in people’s hearts. He stated that he would take some time to grieve with the couple’s offspring and noted he would be unreachable for a while. “But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead as we heal,” said Travolta.
After Preston’s death, her rep revealed that she had decided to keep her cancer diagnosis under wraps and had undergone treatment “for some time.”
Travolta Is a Single Dad of Two
Now a single father, Travolta does whatever he can to support his son and daughter. In August 2022, he posted a clip of Benjamin and wrote he was “so proud” that he completed a new level of ninja training. The video showed the youngster climbing and swinging from monkey bars.
The doting dad first shared a clip of Benjamin’s training in April 2022, which displayed him making his way through a ninja course, and captioned the post: “My Spider-Man Ben!” In May 2022, Travolta shared his son’s progress in another clip and deemed him the “new best.”
Travolta and his daughter Ella recently celebrated Benjamin’s 12th birthday on November 23, 2022, and paid homage to him on social media. The loving father posted a snapshot of his son cuddled up with his dog, Peanut, and said he and his sister “love you so much!”
Travolta adopted the pet after actress Jamie Lee Curtis made a stage appearance at the 94th Academy Awards as she honored late fellow actress Betty White and her devotion to animal welfare.
Ella also wrote birthday wishes for her little brother by sharing a photo of the birthday boy holding his puppy. She called him “the sweetest boy” and told him she loved him.
On Mother’s Day, her dad remembered their mom in an emotional tribute on Instagram. The “Face/Off” star posted a video montage showing a series of photos of the couple.
The clip had Barbra Streisand’s 2011 song, “Nice n Easy,” in the background, featuring all their three kids. Travolta said he and his children were missing Preston, adding they loved her.
Preston and Travolta’s eldest child Jett died on Christmas vacation in the Bahamas in 2009. After his death was ruled to be caused by a seizure, his dad later disclosed that he was autistic and had suffered numerous attacks before. Jett had had Kawasaki disease from the age of two.