Fifteen months after actress Kelly Preston died, husband John Travolta marked the day she would have turned 59.
“Happy birthday Kelly,” the Grease star wrote. “We miss you and love you very much.”
Travolta and Preston married in 1991, after meeting on the set of the 1989 movie The Experts, in which they co-starred. They shared three children, including their actress daughter Ella, now 21, and two sons, 10-year-old Benjamin and Jett, who died at 16 in January 2009, following a seizure.
Preston died of metastatic breast cancer in July 2020, and the aftermath was understandably difficult for Travolta.
He revealed in an August interview with Peacock’s Hart to Heart how his son reacted to Preston’s death — and how he talked him through it.
Travolta said he pointed out Preston’s illness first. Then he said, “But you know, Ben — you always love the truth and I’m going to tell you the truth about life. Nobody knows when they’re gonna go or when they’re going to stay. Your brother [Jett] left at 16. Too young. Your mother left at 57. That was too young. But who’s to say? I could die tomorrow. You could. Anybody can. So let’s look at it like it’s part of life. You don’t know exactly. You just do your best at trying to live the longest you can.'”
He’s also spoken about how he himself dealt with the fallout of his latest loss.
“I learned that mourning someone, dealing with grief is something very personal,” Travolta told Esquire Spain in April. “Mourning is individual and experiencing your own journey is what can lead you to heal. Your grief is different from another person’s journey.”
He’s said that he’s focused on supporting his children, with whom he maintains a close relationship.
“First of all, I’m going to ensure the future of my children, help them with whatever they want to do with their lives,” he told the magazine. “It’s what I’m doing with Ella right now, with her movies and teaching her about working in the industry. Ben is barely 10 years old. I want to help him evolve, he has his whole life ahead of him.”
In fact, Ella sent her dad some love on social media just this week for Father-Daughter Day. She called him her “hero” and “best friend.” She added, “I love you so much Daddy.”