John Travolta Is a Single Dad Devoting Life to 2 Kids Now — He Learned to Move On after Losing Wife Son
John Travolta Is a Single Dad Devoting Life to 2 Kids Now — He Learned to Move On after Losing Wife Son
John Travolta is an incredibly devoted and proud parent to his four children. Today, he is 68 years old, and he continues to look for reasons to smile and be joyful despite the heartbreaking tragedies and losses he has suffered along the challenging journey he has traveled.
At a screen test in 1989 for the comedic film “The Experts,” where John Travolta was acting, the actor met the woman who would later become the mother of his children, actress Kelly Preston. At the time, she was already married to the actor Kevin Gage.
While Travolta has often claimed that it was love at first sight for him, Preston has indicated that for her, it was more like love at a glance than love at first sight.
Actor John Travolta and his wife actress Kelly Preston at Deauville film festival on September 8, 1991 in Deauville, France ┃Source: Getty Images
Despite this, the couple tied the knot on September 5, 1991, at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris, and had a minister of the Scientology religion preside over the ceremony. At the time of the incident, Preston was a little over two months pregnant with the couple’s first child, who they named Jett.
After some time had passed, the couple remarried and this time did so in the United States, specifically in the city of Daytona Beach, Florida. When their son Jett was born in April of 1992, they experienced parenthood for the first time. In April of 2000, eight years after the birth of their first child, son Jett, Travolta and Preston welcomed their second child, a girl named Ella.
When they were still in the engagement phase, Preston revealed that they had already been talking about establishing a family. “It is in our future to start a family. At this very moment, we are practicing. This may mean walking around barefoot and carrying a child for the next decade.”
Even the couple’s loved ones, like Travolta’s sister-in-law, Wendy Travolta, who stated: “They were on cloud nine being in love,” could see that the couple was over over heels in love at the time.
“I’ve never seen Johnny happier. I guess it’s timing. John and Kelly are both ready to settle down.”
Kelly Preston pictured with her husband John Travolta and son Jett on location filming the movie “Addicted to Love” in 1997 ┃Source: Getty Images
In point of fact, they were as Travolta proposed to Preston on New Year’s Eve in 1991 at the restaurant of the Palace Hotel in Gstaad, Switzerland, presenting her with a diamond ring weighing six carats. Preston was completely taken aback by the gesture. It was disclosed by the producer of “Look Who’s Talking,” Jonathan Krane, that the future bride “screamed” when John Travolta asked her to marry him.
Sadly, many years after settling down, the couple experienced the death of their son, Jett, who was 16 years old at the time. Jett lost unexpectedly in a sad accident in January 2009 when the family was on holiday in the Bahamas.
Michael Ossi, the family’s attorney, said that the adolescent experienced a seizure when the family was on holiday at their house. According to a statement made by Loretta Mackey, a police spokesperson at the time, he died at Rand Memorial Hospital after suffering a head injury after falling into a bathtub. A caregiver found Jett lying unconscious in the restroom of the facility where she was staying.
In 2003, his mother said that when he was two years old, he was gravely ill but that doctors thought he only had the flu. After further testing, it was determined that the little child had Kawasaki illness.
Some people have reported that having this illness led to inflammation in their arteries; nonetheless, it is treatable. On the other hand, it may in certain instances result in damage to the heart that is permanent. In addition, Preston reported that her kid suffered from asthma and blamed the condition on several home cleansers, including pesticides and fertilizers.
In addition to that, her spouse stated that after the birth of their kid he became extremely possessive of their child. “I can’t even begin to fathom what my life would be like if Jett weren’t in it. After he was born and given a bath, I spent hours cuddling and soothing him while Kelly got some much-needed rest. I told them, “No, you can’t see him today.” when they came to take him away for the many tests that needed to be done. You’ll have to get back to me another time about it. I lost my mind a little bit.”
In a honest interview from February 2014, John Travolta discussed the passing of his kid and referred to the experience as “the saddest thing that’s ever happened.” The devoted father stated that after the tragedy, he had lost interest in life and never imagined he would survive it.
He said that following Jett’s passing, he “didn’t want to get up,” adding that his religion was essential in bringing him back to the real world. The church that he attended in New Jersey provided him with support during the duration of his rehabilitation, which lasted “two solid years” each week. It used a variety of strategies with the goal of assisting Travolta in getting through the challenging moment.
The Couple’s “Miracle” Baby
Two years after Jett’s passing, Preston fell pregnant again at age 48. She and Travolta welcomed their youngest child, son Benjamin, in November 2010; it was a “miracle.”
The two had tried to have another child for three years to no avail until they discovered they were expecting and the news left them “completely blown away!” said the delighted mom in January 2011.
Since the Hawaiian native was already at a late stage in her life when she and her spouse decided to try for a new addition to the family, she admitted to being oblivious to the dangers of conceiving in her late forties:
“I didn’t (consider the risks). I just considered that it was difficult. I never thought that would be me at all. So, I think we’re just happy that we’re so fortunate.”
The advent of Benjamin brought happiness to the family, and Benjamin’s happy father couldn’t stop gushing over his new son when he was born. Travolta shared his thoughts, saying, “He’s given the home a revitalized energy and purpose.”
He read the bedtime story “Good Night, Gorilla” to his then-newborn son and sang him lullabies, one of which being “A Bushel and a Peck” from the musical “Guys and Dolls.” The infant’s first grin was the most memorable event for the parents when it came to their new kid.
Preston referred to the birth of Benjamin as a “healing” experience for her family and referred to it as a “wonderful gift.” She and the people closest to her got messages of support and well wishes for “happiness” from followers all around the globe.
On social media, they did give off the impression that they were content. In April of 2020, when the Travolta family celebrated Easter, John Travolta shared a video on his website in which his wife and children wished all of their followers across the globe a “Happy Easter.”
They observed New Year’s in the same manner back in January of that year, 2020, when the holiday was celebrated. An Instagram video showed the Travolta family wishing their followers a “Happy New Year” at the same time.
In addition, Preston and Travolta just celebrated their happy marriage of 28 years in September of 2019. The doting husband commemorated the momentous event by posting a photo on Instagram that showed the couple beaming broadly when they were out to dinner. The actor from “Pulp Fiction” said on Instagram, “Happy anniversary to my amazing wife @therealkellypreston.”
When John Travolta shared a “fangirl moment” that his wife had caught on tape, the pair revealed exactly how delighted they really were. He uploaded a picture of the two of them smiling and laughing while standing next to each other in one shot, and he also uploaded a picture of the two of them leaning towards each other while smiling slightly in another.
When the family vacationed in Florida in December 2019, they went to see “The Polar Express Ice Sculpture Exhibit,” where they had a lot of fun with their children. Preston uploaded some pictures and a video of his family having fun “sledding” on the ice after the event. The doting mother said on Instagram that she and her family had a wonderful day and wished her fans “good holidays!!” Up to the year 2020, the family had a long period of happiness.
Another Death in the Family
On July 13, 2020, Travolta announced the tragic death of his beloved wife, Preston, on social media. He revealed that she had secretly been battling cancer:
“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.”
John Travolta attends the press conference during the 14th Rome Film Festival on October 22, 2019 in Rome, Italy ┃Source: Getty Images
In the lengthy post, Travolta thanked the medical staff “at MD Anderson Cancer Center” who assisted his spouse on the arduous journey and expressed gratitude to those who were there for her during the challenging time.
“Kelly’s love and life will always be remembered,” he stated, adding he would be scarce from social media for some time to grieve along with the couple’s son and daughter, Benjamin and Ella.
Months later, Travolta paid tribute to Preston on Instagram by wishing her a happy birthday. To commemorate the day, he posted a throwback photo of his parents on their wedding day, including one on his wedding day with the love of his life.
“Happy Birthday, hon! I found this photo of my mom and dad’s wedding. It was nice to see ours alongside theirs. All my love, John,” he captioned the post.
Travolta still loves and longs for the “Jerry Maguire” star. He marked her birthday again on October 2021, alongside a picture of her waving, writing, “Happy Birthday Kelly. We miss and love you very much.”
Preston was 57 when she died, and in the wake of her death, her only daughter Ella penned an emotional tribute, stating she was one of a kind:
“I have never met anyone as courageous, strong, beautiful, and loving as you. 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 everyone around you feel instantly happy.”
The young actress thanked her mom for always supporting her, loving her, helping her, and “making this world a better place.” Ella noted her parent made life worth living and that even in the afterlife, she would continue to extend that:
“You have made life so beautiful, and I know you will continue to do so always. I love you so much, mama.”
Ella also paid a touching homage to her adoring father in February 2022 on his 68th birthday. She posted a throwback of her dad holding her when she was little and wrote that he is her idol and bosom buddy:
“Happy Birthday to my role model, my best friend, the person who has taught me one of the most valuable lessons in life, kindness. I love you with all my heart, Daddy.”
Meanwhile, Travolta also yearned for his late eldest child and expressed this on Instagram on what would have been Jett’s 30th birthday. The father of three posted a black and white picture of him and his young son smiling and penned that words could not express how much he misses him:
“My dearest Jetty, I miss you more than words can say. I think about you every day. Happy Birthday. Love, your Dad.”
While thinking of his child, Travolta revealed in April 2021 what he learned from the passing of his wife. “I learned that crying to someone, living the mourning, is something personal.”
The film star explained that when someone mourns, it is an “individual” process they must go through alone to find healing. Travolta stated others should give those in mourning a chance to do so privately to avoid making things worse:
“The most important thing you can do to help another when they are in mourning is to allow them to live it and not complicate it with yours.”
He further explained that interrupting someone else’s grieving period takes away their need to mourn those they lost. “Even though it’s great to have company, sometimes it becomes that you are helping them instead of getting to work to overcome the feeling of loss and mourning,” the star added.
The “Welcome Back” alum revealed he experienced such when he lost his spouse of 29 years. Multiple people “approached” him, which overwhelmed him as he became immersed in their “sadness” and was left helpless. Travolta recommended isolation for those going through grief to avoid such instances.
He also discussed how he told his son Benjamin about Preston’s passing, who then expressed concern that because his mother had died, he feared his father would soon follow suit.
Travolta explained to his child that such circumstances are different and referenced the death of Benjamin’s older brother Jett who died at a young age, and “your mother left at 57, and that was too young.” He leveled with his lastborn and told him that people do not know when they will die and live life as best as they can.
On the bright side, he fondly talked about doing projects with his daughter as the duo danced in the Super Bowl announcement, replicating “Grease” dance moves. When asked how much that experience meant to him, Travolta proudly said:
“It was magical because there is no one in the world with whom I would like to dance more than with my daughter Ella. It worked on so many levels!”
He revealed people enjoyed being entertained by the video, that he successfully introduced his child to the showbiz world to showcase “her talent and beauty,” and that “it turned into a beautiful tribute to her mother.”
Travolta disclosed that he and his late wife “danced” together, which meant a lot to them. When asked what he looked forward to in the future, the proud father said:
“I will ensure the future of my children, help them with what they want to do with their lives. It’s what I do with Ella now with her movies and teaching her how to work in the profession. Ben is barely ten years old. I want to help you evolve; you have your whole life ahead of you.”
As for him, he expressed the desire to film “more musical projects, good dramas, and good comedies.” In the meantime, the A-lister would love to “experience, dance, music, and people.”
The Hollywood leading man also enjoys one of his luxurious hobbies, flying his planes at his multi-million dollar abode in Florida. The mansion – which Travolta and Preston purchased for $3.5 million in 2001 – sits on 550 acres of land in a gated community estate of Jumbo Lair Airport.
The main runway is reportedly 7550 feet long and is considered one of the largest in the country. It can accommodate big airplanes such as the Boeing 737.
His spouse revealed in 2004 that it had always been “his dream” to have planes in the front yard. Travolta has owned many of them, including the Boeing 707 138b and the Bombardier Challenger 601.