Actress Kelly Preston—the star of films like Jerry Maguire and Twins—died Sunday morning. “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,” Travolta shared on Instagram early Monday morning. “Kelly’s love and life will always be remembered.” She was 57.
Born Kelly Kamalelehua Smith, the Honolulu native grew up in Iraq and Australia before landing at the University of Southern California to study acting. When she began professional career, she took on the last name of her mom Linda’s second husband—and her adoptive father—Peter Palzis. (Her birth father drowned when she was 3 years old.) She started acting in commercials in her teens, and her first big film audition was reportedly for what would become Brooke Shield’s role in 1980's Blue Lagoon. As she continued to audition, she began using the surname Preston and booked her first major film role, popular Marilyn McCauley in 1985's Mischief. That was just the first of a string of teen films like Secret Admirer and Space Camp before roles in 1988's Twins and 1996's Jerry Maguire. Other notable credits include the films For Love Of The Game, Holy Man, and Nothing To Lose, as well as recurring roles on the Patricia Arquette’s NBC drama Medium and friend Kirstie Alley’s Showtime comedy Fat Actress.
Following a two-year marriage to Heat actor Kevin Gage, Preston met John Travolta in 1987 when they were cast in the 1989 comedy The Experts. The two wed in 1991 and welcomed son Jett in 1992, daughter Ella in 2000, and son Benjamin in 2010. Jett died at age 16 in January 2009 after suffering a seizure.
Preston’s most recent film role was starring opposite her husband in the 2018 film Gotti. According to IMDB, Preston had completed filming one last project, the comedy Off The Rails. “Now in their 50's [sic], four friends recreate an inter-rail journey across Europe,” reads the description of the film, which features Judi Dench. “With lost passports, train strikes and romantic entanglements thrown in their way, they must put old feuds aside to complete the journey within five days and remind themselves that they are still at their peak.”