Actor John Travolta starred in countless blockbuster films and became a heartthrob in the ‘70s, but by far, his most rewarding role is being a father. The Grease star and his late wife, Kelly Preston, welcomed three children together: Ella, Benjamin, and late son Jett. Life as a single father has been an adjustment, but John’s bond with his children has only gotten stronger.
The Pulp Fiction icon and the Jerry Maguire actress met during a screen test for the 1989 film The Experts. The pair were married in 1991 and welcomed their son, Jett, in April 1992. Ella was born in April 2000. In January 2009, Jett died at the age of 16 after suffering a seizure during a family vacation in the Bahamas. John shared in a February 2014 interview at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane that Jett’s death was “the worst thing that’s ever happened in my life.”
“The truth is, I didn’t know if I was going to make it,” the Saturday Night Fever actor said. “Life was no longer interesting to me, so it took a lot to get me better.”
In November 2010, John and Kelly welcomed their second son, Benjamin. The proud dad gushed to People in January 2011 that Benjamin gave their family “a renewed spirit and purpose.” The tight-knit family shared sweet photos together on social media, including family vacations, special bonding moments and celebrating John’s 65th birthday in 2019. The couple celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary on September 5, 2019, with special tributes.
“To my dearest Johnny, the most wonderful man I know. You have given me hope when I have felt lost, loved me patiently and unconditionally … made me laugh harder than any other human being possible … shared the most beautiful highs and at times lows,” the What a Girl Wants actress wrote on Instagram.
On July 12, 2020, John announced that his wife died at the age of 57 after a two-year breast cancer battle. “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,” the Golden Globe nominee wrote on Instagram. “But, please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead as we heal.”
On his first Father’s Day without his wife by his side, John posted a photo with Ella and Benjamin. “Happy Father’s Day everyone! It is a privilege to be the father of these two beautiful children – thank you for the honor and my love and respect to all fathers,” he wrote alongside the photo in June 2021.
Keep scrolling to see John’s sweetest quotes about being a dad.
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