Inside John Travolta & Kelly Preston's 28-Year Love Story
The two celebrated the highest highs and endured the lowest lows together before Preston's death in 2020
(Kinda) Love at First Sight
The loving couple met at a screen test for their 1989 comedy, The Experts, while Preston was still married to actor Kevin Gage.
Though Travolta has often said it was love at first sight, when asked by Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live, Preston said, "Kinda."
"Well, I was not that happily married, let’s put it that way," she continued. "I was really with the wrong person."
Preston was married to her SpaceCamp costar Gage in 1985, but the two split after only two years of marriage. Then, Preston briefly moved in with George Clooney until they called it quits in 1989, and was engaged to actor Charlie Sheen (who proposed with a 25-carat diamond ring) until 1990.
Dating Bliss Begins
Once Preston was single again, Travolta swooped in to sweep her off her feet.
On New Year's Eve 1991, Travolta got down on one knee inside the Palace Hotel restaurant in Gstaad, Switzerland, and proposed with a six-carat yellow-and-white diamond ring.
Look Who's Talking Too producer Jonathan Krane said even Preston was surprised by the sudden proposal. When Travolta popped the question, Krane said, “she screamed.”
Preston eagerly told Entertainment Tonight shortly after that the two "plan to have some babies."
"We're practicing right now," she said during her 1991 interview with the outlet. "This could be barefoot and pregnant for the next 10 years."
Preston was two months pregnant with the couple's son Jett when they got married on Sept. 5, 1991, by a Scientology minister. They said their "I dos" in an unannounced ceremony at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris.
They later got married for a second time on U.S. soil in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Madly in Love & Married
Travolta and Preston are seen enjoying married life at the opening of the Church of Scientology Museum in L.A. in 1991.
Travolta has been a member of the Church of Scientology since 1975.
Ella the Actress
On April 3, 2000, the couple welcomed their second child, a daughter named Ella Bleu.
Here, Ella cuddled between her parents on the red carpet for MGM's 2005 premiere of Be Cool in L.A.
The only daughter of Travolta and Preston decided to follow in her parents' footsteps to become an actress, and starred in the 2019 film, The Poison Rose, alongside her famous father and Morgan Freeman.
Proud mom Preston took to Instagram to celebrate her daughter's rise as an actress, writing, “Still in absolute awe of my stunning daughter @ella.travolta I just re-watched all of her interviews this past week doing press for #thepoisonrose and she has jumped into ‘the family business’ as an absolute natural.”
“I am beyond proud of her and all of her accomplishments, but most of all I am proud and honored to have her as my daughter," Preston added. "I love you and congratulations."
Always Make Time
Throughout marriage, their busy careers and raising their children, Travolta and Preston always made time for each other, especially on birthdays.
Here's Travolta surprising Preston with a 40th birthday cake at the One World, One Child Benefit Concert in 2002.
Parents' Worst Nightmare
In 2009, their oldest son Jett died while on vacation in the Bahamas with the family. He suffered a seizure and hit his head in a bathtub. He was 16.
“[John] never dreamed of this — their relationship was so close," said family attorney Mike Ossi. “He always said ‘I’m happy as long as my kids are happy.’ He is heartbroken. To bury your son is the worst thing you can ever do.”
Stronger than Ever
Nearly two years after the tragedy, the couple welcomed another little boy Benjamin, who helped Preston, Travolta, and their daughter Ella Bleu move forward and find joy again.
“Certainly having little Ben has been a beautiful kind of glue for us to rebond after tremendous loss,” Travolta said in an interview with Good Morning America.
“He’s given the house a renewed spirit and purpose,” the actor added to PEOPLE in 2011.
Here, the family at Cannes in 2018.
The Travolta-Preston family continued to remain close as they celebrated big life events together. Here, the family celebrated Travolta's 65th birthday on Feb. 18, 2019.
Cheers to 28 Years
Twenty-eight years later, after experiencing many highs and lows, the two were still madly in love with each other.
The couple celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary on Sept. 5, 2019, sharing sweet Instagram tributes to each other.
Travolta shared a photo of himself and his wife hugging while at dinner, writing, “Happy Anniversary to my wonderful wife ♥️ @therealkellypreston.”
Preston also shared the same photo but wrote a lengthier heartfelt note to her husband.
“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,” she wrote.
She added, “You’re a dream Daddio and make life so much fun!! I trust my love with you implicitly… with you I know I will always be okay no matter what happens… I love you forever and completely. Happy 28th Anniversary @johntravolta 💕♥️.”
On July 12, 2020, Travolta announced via Instagram that his beloved wife had died at the age of 57 following a two-year battle with breast cancer. "Kelly's love and life will always be remembered," the actor wrote.
On Oct. 13, 2020, three months after his wife's passing, Travolta shared a throwback photo in honor of what would have been Preston's 58th birthday. The sweet post is a side-by-side of the pair on their wedding day and Travolta's mother and father on theirs.
He captioned the photo, "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."