Kelly Preston died on 7/12/20 after a two-year battle with breast cancer that she managed to keep hidden from the press and public. The radiant and jovial actress was only 57.
She had numerous guest star and cameo appearances in TV shows like “Quincy, M.E.” and “CHiPs” during the early 1980’s. Her film debut was in the wildly violent “10 To Midnight” in 1983 for Cannon Films starring Charles Bronson and Andrew Stevens. She had a minor, but memorable role, playing a friend of the daughter of Bronson’s character.
Throughout the 1980’s, she appeared in several movies that were bashed by critics but ended up as cult classics thanks to cable television and videos stores. “Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn”, “Secret Admirer”, “Space Camp” and “Spellbinder”. She had a minor role in “Christine” directed by John Carpenter, based on the novel by Stephen King, which was a blockbuster.
Preston was able to show off her dramatic side in the gritty “52 Pick-Up” in 1986 based on the Elmore Leonard novel. It reunited her with Cannon Films and it’s considered the most critically acclaimed release from the production company thanks to director John Frankenheimer and the cast that included Roy Scheider, Ann-Margret, and Vanity. Preston played the mistress of Scheider’s character caught up in a blackmail scheme.
She began dating actor John Travolta in the late 1980’s after co-starring together in “The Experts”. The action comedy was a box office and critical bomb.
The 1990s were a big decade for Preston. She and Travolta were married in 1991. She appeared in several films including the huge hit “Jerry Maguire” starring Tom Cruise and Cuban Gooding, Jr.
She would join Travolta in the notorious “Battlefield Earth” in 2000 which is ranked as one of the worst movies of all-time. It won the Golden Raspberry for the Worst Movie Of The Decade in 2010. It also turned into a career decline for her and Travolta. She appeared in several mostly unforgettable films afterwards, usually in the role of a wife and mother.
Her last film was “Gotti” in 2018 with Travolta playing the title role of real life mobster John Gotti. She played his wife, Victoria Gotti. The movie was first announced in 2010 but there were several years of creative and production delays. It ended up being another critical and box office dud.