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Kelly Preston

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Kelly Preston
Kelly Preston Cannes 2018.jpg
BornKelly Kamalelehua Smith
(1962-10-13) October 13, 1962 (age 56)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
OccupationActress, model
Years active1980–present

Kelly Preston (born October 13, 1962) is an American actress and former model. She has appeared in more than sixty television and film productions, most notably including Mischief, Twins, and Jerry Maguire. She is married to John Travolta, with whom she collaborated on the science fiction film Battlefield Earth. She also starred in the films The Cat in the Hat, Old Dogs, and Broken Bridges.

Early years[edit]

Kelly Kamalelehua Smith[1] (the middle name "Kamalelehua" means 'garden of lehuas' in Hawaiian - a lehua being a well-known Hawaiian flower[2][3]) was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her mother Linda was an administrator of a mental health center and her father, who worked for an agricultural firm, drowned when Preston was three years old.[4][5][not in citation given] Her mother married Peter Palzis, a personnel director, who subsequently adopted her; she used his name when she first began her acting career until 1984.[6][7] She has a younger half-brother, Chris Palzis.[6] As a child, she spent time living in Iraq and also in Australia, where she attended Pembroke School in Adelaide. She went on to Punahou School in Honolulu and studied drama and theater at the University of Southern California.[8]


While living in Australia, Preston was discovered at 16 by a fashion photographer who helped her get work in commercials and other small parts,[6] and organized her first film audition in 1980 for the role of Emmeline in The Blue Lagoon (1980), which she lost to the younger Brooke Shields.[9] At that time she changed her last name to Preston.[10]

Her first prominent film roles came in 1985, firstly as Marilyn McCauley in romantic comedy teen flick Mischief and then as the beautiful but shallow Deborah Ann Fimple in another teen romantic comedy, Secret Admirer. Other notable roles included SpaceCamp (1986), Twins (1988) with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, Avery Bishop in Jerry Maguire (1996) with Tom Cruise, Jane Aubrey in For Love of the Game with Kevin Costner and Kate Newell in Holy Man (1998) with Eddie Murphy and Jeff Goldblum.

She played the girlfriend of her husband John Travolta's character "Terl" in the 2000 film Battlefield Earth,[11] and received "Worst Supporting Actress" at the 21st Golden Raspberry Awards for her role in the film.[12] In 2005, she appeared as the flying, superheroine mother of the protagonist in the film Sky High.

Preston was featured in the Maroon 5 music video "She Will Be Loved" in 2004. The video features a love triangle and romantic scenes between Preston and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. In 2008, she was cast in a television pilot for a potential show called Suburban Shootout.[13] She had a short term recurring role in Medium.[13]

In 2008, Preston starred in the Lifetime movie The Tenth Circle, directed by Peter Markle. The film was shot in Nova Scotia and featured Ron Eldard, Brittany Robertson, Michael Riley, Jamie Johnston and Geordie Brown.[14]

She has been a spokeswoman for Neutrogena since 2005 and appears in print and television advertisements.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Preston was married to actor Kevin Gage from 1985 until their divorce in 1987. She also had a relationship with George Clooney.[6] She was briefly engaged to Charlie Sheen in 1990,[6][16] but ended the relationship shortly after he allegedly shot her in the arm.[16][17] In a 2011 interview with TMZ, Preston claimed that Sheen did not shoot her.[18]

John Travolta[edit]

Preston first met John Travolta in 1987 while filming The Experts.[19] They married in 1991, traveling to Paris on an Air France Concorde for a wedding ceremony at the Hotel de Crillon (on the Place de la Concorde) on September 5, 1991. However, a second ceremony was required because the first, performed by a French Scientology minister (both Preston and Travolta are Scientologists), was considered invalid. This second ceremony took place on September 12 in Daytona Beach, Florida.[20] They have had three children: son Jett (April 13, 1992 – January 2, 2009), daughter Ella Bleu (born 2000), and son Benjamin (born 2010).[21][22]

Son's illness and death[edit]

Preston's son Jett Travolta was described as suffering from Kawasaki disease as an infant and had a history of seizures.[23][24] In 2003, Preston appeared on The Montel Williams Show to promote L. Ron Hubbard's Purification Rundown, which she credited with helping her son.[25]

On January 2, 2009, Jett Travolta died while the family was on a holiday vacation in The Bahamas.[26][27] His death was attributed to a seizure.[28] In September 2009, Travolta and Preston confirmed longstanding speculations when they testified that their son had autism and suffered regular seizures. This revelation came during their testimony at the trial resulting from an extortion attempt related to their son's death.[29]

On January 23, 2009, three people were arrested in the Bahamas in connection with a multimillion-dollar extortion plot against Travolta and Preston concerning the circumstances of their son's death.[30] One of the men, Obie Wilchcombe, a member of the Bahamian Parliament and former Bahamian Minister of Tourism, was described as a "close friend" of Travolta and Preston.[30] Two others allegedly involved were an EMT named Tarino Lightbourne and a Bahamian senator named Pleasant Bridgewater. Bridgewater was charged with abetment to extort and conspiracy to extort and resigned from the Senate as a result of the allegations.[30][31]



Year Title Role Notes
1983 10 to Midnight Doreen
1983 Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn Dhyana
1983 Christine Roseanne
1985 Mischief Marilyn McCauley
1985 Secret Admirer Deborah Anne Fimple
1986 SpaceCamp Tish Ambrosé
1986 52 Pick-Up Cini
1987 Love at Stake Sara Lee
1987 A Tiger's Tale Shirley Butts
1987 Amazon Women on the Moon Violet Segment: "Titan Man"
1988 Spellbinder Miranda Reed
1988 Twins Marnie Mason
1989 The Experts Bonnie
1991 Run Karen Landers
1992 Only You Amanda Hughes
1994 Double Cross Vera Blanchard Video
1994 Love Is a Gun Jean Starr
1994 Cheyenne Warrior Rebecca Carver
1995 Mrs. Munck Young Rose
1995 Waiting to Exhale Kathleen Uncredited
1996 Citizen Ruth Rachel
1996 From Dusk till Dawn Newscaster Kelly Houge
1996 Curdled Kelly Hogue
1996 Jerry Maguire Avery Bishop
1997 Addicted to Love Linda
1997 Nothing to Lose Ann Beam
1998 Holy Man Kate Newell
1998 Jack Frost Gabby Frost
1999 For Love of the Game Jane Aubrey
2000 Battlefield Earth Chirk
2001 Daddy and Them Rose
2003 View from the Top Sherry
2003 What a Girl Wants Libby Reynolds
2003 The Cat in the Hat Joan Walden
2004 Eulogy Lucy Collins
2004 Return to Sender Susan Kennan
2005 Sky High Josie Stronghold / Jetstream
2006 Broken Bridges Angela Delton
2007 Death Sentence Helen Hume
2008 Struck Trista Short film
2009 Old Dogs Vicki
2010 The Last Song Kim
2010 Casino Jack Pam Abramoff
2018 Gotti Victoria Gotti


Year Title Role Notes
1980 Hawaii Five-O Wendy Episode: "For Old Times Sake"
1982 Capitol Gillian McCandless TV series
1983 Lone Star Redhead TV film
1983 Quincy, M.E. Ginger Reeves Episode: "On Dying High"
1983 The Renegades Lisa Primus Episode: "Back to School"
1983 CHiPs Anna Episode: "Things That Go Creep in the Night"
1983-1984 For Love and Honor Mary Lee Regular role (12 episodes)
1984 Riptide Sherry Meyers Episode: "The Hardcase"
1984 Blue Thunder Amy Braddock Episode: "The Long Flight"
1990 Tales from the Crypt Linda Episode: "The Switch"
1991 The Perfect Bride Laura TV film
1993 The American Clock Diana Marley TV film
1994 Cheyenne Warrior Rebecca Carver TV film
1996 Little Surprises Ginger TV short
2000 Bar Hopping Bebe TV film
2004 Joey Donna Di Gregorio Episodes: "Joey and the Dream Girl: Parts 1 & 2"
2005 Fat Actress Quinn Taylor Scott Recurring role (4 episodes)
2008 Suburban Shootout Camilla Diamond Unsold TV pilot
2008 Medium Meghan Doyle Recurring role (4 episodes)
2008 The Tenth Circle Laura Stone TV film
2013 Adopted Karey TV film
2013 The Stafford Project Tabitha Episode: "White Secret"
2016 CSI: Cyber Greer Latimore Recurring role (3 episodes)


Year Award Category Production Result
2001 Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actress Battlefield Earth Won
2004 Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actress Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat Nominated
2010 Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actress Old Dogs Nominated


  1. ^ "Ten Celebrities That Hail From Hawai". Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  2. ^ Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, vol. 59, Thomas Riggs, Gale Biographies, 2005, pg 259
  3. ^ Celebrated Weekends: The Stars' Guide to the most exciting destinations in the world, Mark Seal, Rutledge Hill Press, 2007, pg 153
  4. ^ "Kelly Preston Profile". E! Online. Archived from the original on August 7, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  5. ^ Donnelly, Dave. "Hawaii." Honolulu Star-Bulletin. May 17, 1999.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Kelly Preston Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on December 26, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  7. ^ "Kelly Preston Biography (1962–)". NetIndustries, LLC. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  8. ^ "About Kelly". Kelly Retrieved February 26, 2008.
  9. ^ "Kelly Preston".
  10. ^ Kelly Preston Vitals at Ask
  11. ^ Graham, Bob (January 19, 2001). "Travolta's Demolition Derby: Comic-book nuttiness lifts 'Battlefield Earth'". San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Communications. Retrieved June 12, 2008.
  12. ^ Grant, John (2006). Sci-Fi Movies: Facts, Figures & Fun. Sterling Publishing Company. p. 87. ISBN 1-904332-35-8.
  13. ^ a b Trechak, Brad (May 16, 2008). "Kelly Preston in new HBO series". TV Squad. Retrieved June 12, 2008.
  14. ^ "The Tenth Circle". IMDB. Retrieved Jul 4, 2010.
  15. ^ "Kelly Preston Fronts Neutrogena" January 20, 2005, Monsters and Critics
  16. ^ a b Faber, Judy (August 24, 2006). "Charlie Sheen". CBS. Retrieved October 30, 2009.
  17. ^ "Charlie Sheen Biography" Archived March 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine., Biography Channel website. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Bob and Sheri Stritof. "Kelly Preston and John Travolta Marriage Profile." Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  20. ^ "John Travolta Biography". Retrieved August 4, 2009.
  21. ^ "John Travolta and Kelly Preston Welcome Son Benjamin". People. November 24, 2010. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
  22. ^ "Kelly Preston’s Post-Baby Body Secret? Breastfeeding" April 13, 2011, People
  23. ^ "John Travolta's 16-Year-Old Son Dies". People. January 2, 2009. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  24. ^ Errico, Marcus (January 2, 2009). "John Travolta's Son Jett Dead at 16". E! Online. Retrieved January 2, 2009.
  25. ^ Wright, Lawrence. Going Clear.
  26. ^ "Jett Travolta, son of actors, dies at 16". CNN. January 2, 2009. Retrieved January 2, 2009.
  27. ^ "John Travolta's teenage son dies". BBC News. BBC. January 2, 2009. Retrieved January 2, 2009.
  28. ^ "Death Certificate: John Travolta's Son Died of a Seizure". ABC News. January 5, 2009. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  29. ^ Abraham, Mary Rose (September 23, 2009). "From John Travolta: I Ran Down the Stairs To Help My Son". ABC News. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
  30. ^ a b c Harlow, John (January 25, 2009). "Senator 'tried to extort cash' from Travolta over son's death". The Sunday Times. UK. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
  31. ^ "Travolta Suspect Resigns". January 24, 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2009.

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