Kelly Preston

Active - 1983 - 2021  |   Born - Oct 13, 1962 in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States  |   Died - Jul 12, 2020   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Thriller, Crime, Romance

Share on

Biography by Hal Erickson

Actress Kelly Preston was first seen on a national basis in the last-billed role of a general's daughter on the weekly 1983 TV drama For Love and Honor. She established herself as an agreeable comedienne in such films as Mischief (1985) and Secret Admirer (1985), then became lost in the turgid melodramatics of 52 Pick-Up (1986). Her big movie break was supposed to have been her co-starring stint with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny De Vito in Twins (1988), but the role was too nondescript to engender any enthusiasm. Nonetheless, Preston persevered, delivering great performances in such offbeat fare as the 1993 made-for-cable movie Arthur Miller's The American Clock. In the latter half of the 1990s, Preston's perseverance began to pay off, first with a substantial role in Cameron Crowe's widely acclaimed Jerry Maguire. She continued to do comedy, appearing in Nothing to Lose (1997), Addicted to Love (1997), and Holy Man (1998), before switching back to drama in 1999 as Kevin Costner's girlfriend in For Love of the Game. On April 3, 2000, Preston gave birth to a daughter, her second child while married to Travolta. Her career onscreen barely missing a beat after the bith, Preston appeared opposite husband Travolta in the notorious 2000 bomb Battlefield Earth before taking a turn back to comedy with roles in View from the Top and The Cat in the Hat. Though it had been quite some time since Preston had appeared on television with any frequency, a return to the small screen with roles in both Joey and Fat Actress provided semi-regular work in 2004 and 2005. In 2005 Preston could also be seen as a superpowered mother in the family oriented adventure comedy Sky High, with a role as a grieving sister who returns home to mourn the death of her brother in Broken Bridges serving well to remind audiences of her dramatic abilities after a series of more lighthearted roles. She continued to work steadily in projects such as The Possibility of Fireflies and The Tenth Circle. She appeared in her husband's hit comedy Old Dogs in 2009, and played the wife of a corrupt lobbyist in Casino Jack on year later.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography


  • Was discovered by a photographer at the age of 16, which led to work in commercials.
  • First film audition was for the role of Emmeline in 1980's The Blue Lagoon; she lost the part to Brooke Shields.
  • Married actor John Travolta in 1991 (whom she'd first met in 1987 on the set of The Experts) in a Scientology ceremony in France, but had to renew vows in an additional wedding ceremony in Daytona Beach due to legality issues.
  • In 1996, appeared in breakthrough roles in the feature films Jerry Maguire and Citizen Ruth.
  • Appeared in the 2004 Maroon 5 music video for "She Will Be Loved."
  • Son Jett died from a seizure 2009 at age 16; after his death, Preston and Travolta established the Jett Travolta Foundation, which provides assistance to children with special needs.
  • Lost 42 pounds in 14 months after giving birth to her son Benjamin in 2010; credits the Organic Liaison weight-loss program and extended breastfeeding for her success.