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John Travolta shares heartbreaking tribute years after losing wife and son: 'Not a day goes by when you're not with me'

John announced that his wife Kelly Preston had passed away in 2020, eleven years after they lost their son Jett

John Travolta and Kelly Preston at Cannes Film Festival in 2018
Megan Bull
TV Writer
Updated: 14 April 2024
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John Travolta has paid tribute to his son, Jett, on what would have been his 32nd birthday. Returning to Instagram on Saturday, the actor posted a rare family photo alongside his late wife, Kelly Preston, and their beloved son. “Happy birthday my Jetty - not a day goes by where you’re not with me!” he penned in the caption.  

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Shortly after posting, John, 70, was inundated with support. “Always in your heart forever and ever. And [you] will see him and her again!!!” replied actress Kristin Chenoweth. “Will never forget him. Or Kelly,” commented the star’s good friend, Rita Wilson

Tragically, John also lost firstborn son Jett in 2009© Tim Boyles
Jett passed away aged 16 in 2009

It was in 2009 that Jett Travolta tragically passed away at the age of 16. The teenager, who had been on vacation with his family in the Bahamas, died after experiencing a seizure. Jett had a history of seizures from the age of two and had to be hospitalised at 15 months with Kawasaki disease. He was also on the autistic spectrum. 

Eleven years after his son’s passing, John would later announce the loss of his wife, Kelly, who passed away aged 57 after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. 

John Travolta lost his beloved wife Kelly Preston to cancer in 2020© ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT
John announced that his beloved wife Kelly Preston had died in 2020

Confirming the news in 2020 via an official statement on Instagram, the A-lister wrote: "It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer. She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many.”

John continued: “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. But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead as we heal.” 

John Travolta and his children Ella and Benjamin
John with his children Ella and Benjamin

John and his children – daughter Ella, 24, and son, Benjamin, 13 – have been incredibly strong following the heartache in their lives.

Speaking to Esquire in 2021, John explained that his primary focus will always be his kids. “I will ensure the future of my children, help them with what they want to do with their lives,” he said. “It is what I do with Ella now with her films and teaching her to work in the profession. Ben is barely ten years-old. I want to help him evolve because he has his whole life ahead of him.”

Ella Travolta attends the Elisabetta Franchi fashion show during the Milan Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 on February 24, 2024 in Milan, Italy© Getty
Ella has been focusing on her music career

As of 2024, Ella – who has appeared in Gotti and Eye for an Eye – has turned her attention to music, and her father has been her number one supporter. "He's really proud, which makes me very happy," the singer told People in 2023, following the release of her tracks ‘Dizzy’ and ‘No Thank You’. 

John Travolta's son Benjamin reveals incredible skiing talent

Meanwhile, Benjamin has been progressing on the slopes and is a keen skier. Sharing a video from the teen’s training session in March, John noted: I’m so proud of my son Ben’s progress!! First clip is the steepest run in Snowmass!”  

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