Kelly Preston, actress in ‘Jerry Maguire,’ dies at 57
By Austin Ramzy
Kelly Preston, an actress known for her role as a hardhearted fiancée of the Tom Cruise character in the 1996 film “Jerry Maguire,” died Sunday at 57.
The cause was breast cancer, her husband, the actor John Travolta, said in an Instagram post Monday.
“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,” he wrote. “She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many.”
Preston, who was born Oct. 13, 1962, in Honolulu, appeared in the 1986 film “Space Camp.” But she had a breakthrough as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love interest in “Twins,” the 1988 comedy that also starred Danny DeVito.
She met Travolta in 1988, while they worked on the film “The Experts.” She had a brief cameo with Travolta in the 2000 sci-fi flop “Battlefield Earth,” and the couple worked together in the 2018 film “Gotti,” in which Travolta played the late Mafia boss John Gotti and Preston his wife, Victoria.
Preston said that to help prepare for the role, she met Victoria Gotti, and the two ended up forming a relationship.
“We sat there for hours, just talking and eating,” Preston said while meeting the news media during the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, Vanity Fair reported. “I spent the whole day with her family. I also had an email relationship with her, and she would tell me everything.”
Preston and Travolta were married in 1991. In addition to her husband, she is survived by their daughter, Ella Bleu; and a son, Benjamin. Their eldest son, Jett, 16, died in 2009 after having a seizure.
In “Jerry Maguire,” which featured Cruise as a fast-talking sports agent who gains a conscience, she played “a brief but memorable appearance as Jerry’s shark of a fiancée from his big-shot days,” New York Times critic Janet Maslin wrote in 1996.
When Jerry dumps her character, Avery, she flattens him with a flurry of blows.
“I won’t let you hurt me, Jerry,” Avery says. “I’m too strong for you, loser.”