We all know and love him, right? After nearly half a century in Hollywood, John Travolta has seen it all. From singing summer nights to disco dancing to even voicing an animated puppy, he’s taken on a huge variety of roles and is a much-loved Hollywood icon.
But even for a superstar like John Travolta, he’s seen his fair share off loss, tragedy, and heartbreak. And he has finally opened up and revealed all the details.
Way before Travolta shot to fame, he spent his childhood growing up in New Jersey. There, along with his five older siblings, the future Hollywood legend lived with his parents – both of whom had enjoyed a taste of life in the limelight.
After dropping out of high school, Travolta chose to pack up his bags and head to the bright lights of New York. But the boy with big dreams had no idea what was coming to him.
Travolta’s career went from strength to strength in the years that followed, with notable roles in films such as Grease, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. And the superstar’s personal life appeared to be hotting up too, as during shooting for a movie Travolta met Diana Hyland.
Not long after that, the pair began dating. But unfortunately for Travolta, his whole world was about to get turned upside down.
Despite their almost 20-year age gap, the couple appeared to be happy. But just seven months into the relationship, disaster struck.
In 1977 Hyland was diagnosed with cancer, and, tragically, she passed away that same year. Travolta was later reported to have been devastated by her death. Were things about to change for John? Surely he deserved some sort of happiness right?
According to the media, Travolta went into hiding after Hyland’s passing. And in the years that followed, the actor’s movies would bomb, too, leaving his career in the doldrums!
But the tide seemed to turn in 1989 when Travolta starred in the hit romantic comedy Look Who’s Talking. His personal life improved as well, as he met his future wife Kelly Preston during that year. Travolta told himself to take it slow, but not even he could predict what would happen next.
Travolta and Preston had first encountered each other on the set of The Experts, and it didn’t take long for their romance to blossom. Just two years after meeting they tied the knot. However, the couple’s marriage got off to somewhat of a bumpy start.
Although the pair had wed in Paris, the ceremony, which was carried out by a Scientology minister, was subsequently deemed invalid. So, they had their second wedding a week later – and, fortunately, this time it was official. Preston and Travolta were wed for almost 30 years until something unimaginable happened in 2020. Something that would leave Travolta’s world in pieces.
During their long union, Travolta and Preston had three children together. Just a year after their wedding, Travolta and Preston welcomed their first son, Jett, who was then followed by Ella Bleu in 2000 and Benjamin in 2010.
Travolta finally felt at ease with his life. He had everything he had ever wanted. But unfortunately for him, his whole world was about to get turned upside down.
Shortly after Jett’s arrival, Travolta and Preston were dealt a blow, as their son was diagnosed with a very rare illness known as Kawasaki disease. And to make matters more complicated, the young boy was also autistic and suffered from seizures. But the couple didn’t seem to let their son’s health issues impact their family life too much.
Sadly, though, it was while the Travoltas were sunning themselves on vacation in the Bahamas that they suffered the ultimate tragedy. The family had traveled to the holiday destination to celebrate New Year, but ultimately events would take a horrible turn during that trip.
During their vacation, Jett experienced a seizure that had caused him to fall and hit his head on the edge of a bath. As a result of the injuries he sustained, the teenager would later pass away, leaving his family devastated.
And to make matters worse, reports emerged in the months that followed questioning the circumstances surrounding Jett’s death.
A high-profile legal case began after Travolta alleged that he had been a victim of extortion. Two men – including a paramedic who had helped the actor’s son – reportedly demanded $25 million from the star. They claimed in exchange for the money, they would hand over a legal document that Travolta had supposedly signed regarding his son’s treatment.
These charges were later dropped – something that did little to help the family process their grief. However, the arrival of Benjamin a year after Jett’s death seemed to help the Travoltas’ wounds heal somewhat. Finally, things were looking up.
Given Travolta’s amount of loss in his life, it’s no surprise that he seems so protective of his other two children.
In recent years he opened up a little more about his family. While the doting dad was attending the 2017 SAG Awards, he made a heartwarming revelation about his daughter.
At the event, Travolta gushed about his daughter Ella Bleu. Buzzing with pride and admiration, he said, “she really is fabulous.”
The star even went on to reveal that he’d love for her to follow in her famous father’s footsteps. And it appears that the young woman has indeed inherited her dad’s love of performing in numerous films in 2019.