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'She fought a courageous fight': Kelly Preston dies from breast cancer aged 57

The actress wife of John Travolta had been privately battling the disease for two years

American actress and model Kelly Preston has died from breast cancer aged 57.

Her husband and fellow actor, John Travolta, announced the news on his Instagram page with a poignant tribute.

"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.

"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."

Travolta also paid tribute to the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Centre, as well as the friends and loved ones who had supported them, saying: "My family and I will forever be grateful."

Preston was known for her on-screen roles in Jerry Maguire, The Cat in the Hat and From Dusk till Dawn.

A representative of the family confirmed the news to People magazine.

"On the morning of July 12, 2020, Kelly Preston, adored wife and mother, passed away following a two-year battle with breast cancer," the statement added.

Preston's battle with breast cancer had not previously been made public.

The representative continued in the statement: "Choosing to keep her fight private, she had been undergoing medical treatment for some time, supported by her closest family and friends.

"She was a bright, beautiful and loving soul who cared deeply about others and who brought life to everything she touched. Her family asks for your understanding of their need for privacy at this time."

Preston is survived by Travolta, as well as daughter Ella, 20, and nine-year-old son Benjamin. The couple's son Jett died aged 16 in January 2009.

Tributes to Kelly Preston

"I’m in absolute shock. What a beautiful and amazing actress and person. So sad to hear of her passing at such a young age," Frozen actor Josh Gad wrote on Twitter. "My heart goes out to John Travolta and the entire family. What a loss."

Spencer Breslin, who starred with Preston in The Cat in the Hat, paid tribute on Twitter, writing: "RIP to my on screen mom, #kellypreston. What a lovely woman. Such a sad loss."

Actress and singer Chloe Bennet wrote: "Kelly Preston was enormously kind and unbelievably lovely. Can’t believe this. My thoughts are with her sweet Ella and the rest of her incredible family. RIP."

Filmmaker Rod Lurie put up a very personal tribute, reflecting on their ties at Punahou School. He wrote: "I knew #KellyPreston in high school. She was supernaturally beautiful and kind. Last time we spoke we discussed my directing a remake of 52-PICK UP in which she'd play the Ann-Margret role. It would've been special for us [Punahou School] alums. All my heart to John, Ella, and Ben."

Celebrity commentator Perez Hilton wrote that he was "at a loss for words", adding: "No words. Just light to John Travolta and her children and family. Rest peacefully, Kelly Preston."

Canadian TV actress and presenter Jillian Barberie tweeted of her disbelief, writing: "Please tell me the news of Kelly Preston is not true. I had no idea she had breast cancer. My heart aches for her family. This is an insidious disease. She was always so lovely and mind when we [interviewed her]. I’m so saddened."

Updated: July 13, 2020 06:49 PM

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