Tragic Details About John Travolta's Life

John Travolta is one of the most popular and beloved Hollywood stars of his time. The actor has enjoyed a long and successful career throughout the decades, starring in films such as "Carrie," "Saturday Night Fever," "Grease," "Look Who's Talking," "Pulp Fiction," "Face/Off," "Ladder 49," "Hairspray," and so much more. However, as Travolta has earned praise and fame for his professional life, the actor has sadly dealt with many tragedies in his personal life.

Travolta's life has been darkened by the deaths of many people close to him, and while he's considered an A-list actor, he did have struggles finding the right movies along the way. According to The U.S. Sun, there were times when the actor believed his career could be over and he even considered quitting Hollywood to work as a full-time pilot after he suffered a time in his career when he filmed a string of unsuccessful movies. However, his career was resuscitated and Travolta went on to appear in some of the biggest and most beloved movies of the 1990s and 2000s.

Sadly, the bump in his career was the least of Travolta's worries as he was forced to deal with many heartbreaking blows throughout the course of his life.

John Travolta's first love passed away in 1977

When John Travolta was still new to the Hollywood game, he signed on to do a movie titled "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble." Upon arriving on set, the actor met his co-star, Diana Hyland, who was 18 years older than him and played his mother in the film. The two hit it off, and Travolta was smitten. The pair began dating and had a relationship that lasted more than a year before Hyland tragically passed away from breast cancer at the age of 41 in 1977.

"I have never been more in love with anyone in my life," Travolta told People of Hyland shortly after her death. "From the moment I met her, I was attracted. We were like two maniacs talking all the time on the set of 'Bubble.' After a month it became romantic," he continued. Travolta went on to reveal that he and Hyland were planning for their future together before her death. "I picked out a house, and Diana and I were planning on moving in right after this movie. If she was alive, it is very possible I would have married her," he added.

Sadly for Travolta, Hyland wouldn't be the only woman he lost to breast cancer, and more deaths followed in the coming years.

John Travolta's mother died from breast cancer

After the death of his beloved girlfriend Diana Hyland, John Travolta focused on work and landed the role of Danny Zuko in the beloved musical film "Grease." However, his mother Helen Travolta was facing her own battle at the time. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer and after seeing her son's heartbreak over the death of Hyland chose to keep her medical issues hidden from him. "She knew what he'd been through with the death of Diana Hyland only 18 months earlier and she wanted to pretend, it was always her priority to protect him," Wensley Clarkson, who wrote a biography about Travolta told The U.S. Sun.

However, after Travolta found out about his mother's health woes he reportedly came to visit her nearly every day, and even tried to make her feel better by performing songs for her. Sadly, Travolta's mother passed away eight months later, and he was forced to grieve yet another important woman in his life.

Travolta had suffered much tragedy at a young age, and the pain wasn't over yet. The actor would continue to lose family members and friends along the way, but somehow kept his head up and continued to live his life.

The actor's son Jett Travolta died at 16

After moving on with his life following some truly tragic moments, John Travolta married actor Kelly Preston. The couple later welcomed their first child, a son named Jett Travolta. At the age of 2, Jett became ill and was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease. Sadly, the actor's firstborn child passed away years later at the age of 16 while the family was on vacation in the Bahamas in 2009, per CBS News. Jett was said to have suffered a seizure, which led him to hit his head on a nearby bathtub. Travolta reportedly performed CPR on his son before paramedics arrived on the scene. "We are heartbroken that our time with him was so brief," Travolta and Preston said in a public statement at the time. "We will cherish the time we had with him for the rest of our lives."

In 2022, Travolta took to Instagram to share a sweet tribute to his son on what would have been his 30th birthday. "My dearest Jetty, I miss you more than words can say. I think about you everyday. Happy Birthday. Love, your Dad," the actor captioned a photo of himself and Jett smiling together.

Following his son's death, Travolta still faced very hard times.

John Travolta lost his wife to breast cancer in 2020

In 2020, fans were stunned when John Travolta and his children Ella and Benjamin announced the death of Kelly Preston. Travolta's wife passed away from breast cancer, making her the third woman in the actor's life to succumb to the disease. Preston chose to keep her battle with cancer out of the media, but Travolta honored his late wife in an emotional Instagram post. "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," he captioned a beautiful photo of Preston.

A year after Preston's death, Travolta opened up about the grieving process during an interview with Esquire Mexico. "I learned that mourning someone, living in grief, is very personal," he said (via People). "Grief is personal and finding your own path is what could lead to healing. It's different than someone else's journey," he continued, adding that it's important for people who are grieving to have the space to live in their emotions and not have them complicated by other people's feelings.

Unfortunately, Travolta's devastating losses likely helped him cope with the death of two very close friends in 2022.

Travolta said goodbye to two beloved friends in 2022

Throughout his career, John Travolta worked with several Hollywood stars. However, he repeatedly worked with two of his leading ladies, Olivia Newton-John and Kirstie Alley. Travolta and Newton-John starred together in "Grease" and "Two of a Kind." The pair forged a strong friendship, and in 2022 it was revealed that Newton-John had died from breast cancer at the age of 73. Again, Travolta was forced to mourn another important woman in his life due to the deadly disease. After her death, Travolta took to social media to share a sweet tribute to his late friend and co-star: "My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!"

A few months later, Travolta was dealt another blow when his "Look Who's Talking" franchise co-star Kirstie Alley also died from cancer. Over the years, the actor had called Alley his "soulmate" and the two shared a close bond. Following her death, he shared a photo of her on Instagram, where he honored his friend. "Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I've ever had. I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again," he wrote.

Through all of his tragedies, Travolta has become an inspiration and sign of strength to many of his fans.