Sixteen-year-old Jett Travolta died in January 2009 after hitting his head on a bathtub during a family holiday in the Bahamas.
John Travolta may have lived the life of a superstar, riding on the success of numerous iconic films like Pulp Fiction and Grease, but unimaginable tragedies have also struck the actor's life.
The 68-year-old actor lost his first child Jett back in 2009 and his wife Kelly Preston in 2020. Jett Travolta died at the age of 16 from a seizure, during a family holiday in the Bahamas. The teen had hit his head in a bathtub. Recently, the American Crime Story actor paid an emotional tribute to Jett via Instagram on Wednesday, writing: My dearest Jetty, I miss you more than words can say. I think about you everyday. Happy Birthday. Love, your Dad.
Jett's birthday comes less than three months before the second anniversary of Kelly Preston's death which was another heart-wrenching tragedy for the actor. John Travolta's late wife passed away at the age of 57, after a two-year battle with breast cancer. Preston was an actress who took on a number of roles in multiple films such as SpaceCamp (1986), Twins (1988), Jerry Maguire (1996), and For Love of the Game (1999). Her last role was in the 2018 film Gotti where she played Victoria Gotti, the wife of Mafia boss John Gotti, played by her real-life husband Travolta.
Travolta, who was married to Preston for nearly three decades, also honored his late wife at the time of her passing, writing that 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. All my love, JT." He is also dad to son Benjamin, 11, and daughter, Ella, 22.
Describing the horrifying ordeal of losing his child, Travolta recalled the heartbreaking final moments with his son. According to E! Online, their nanny had found Jett unconscious in the bathroom and rushed to wake up his parents, Travolta and wife Kelly Preston. "He was pounding on the door upstairs where we were sleeping. I ran downstairs with my wife to help my son," Travolta recalled. "Jeff, the other nanny, was doing some compressions," he said. "I was doing the breathing. I took the place of the woman who was doing CPR. She was an employee of Old Bahama Bay who I recognized as such." Sadly, nothing could save the teen who suffered from regular seizures. "He was autistic," he said. "He suffered from a seizure disorder." The actor explained that his son suffered seizures every 5-10 days and each seizure lasted 45 seconds. After an episode, Jett would sleep for 12 hours.
On an episode of Kevin Hart's Peacock talk show series, Hart to Heart, Travolta revealed how he had a talk about his late family members with his youngest child, Ben. "He said to me once, 'Because Mom passed away, I'm afraid you're going to,'" Travolta said. "I said, 'Well, it's a very different thing.' And I went through the differences about my longevity and her limited life," the Hairspray star continued. "I said, 'But you know, Ben … you always love the truth and I'm going to tell you the truth about life. Nobody knows when they’re going to go or when they’re going to stay.' I said, ‘Your brother left at 16—too young. Your mother left at 57. That was too young. But who’s to say?’ I said I could die tomorrow. You could. Anybody can,” he said, as per The Hollywood Reporter. “So let’s look at life, that [death is] part of life. You see, you don’t know exactly. You just do your best at trying to live the longest you can.”
Cover Image Source: Instagram | johntravolta