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Actress Kelly Preston dies aged 57 from breast cancer
In this file photo taken on May 15, 2018 US actress Kelly Preston poses during a photocall for the film "Gotti" at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. Kelly Preston, US actress and wife of US actor John Travolta, died after a battle with breast cancer at the age of 57, US media reported on July 12, 2020. Loic VENANCE / AFP.

NEW YORK (AFP).- Kelly Preston, an actress best known for her role as a hardhearted fiancée of the Tom Cruise character in the 1996 film “Jerry Maguire,” died Sunday in Florida. She was 57.

Her husband, actor John Travolta, said in an Instagram post Monday that the cause was breast cancer. She had been treated for the cancer for two years, he said, something she had kept largely to herself.

“She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many,” Travolta said.

Preston broke into film and television in the early 1980s, often playing a young and sexy character, as she did in the 1985 comedy “Mischief,” where she was “the shallow charmer the nerd dreams about,” Jay Carr wrote in The Boston Globe.

Preston aged into the types of cute-but-smart adult roles often identified with Meg Ryan. A breakthrough was the 1988 comedy “Twins,” where she played Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love interest.

She met Travolta in 1988, when they worked on the comedy “The Experts,” released the next year. They married in 1991. She had a 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 mafia boss John Gotti and Preston his wife, Victoria Gotti.

Preston was born Oct. 13, 1962, in Honolulu and grew up in Hawaii, although the family spent some time overseas.

Most of Preston’s work was in film. Perhaps her best-known movie role came in “Jerry Maguire,” which featured Cruise as a fast-talking sports agent who gains a conscience. She made “a brief but memorable appearance as Jerry’s shark of a fiancée from his big-shot days,” Janet Maslin wrote in The New York Times 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.”

Preston’s marriage to actor Kevin Gage in 1985 ended in divorce two years later. She was engaged for a time to actor Charlie Sheen.

In addition to Travolta, survivors include their children, Ella Bleu and Benjamin. Their eldest son, Jett, 16, died in 2009 after having a seizure.

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