Hearing that Kelly Preston died yesterday really hurts.
If you were growing up in the late 80s or the 90s, Kelly Preston was probably one of your first crushes. She was undeniably beautiful but she was also a good actress, though she never really got as many roles as she deserved. She was usually just cast as “the girlfriend” or occasionally “the wife.” She appeared in several romantic comedies as the bad girl who would inevitably tempt the film’s star away from the girl that he was meant to be with. There were only a few films — like Alexander Payne’s Citizen Ruth — where she really got to show what she could do. But even when she played a stereotypical role, she always did it with so much skill that you got the feeling that there was more going on beneath the surface. Even when she played a character who was meant to be unsympathetic, it was hard not to like her.
Her films were popular on HBO and Cinemax when I was growing up. Later on, I guess she was best known for being married to John Travolta. I read somewhere the she stepped back from acting so that she could raise their family. Even when she was in her 40s and her 50s, she still seemed came across as being just as youthful and energetic as she did in the films that she made when she was a teenager. I think her death has left us all feeling a little bit older today.
She will be missed.