John Travolta, the death of his son Jett and Diana Hyland

To scroll through the events of the biography of John Travolta, just shocked by death of wife Kelly Preston who had been at his side for 29 years, we find terrible dramas, falls and rises. Since the death of Travolta’s first partner, Diana Hyland in 1977 (she is 41 years old, he is just over twenty) until the tragedy of the death of a son, Jett, the first of the three sons of the star and his second wife, Kelly: the boy was not even 17 years old. Tdeep personal and family ragedies who follow a film career marked, not surprisingly, by falls and ascents. But also from speculation, suspects and gray areas related to his membership of the Church of Scientology and never fully clarified by the same as a star of Pulp Fiction.

Diana’s death, the first companion

In 1976 John Travolta is a young actor born to Italian Americans from New Jersey and already has some fame because of the music TV series Saturday night kids when he knows Diana Hyland on the set of The Boy in the plastic bubble: he is 22 years old, she is 40 years old and plays his mother, but it is love at first sight. Diana has a son with her ex-husband and is already a fairly well-known actress also thanks to successful TV series such as Peyton Place and Lto the Bradford family. Surely she is a well-integrated companion in Hollywood and who can give excellent advice to a talented young man like Travolta. But unfortunately Hyland dies of breast cancer after undergoing a mastectomy in 1977. In the same year Travolta obtained an Oscar nomination for LSaturday Night Fever. The New Jersey guy is already a super star. Further consecrated by the role of Denny Zuco in Grease in 1979.

Kelly Preston e Scientology

Yet despite the planetary success, from 1980 to 1989 he did not embark on one: the scripts in the wake of Saturday Night’s Fever are flops and he refuses the leading role in American Gigolo e Officer and gentleman who will then go to Richard Gere. Things start to get better when Travolta stars in Look Who’s Talking, the first chapter of a successful triology that became cult. But we can only really speak of rebirth thanks to Quentin Tarantino and the role of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction which earned him his second Oscar nomination. Things are even better in private life: in 199o, on the set of the film American experts, know the actress Kelly Preston, back from a stormy relationship with Charlie Sheen, they get married in the following year. Twice, because the first marriage, celebrated by a minister of the Church of Scientology is not recognized as legal, so the couple repeats the civil ceremony the following month. Yes, Scientology: the actor’s adhesion to the church-sect founded by Ron Hubbard which boasts many excellent followers among Hollywood stars coincides, temporally, with the revival of Travolta’s career.

Jett’s disappearance, autism, suspicions

The link between Travolta and Kelly Preston proves to be one of the strongest in Hollywood: they have three children, Jett, Ella and Benjamin. But in 2009 they are overwhelmed by Jett’s sudden death, perhaps a heart attack, perhaps an epileptic seizure, while the whole family is on a Bahamas vacation. The couple said their son suffered from Kawasaki syndrome, a disease that causes inflammation in the blood vessels in children and can have serious consequences on the heart. The actor is devested. Soon after, and with very little delicacy, some American media raised an old accusation against Travolta: Why didn’t you ever say the boy was autistic? Here is the shadow of Scientology: the family would never have spoken publicly about the child’s illness, and would not have provided adequate treatment for this pathology because the Church of Scientology does not allow to recognize neurological disorders. John Travolta’s sister, Joey, had produced a documentary on autism in 2007 and John had not shown up for the preview. Like him and Kelly, unlike other celebrities, they had never wanted to participate in the collected sources and in the autism awareness initiatives, although Kelly had always been very active in charity dedicated to children. In 2006 Hollywood Interrupted He wrote: “The Travolta family have always explained their son’s disability with Kawasaki syndrome, saying that environmental toxins produced by household detergents had caused it.”

Farewell to the sect, never confirmed

Accusations aside, Travolta’s life is turned upside down and, again, a long period of ups and downs in cinema follows. In this time John is said to want to leave Scientology but that the “knot” that keeps him tied to the sect is precisely the deep relationship with his wife, who is a devotee of the church of Ron Hubbard. As often happens in these cases, gossip and rumors multiply but nothing is said officially. What is there for all to see is the suffering of the actor in this period. And so too the fate of other Scientology-related Hollywood star families where divorce has resulted in painful estrangements from their children: Nicole Kidman, after the farewell to Tom Cruise and the cult she shared with her husband, he will not see his adoptive children Isabella and Connor for years. In 2019, Placido Domingo’s daughter-in-law made shocking revelations to the Daily Mail, immediately branded as false by Scientology, on the methods of “psychological conditioning” used within the sect and also told of how Travolta, during the tragic ambulance ride alongside his son, implored the spirit of Thetan, to return to the body of the boy. However it really went, goodbye to the sect or not, invocations to the spirit or not, John chose the family. He could not bear to live far from his partner and children. And for the past two years, he has supported Kelly with them in his long battle against cancer.

July 13, 2020 (change July 13, 2020 | 1:28 pm)

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