Author Nicholas Sparks has spoken out about the death of Kelly Preston. News of her passing was shared by John Travolta, her husband of almost 30 years, in an Instagram post on Sunday night, losing her two-year battle with lung cancer.
Sparks wrote the 2009 novel The Last Song, which was developed into a movie the following year. It starred Preston along with Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus, telling the story of the rebellious Ronnie (Cyrus) who spends the summer with her father (Greg Kinnear) at his beach house. However, after she meets a handsome guy and falls in love, she starts rediscovering her passion for music, which helps her reconnect with her father, as well. On Monday, Sparks took to Twitter to offer his condolences.
My deepest condolences to the family of Kelly Preston, and all who knew and loved her. She was an absolutely lovely human being and it’s an honor to have had her be a part of The Last Song. She will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/DeOlbLmTFK— Nicholas Sparks (@NicholasSparks) July 13, 2020
Preston played Ronnie's mother, Kim, and was the first role she'd accepted following the death of her son, Jett Travolta, who suffered a seizure at the age of 16 back in 2009. The film was generally panned by critics, though it won several Teen Choice and Kids' Choice Awards, as well as a pair of Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards. Fans of The Last Song have already mourned Preston on social media, though Cyrus has maintained her absence from posting for the time being.
Preston and Travolta had three children together — 20-year-old Ella, 9-year-old Benjamin and a Jett. A representative for the family told PEOPLE that Preston wanted to "keep her fight private," though stressed that she was "supported by her closest family and friends" during the difficult time. "She was a bright, beautiful and loving soul who cared deeply about others and who brought life to everything she touched. Her family asks you for your understanding of their need for privacy at this time."
On Sunday, Travolta wrote that "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." He went on to write that "she fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many," and would be "forever be grateful to her doctors and nurses" who cared for her at MD Anderson Cancer Center.