Diana Hyland, an actress the now 66-year-old actor dated for a year, died of the very same cause 43 years ago in 1977.
At age 41, Hyland was 18 years older than Travolta, who was 23 at the time, the New York Post reported. She played his mother in the 1976 TV movie “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.”
“I have never been more in love with anyone in my life,” Travolta told People magazine back in 1977. “I thought I was in love before, but I wasn’t. From the moment I met her I was attracted. We were like two maniacs talking all the time on the set of ‘Bubble.’ After a month it became romantic.”
According to the outlet, the couple became inseparable while filming.
John Travolta and Diana Hyland.
(Photo by Tom Wargacki/WireImage/Getty)
“I had more fun with Diana than I ever had in my life,” said Travolta. “And the odd thing is just before we met I thought I would never have a successful relationship. She told me that she too had thought the same thing. Then, bam.”
Travolta admitted that before Hyland’s death, the pair had planned on taking their relationship to the next level — and the future seemed bright.
“I picked out a house, and Diana and I were planning on moving in right after this movie,” said Travolta, referring to “Saturday Night Fever” which premiered months after Hyland’s death.
“If she was alive, it is very possible I would have married her,” he added.
While Hyland had a mastectomy two years prior, Travolta said “she didn’t know she was going to die for sure until two weeks before.”
Actor John Travolta w. his arm around actress girlfriend Diana Hyland and her young son Zachary, 4, while sitting together at home.
(Photo by Julian Wasser/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
During the mid-production of “Saturday Night Fever,” Hyland died in Travolta’s arms, the outlet shared.
“I felt the breath go out of her,” he admitted.
At Hyland’s memorial service, the outlet noted Travolta wore the white suit they had bought together for their planned trip to Rio after “Saturday Night Fever” was finished.
Travolta said Scientology, as well as Hyland’s words, kept him going as he immersed himself in work. Before Hyland passed, she told him: “I’m going now, but you are going to have this work.”
At the time, Travolta said he has always considered himself to be a one-woman man and there was no one else since Hyland.
Diana Hyland in 1977.
(Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
“I gave her great joy in the last months of her life,” he said. “I always feel she is with me — I mean her intentions are. Diana always wanted the world for me in every possible way.”
Travolta later found love again. He met Preston, an actress, while filming “The Experts” in 1988. They married in 1991 and remained together until her death at age 57.
Travolta confirmed Preston’s death on Instagram and said it followed a two-year battle with breast cancer.
“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,” Travolta wrote on Instagram Sunday. “She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many. “
He continued: “My family and I will forever be grateful to her doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Center, all the medical centers that have helped, as well as her many friends and loved ones who have been by her side. 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.”
Preston is survived by Travolta, as well as daughter Ella, 20, and 9-year-old son Benjamin. Their son Jett died in 2009 at the age of 16.