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Kirstie Alley’s death: Inside her close friendship with Kelly Preston as she passes away at age 71

Late actress Kirstie Alley – who tragically died on Monday at age 71, after a brief battle with colon cancer – once revealed she ‘almost ran off’ with her married co-star John Travolta, but that didn’t stop her from forming a strong bond with his wife, Kelly Preston.  

Kirstie and Kelly – who died of cancer herself in 2020, at age 57 – became a tight pair over the years, despite the Cheer star admitting on many occasions that the Mischief alum’s husband, John, now 68, was her ‘greatest love’ and even calling him her ‘soulmate’ in one interview.

While the ladies’ relationship didn’t start off on the best foot – with Kirstie admitting that her continued ‘flirting’ with the Grease actor forced Kelly to confront her about the matter – they eventually put the tension behind them and grew close, after seemingly bonding over their mutual love of Scientology.

Over the years, the two stars continued to support one another’s work – with Kelly sitting front row during a few of Kirstie’s Dancing With the Stars performances and giving Kristie her ‘blessing’ to discuss her feelings for John in her 2012 memoir – and Kirstie even called Kelly her ‘best girl friend’ in a 2013 interview.

Kirstie Alley – who tragically died on Monday at age 71 from colon cancer – once revealed she ‘almost ran off’ with her married co-star John Travolta, but that didn’t stop her from forming a strong bond with his wife, Kelly Preston (seen together in 2011)

How exactly did the pair grow so close, despite Kirstie's strong feelings for Kelly's husband? As news of Kirstie's death sends shockwaves around the globe, FEMAIL has taken a look back at her and Kelly's unsuspected friendship. They are seen in 2007

How exactly did the pair grow so close, despite Kirstie’s strong feelings for Kelly’s husband? As news of Kirstie’s death sends shockwaves around the globe, FEMAIL has taken a look back at her and Kelly’s unsuspected friendship. They are seen in 2007

But as their friendship flourished, Kirstie continued to gush over Kelly’s husband, John, revealing in a 2018 interview that she was ‘still’ in love with him and later admitting that not pursuing him was one of the ‘hardest’ things she ever did. 

Even so, Kirstie and Kelly’s affinity was strong until the very end, with Kirstie sharing a touching tribute to her ‘best friend’ Kelly after she passed away from breast cancer two years ago. 

But how exactly did the pair form such a tight bond, despite Kirstie’s strong feelings for Kelly’s husband? As news of Kirstie’s death sends shockwaves around the globe, FEMAIL has taken a look back at her and Kelly’s unsuspected friendship – which formed after Kelly approached Kirstie about her constant ‘flirting’ with her husband.

Awkward beginnings: Kirstie and Kelly’s friendship began on a rocky note when John’s wife confronted the Cheers star about her ‘flirting’ with the actor

Kirstie and Kelly's friendship didn't start off on the best foot - since Kirstie later admitted that she was 'in love' with Kelly's husband, John, and that she kept flirting with him despite the fact that he was taken. They are pictured in Look Who's Talking

Kirstie and Kelly’s friendship didn’t start off on the best foot – since Kirstie later admitted that she was ‘in love’ with Kelly’s husband, John, and that she kept flirting with him despite the fact that he was taken. They are pictured in Look Who’s Talking

Kirstie and John first grew close on set of the 1989 movie Look Who’s Talking (seen) - before he and Kelly got together - and she later told Dan Wootton that they 'fell in love with each other' while making the flick

Kirstie and John first grew close on set of the 1989 movie Look Who’s Talking (seen) – before he and Kelly got together – and she later told Dan Wootton that they ‘fell in love with each other’ while making the flick

Kirstie and Kelly’s friendship didn’t start off on the best foot. Quite the opposite in fact. 

Kirstie later admitted that she was ‘in love’ with Kelly’s husband, John, and that she kept flirting with him despite the fact that he was taken.

Kirstie and John first grew close on set of the 1989 movie Look Who’s Talking – before he and Kelly got together – and she later told Dan Wootton that they ‘fell in love with each other’ while making the flick.

'It was mutual,' she shared of her and John's feelings for one another, adding that not pursuing a relationship with him was 'one of the hardest things' she had ever done. 'I was madly in love with him.' John and Kirstie are pictured in 1990

‘It was mutual,’ she shared of her and John’s feelings for one another, adding that not pursuing a relationship with him was ‘one of the hardest things’ she had ever done. ‘I was madly in love with him.’ John and Kirstie are pictured in 1990

However, she was married to actor Parker Stevenson at the time – they wed in 1983, but split in 1997 – which she said was the only reason they didn’t get together.

‘It was mutual,’ she shared of her and John’s feelings for one another, adding that not pursuing a relationship with him was ‘one of the hardest things’ she had ever done. 

‘I was madly in love with him – we were fun and funny together. It wasn’t a sexual relationship because I’m not going to cheat on my husband. 

‘But, you know, I think there are things that are way worse than sexual relationships, than cheating on someone that way. 

‘I consider what I did even worse because I actually let myself fall in love with him and stay in love with him for a long time.’

She also called John her ‘greatest love’ in her book, writing, ‘Believe me, it took everything that I had, inside, outside, whatever, to not run off and marry John. And be with John for the rest of my life.’ 

John and Kelly tied the knot in 1991, and even after he and Kelly became husband and wife, Kirstie admitted that she continued to flirt with the actor – something Kelly was not a fan of. 

Eventually, Kirstie told Dan that Kelly decided to confront her about it – which she said put an end to her making any moves on the Grease star.

John and Kelly tied the knot in 1991, and even after he and Kelly became husband and wife, Kirstie admitted that she continued to flirt with the actor - something Kelly was not a fan of. They are seen at the wedding

John and Kelly tied the knot in 1991, and even after he and Kelly became husband and wife, Kirstie admitted that she continued to flirt with the actor – something Kelly was not a fan of. They are seen at the wedding

Eventually, Kirstie said Kelly confronted her about it - which she said put an end to her making any moves on the Grease star. 'Kelly came up to me and she said, "Erm, why are you flirting with my husband?" Kirstie recalled. They are seen in 2007

Eventually, Kirstie said Kelly confronted her about it – which she said put an end to her making any moves on the Grease star. ‘Kelly came up to me and she said, “Erm, why are you flirting with my husband?” Kirstie recalled. They are seen in 2007

‘Kelly came up to me – and they were married then – and she said, “Erm, why are you flirting with my husband?” Kirstie recalled. ‘And that was sort of when I had to make a decision and that was pretty much the end of that.’

And while she stopped flirting with John after that, Kelly continued to discuss her feelings with him in interviews. She called him her ‘soulmate’ during a 2004 appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, gushing, ‘I love him. I just adore him.’ 

She also told the talk show host that she asked Kelly if the three of them could ‘move into the same house together,’ which Kelly shot down.

‘I don’t care if I have sex with John. I just want to be around him,’ she explained. ‘Why don’t we just buy a big commune, a big thing, and we all live there. He’s like having a pony.’

Kirstie spoke about it again while appearing on Celebrity Big Brother UK in 2018. She said, ‘I did love him. I still love him. If I hadn’t [have] been married, I would have gone and married him.

‘When you get on the road and you’re doing a movie, it’s very easy to fall in love with your leading man. For a year, you’re around this person. … It’s just hard.’ 

Putting it behind them: The ladies grew close despite Kirstie’s feelings for John, and appeared to bond over their mutual love of scientology

Even with Kirstie's very open admiration for John, Kirstie and Kelly eventually formed a tight bond - a friendship last lasted more than three decades. They are seen together in 2005

Even with Kirstie’s very open admiration for John, Kirstie and Kelly eventually formed a tight bond – a friendship last lasted more than three decades. They are seen together in 2005

The ladies seemed to grow close over their mutual love of scientology, and over the years, Kelly and Kirstie were seen attending various Scientology events together. They are seen at the 2007 Church of Scientology summer event

The ladies seemed to grow close over their mutual love of scientology, and over the years, Kelly and Kirstie were seen attending various Scientology events together. They are seen at the 2007 Church of Scientology summer event

Even with Kirstie’s very open admiration for John, Kirstie and Kelly eventually formed a tight bond – a friendship last lasted more than three decades.

The ladies seemed to grow close over their mutual love of scientology. Kirstie later explained in her 2012 memoir, The Art of Men (I Prefer Mine al Dente), that she got involved with the religious movement during the late 1970s, after a friend sent her Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s book, Dianetics.

She later credited Scientology with helping her overcome her drug addiction and depression, writing in her book that she was a ‘hot mess’ and had ‘done enough cocaine to kill several people’ before she found the religion. And after attending her first session, she wrote that she ‘never wanted to do another drug.’ 

John – as well as Kelly – is also a Scientologist – John became a member of the church in 1975, while Kelly was introduced to it by her acting coach in 1985. 

Over the years, Kelly and Kirstie were seen attending various Scientology events together, including the Church of Scientology Summer Event – which celebrated the church’s 38th anniversary – in August 2007.

Friends ’til the end: Kelly and Kirstie continued to support one another until Kelly’s passing in 2020

The women continued to support one another over the years. Kelly was by Kirstie's side at the opening of her Organic Liaison Store in March 2011 (seen), and when Kirstie competed on Dancing With the Stars that same month, Kelly attended the taping

The women continued to support one another over the years. Kelly was by Kirstie’s side at the opening of her Organic Liaison Store in March 2011 (seen), and when Kirstie competed on Dancing With the Stars that same month, Kelly attended the taping

She also urged people to vote for Kirstie on Twitter during the competition, writing in a Tweet, 'Hi! this is Kelly Preston I've confiscated [Kirstie's] Twitter to remind you to vote... Woohoo, Kirstie rocks!'

She also urged people to vote for Kirstie on Twitter during the competition, writing in a Tweet, ‘Hi! this is Kelly Preston I’ve confiscated [Kirstie’s] Twitter to remind you to vote… Woohoo, Kirstie rocks!’

The women continued to support one another over the years. Kelly was by Kirstie’s side at the opening of her Organic Liaison Store in March 2011, and when Kirstie competed on Dancing With the Stars that same month, the Twin star was spotted supporting her pal from the front row during many of her performances. 

When Kirstie released her memoir in 2012, in which she opened up about her past feelings for John, she told Jimmy Kimmel that she made sure to get John and Kelly's permission before dropping the book

When Kirstie released her memoir in 2012, in which she opened up about her past feelings for John, she told Jimmy Kimmel that she made sure to get John and Kelly’s permission before dropping the book

She also urged people to vote for Kirstie on Twitter during the competition, writing in a Tweet, ‘Hi! this is Kelly Preston I’ve confiscated [Kirstie’s] Twitter to remind you to vote… Woohoo, Kirstie rocks!’

And it appeared that Kirstie was even close with John and Kelly’s kids. The ladies were spotted getting dinner together at the Beverly Hills celebrity hotspot Mr. Chow in May 2011, where they were joined by Kelly and John’s then-11-year-old daughter, Ella Bleu Travolta.

When Kirstie released her memoir in 2012, in which she opened up about her past feelings for John, she told Jimmy Kimmel on his show that she made sure to get John and Kelly’s permission before dropping the book, and she revealed that they were completely encouraging about it.

‘John Travolta is and has remained one of my best friends for almost 25 years… His wife is my best friend… They gave me their blessing, they said write the story,’ she said on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

She reiterated this sentiment during an appearance on Good Morning America a year later, while calling Kelly her ‘best girl friend.’

By June 2018, the two women were still as close as ever, as Kirstie shared an adorable picture of them giggling together to Twitter, which she captioned, ‘Kelly Preston likes to make me blush.’

And in October 2019, Kirstie joined the Hairspray actor and his wife on a boat ride, in honor of Kelly’s 57th birthday. 

‘Celebrating Kelly’s birthday with family and friends,’ John wrote on Instagram at the time, alongside a snap from the festivities – which showed him next the two women, and some other friends, on the boat. 

Then, in 2013, during an appearance on Good Morning America, Kirstie called Kelly her 'best girl friend.' They are pictured with John in 2007

Then, in 2013, during an appearance on Good Morning America, Kirstie called Kelly her ‘best girl friend.’ They are pictured with John in 2007

By June 2018, the two women were still as close as ever, as Kirstie shared an adorable picture of them giggling together to Twitter, which she captioned, 'Kelly Preston likes to make me blush'

By June 2018, the two women were still as close as ever, as Kirstie shared an adorable picture of them giggling together to Twitter, which she captioned, ‘Kelly Preston likes to make me blush’

And in October 2019, Kirstie joined the Hairspray actor and his wife on a boat ride, in honor of Kelly's 57th birthday. 'Celebrating Kelly’s birthday with family and friends,' John wrote on Instagram at the time

And in October 2019, Kirstie joined the Hairspray actor and his wife on a boat ride, in honor of Kelly’s 57th birthday. ‘Celebrating Kelly’s birthday with family and friends,’ John wrote on Instagram at the time

When Kelly tragically died from breast cancer in July 2020, Kirstie shared a touching tribute to her longtime pal. She posted a link to the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow to Twitter, while writing, 'I love you forever'

When Kelly tragically died from breast cancer in July 2020, Kirstie shared a touching tribute to her longtime pal. She posted a link to the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow to Twitter, while writing, ‘I love you forever’

When Kelly tragically died from breast cancer in July 2020, Kirstie shared a touching tribute to her longtime pal. She posted a link to the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow to Twitter, while writing, ‘Kelly… You are Hawaii and I am Kansas. 

‘The perfect combination for best friends. I love you forever, Shooster… Here’s to “until we meet again somewhere.”‘

In the wake of Kirstie’s sad passing, John posted a heartfelt message to his former co-star to Instagram, in which he called their bond ‘one of the most special relationships he’s ever had.’

‘Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had,’ he said. ‘I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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