Kirstie Alley had a close, and sometimes complicated, friendship with Kelly Preston.
The friendship started in an unlikely way. In an interview with British podcast Dan Wooten, Alley admitted that she had an emotional affair with Travolta when they were making the Look Who’s Talking movies in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Alley was married to actor Parker Stevenson at the time and Travolta had split from his then- ex-girlfriend Preston. The affair never got physical and Alley claimed she eventually advised Travolta to marry Preston, whom she agreed was “amazing.”
Still, the on-set flirting continued into the third Look Who’s Talking movie, which filmed after the Travoltas married. Alley admitted that Preston confronted her about the flirting with her husband and she immediately stopped, per Entertainment Tonight.
Even though her marriage to Stevenson eventually did end, Alley said it all turned as it should have and that she has “remained best friends all these years” with both Travolta and Preston.
In her 2012 tell-all The Art of Men (I Prefer Mine al Dente), Alley wrote that up until 2003, she knew Travolta better than she knew his wife. But that all changed when she helped Preston work through the couple’s marital problems.
“Kelly asked me to be her best friend,” Alley wrote.”I’d never been asked that before. It was so sweet — so ‘Kelly!’ I accepted.”
In a 2013 interview with Health magazine, Preston also confirmed the duo’s close bond, saying Alley was her “rock” during tough periods in her life.
“Kirstie is one of my absolute best friends,” Preston said at the time.
The friendship included the trio’s involvement in the Church of Scientology and many other mutual interests.
In 2007, Alley and Preston teamed up to lead a march against the American Psychiatric Association in San Francisco in protest against psychiatric drug therapy for school children. Preston also appeared in Alley’s Showtime series Fat Actress.
More than 30 years after they first met, the friendship appeared to be sailing smoothly. In October, Travolta shared an Instagram photo, which can be seen here, which showed Alley hanging out with his family on a boat as they celebrated his wife’s 57th birthday.
“Celebrating Kelly’s birthday with family and friends,” he wrote, before tagging Alley in the photo.
Alley has not yet publicly commented on the heartbreaking death of her beloved best friend.