How Helen Travolta, John Travolta’s Mother, Died of Cancer in 1978

Helen Travolta was an actress who appeared in the iconic movie Saturday Night Fever alongside her son John Travolta. She was also the mother of five other children, including actors Joey, Ellen, and Margaret Travolta. But her life was cut short by cancer in 1978, when she was only 66 years old. Here is what we know about Helen Travolta’s cause of death and how it affected her family.

Helen Travolta’s Early Life and Career

Helen Travolta was born on January 18, 1912 in New Jersey, USA. She married Salvatore Joseph Travolta Jr., a tire salesman and a former semi-professional football player, in 1934. They had six children together: Joey, Ellen, Margaret, Sam, Ann, and John. Helen was a homemaker who supported her children’s artistic pursuits. She also had a passion for acting and singing herself.

According to IMDb, Helen Travolta was a member of “The Sunshine Sisters”, a radio vocal group. She also appeared in some local theater productions and commercials. Her most notable role was in Saturday Night Fever (1977), where she played John Travolta’s mother. She also had a cameo in Grease (1978), another film starring her son.

Helen Travolta’s Battle with Cancer

Helen Travolta was diagnosed with cancer in the late 1970s. The exact type and stage of her cancer are not known, but it was reportedly aggressive and terminal. She underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but they did not stop the disease from spreading.

According to The List, Helen Travolta died on December 3, 1978 in Los Angeles, California, USA. She was surrounded by her family and friends at the time of her death. She was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.

Helen Travolta’s Legacy and Impact on Her Family

Helen Travolta left behind a legacy of love and talent that lives on through her children and grandchildren. Her son John Travolta has credited her for inspiring him to pursue acting and for being his biggest fan. He once said, “She gave me the confidence to be special.” He also dedicated his performance in Urban Cowboy (1980) to her memory.

Helen Travolta’s death was not the only tragedy that John Travolta faced in his life. He also lost his girlfriend Diana Hyland to breast cancer in 1977, his son Jett to a seizure disorder in 2009, and his wife Kelly Preston to breast cancer in 2020. He has said that his faith in Scientology has helped him cope with these losses.

Helen Travolta’s other children have also followed their mother’s footsteps and pursued careers in entertainment. Joey Travolta is an actor, director, and producer who has worked on films such as Beverly Hills Cop III (1994) and Carol of the Bells (2019). Ellen Travolta is an actress who has appeared on TV shows such as Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi, and Charles in Charge. Margaret Travolta is an actress who has had roles in films such as Face/Off (1997) and The Amityville Horror (2005). Sam Travolta is a screenwriter who has written scripts for films such as The Devil’s Own (1997) and The General’s Daughter (1999). Ann Travolta is an actress who has had small parts in films such as Hairspray (2007) and Old Dogs (2009).

Helen Travolta’s grandchildren include Tom Fridley, Rachel Travolta, Molly Fridley, Ella Bleu Travolta, Benjamin Travolta, and Jett Travolta (deceased). Some of them have also shown interest in acting and have appeared in some of their relatives’ projects.

Helen Travolta was a loving mother, a talented actress, and a brave woman who fought cancer until the end. She may be gone, but she is not forgotten by her family and fans.

Doms Desk

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