John Travolta and Kelly Preston welcomed their daughter in April 2000
John Travolta is a proud girl dad.
Since the death of his late wife Kelly Preston in 2020, the Grease alum has been a devoted single father to his daughter, Ella Bleu, 23. The father-daughter duo have forged a tight-knit bond and can be frequently seen traveling, dancing and celebrating milestone occasions together.
“She is her own person. She is gracious, generous, poised, graceful and gorgeous. I don’t know how she came to be, and I don’t take any credit other than just adoring her,” Travolta told PEOPLE of Ella in 2019. “And maybe that’s a valid contribution.”
Ella looks up to her famous father, especially as she forges her own career in the entertainment industry.
“I say he’s my biggest fan and I’m his biggest fan,” Ella told Parade.com. “So there’s a lot of support going on, which is – it’s amazing. I learned so much from him.”
“I always jump at the opportunity to do something with my dad and we always have the most fun doing something together,” she told PEOPLE. “So, hopefully we’ll do something soon again. Maybe another project or movie. I’m always up for that.”
She was born on April 3, 2000, in California
Preston and Travolta welcomed their only daughter, Ella Bleu Travolta, on April 3, 2000, at their home in California. Preston recalled the magical moment she met her daughter in an issue of Redbook just months after giving birth.
“John put his hands under her arms while she was still halfway in, and I put my hand on his, and we pulled her out together and laid her on my chest,” she told the magazine.
Becoming a mom was a lifelong dream for Preston, as she told Health magazine in 2011.
“I’ve always wanted to be a mother, ever since I was 11,” she said. “I was doing commercials for thousands of dollars, but I’d still babysit for three dollars an hour just because I loved it.”
She’s a big sister
Ella was Travolta and Preston’s second child after they first welcomed son Jett in April 1992. Sadly, Jett died in January 2009 while on vacation with his family in the Bahamas. The then-16-year-old hit his head on a bathtub after suffering a seizure at the family’s vacation home.
Amid their grief, the family received some surprising news: Preston was pregnant with their third child.
“We had tried for three years, and because of our age we thought maybe it wasn’t possible for us … We were completely blown away,” she told PEOPLE after welcoming their “miracle baby” Benjamin in November 2010.
The actress also shared Ella’s reaction to becoming a first-time big sister. “You would have thought Ella was having Benjamin herself because of her enthusiasm about his arrival — she was elated, to say the least. When she first saw him, she fell in love,” she said.
Ella and Benjamin have a close relationship. In November 2022, she celebrated her younger brother’s birthday with a sweet tribute on Instagram. “Happy Birthday to the sweetest boy I know❤️🎉🐶 I love you!!!” she wrote alongside a snap of Benjamin holding one of the family dogs.
Ella has been following in her parents’ footsteps from a young age.
“Ever since I was little, I’ve really loved singing and performing — whether it was acting, dancing, singing,” Ella told PEOPLE in 2023.
As a child, the burgeoning actress put on home plays that were “mandatory” to attend, with her parents front and center in the audience.
“In our house in Maine we have this stage area set up with a little red curtain and my friends and I would perform there…We did (everything), from the Hulk to Christmas shows and one year we all played different ‘Housewives of Maine’,” she previously shared with PEOPLE.
Travolta fostered her passion, letting her star in a movie as a child.
“When she was seven, she said, ‘Daddy, I want to do a movie,’” Travolta shared while appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2019. “One week later, the opportunity to work on Old Dogs presented itself.”
Ella portrayed Emily, one of the twins unbeknownst to her father, in the 2009 comedy, featuring her dad and Robin Williams.
Ella has an impressive resume consisting of modeling, acting and music. After being cast in Old Dogs as a child, she went on to star alongside her dad in the 2019 film, The Poison Rose, and most recently nabbed her first leading role in Get Lost, a film inspired by Alice in Wonderland.
“About two years ago at the beginning of the pandemic, I was like, ‘Oh, I have some ideas for songs that I’ve just recorded as voice memos. I should try finishing them,” she told PEOPLE. “So I started completing those songs and writing them. I was like, ‘Oh, I really like this.’ “
“He’s really proud, which makes me very happy,” she shared. “He really likes the style of music as well. He enjoys listening to it and he will show everyone.”
In addition to being her father, Travolta also serves as Ella’s mentor in the entertainment industry.
While appearing on The Talk in 2019, the proud dad revealed that while Ella was filming The Poison Rose, which he also starred in, he became quite the stage dad.
“I am ridiculous. I’m behind the camera mouthing every word she says, doing her moves,” Travolta confessed.
However, the 23-year-old said it was nice having him on set.
“It actually helped so much knowing that he was there,” she said. “He would come up in between scenes and then I would know that I had him behind the monitor, just watching, making sure it was good.”
In Ella’s spare time, she can be found in the kitchen whipping up fresh treats or trying her hand at a new recipe.
While promoting The Poison Rose in 2019, she told Access Hollywood that her family enjoys bake-offs against one another, revealing who usually takes the cake.
“We’re all good at it, but he wins the competitions a lot,” she said about her father.
She even put her skills to use recreating the coconut bundt cake Tom Cruise is known to give his famous friends around the holidays, impressing her dad and brother, Benjamin.
“It’s delicious, oh my goodness,” Travolta said in an Instagram video. Her brother echoed the sentiment, showing a near-empty plate as he scooped up the remnants.
“I actually lost my first tooth with Oprah on a boat,” she said. “It just happened, and I was really excited. I think I swallowed the tooth.”
Winfrey has been close with the Travolta family for years. The Saturday Night Fever star became a favorite guest on her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, even teaming up with her during the show’s final season to surprise her audience with a trip to Australia, with Travolta piloting the voyage.
“As soon as I knew that she loved me, I was home,” he recalled of their initial meeting in a farewell message for the daytime TV host. “And I said, ‘Okay, this woman really likes me and we’re going to have fun.’ ”
Ella paid tribute to her mom’s “Got Milk?” ad from the ‘90s by proudly sporting a plant-based milk mustache of her own for Silk Nextmilk’s play on the famous campaign. The ads — which debuted in February 2023 — also featured Brooklyn Beckham and Sailor Brinkley-Cook, both of whom also had a parent sport the iconic stache decades earlier.
Ella follows a plant-based diet herself, and told PEOPLE that her favorite plant-based dish to cook is banana bread.
“That’s sort of my specialty,” she shared while on set for the photo shoot, adding that she also loves drinking a morning matcha with dairy-free milk.
Ella was 20 when her mom died following a two-year battle with breast cancer in July 2020. In the years since, both Ella and Travolta have continued to celebrate Preston, regularly sharing social media tributes on Mother’s Day and her birthday.
In October 2022, Ella posted a heart-wrenching video montage that included photos of her with Preston throughout her childhood, set to the emotional song “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” The following May, she shared a photo of Preston and Travolta with a sweet caption in honor of Mother’s Day.
“Happy Mothers Day to the most wonderful, funny, kind, caring, beautiful and brilliant mom a girl could ask for and to the most iconic duo I could ever dream of being raised by. So very thankful and filled with love on this day❤️,” she wrote.
Ella’s passport has quite the stamp collection. The model finds pleasure in traveling the world, oftentimes alongside her father (who has been a licensed pilot since he was 22!).
The Travolta family spent part of summer 2023 traveling to Japan, where Travolta gave fans a sneak peek of their trip via an Instagram Reel. The behind-the-scenes video showed the group sightseeing, taking a trip to the zoo and amusement park, visiting an art exhibition and more.
The Golden Globe winner pulls out all the stops while planning family vacations. Their 2022 expedition included stops in Iceland, Greece and Dubai, and Travolta spent his daughter’s 22nd birthday having tea in England.