Private memorial service held for Jett Travolta

Thu Jan 8, 2009 8:24pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Friends and family of John Travolta held a private memorial service on Thursday for the actor's son, Jett, whose sudden death last week brought an outpouring of grief from fans.

The service took place at the Florida home of Travolta and his actress wife, Kelly Preston. Security staff outside the residence kept the media at bay and details were scarce.

The sudden death of Jett Travolta, 16, who passed away after a seizure six days ago while on vacation in the Bahamas, triggered a wave of condolences from fans of John Travolta, the popular star of "Saturday Night Fever" and "Pulp Fiction."

On Thursday, actor Tom Cruise discussed the family's loss. Like Travolta and Preston, Cruise is a member of the Church of Scientology.

"It's horrific," Cruise said in an interview for "The View" television show, which taped on Thursday. "It's just horrific. Here you have a man, both of them doting parents, they're wonderful people and..." His voice trailed off before finishing the sentence.

At the time of his death, a statement issued by the family said Jett had a history of seizures, but prior to that Travolta and Preston had said that their son suffered from the little-known Kawasaki syndrome when he was a toddler.

Friends said he had developmental disabilities that meant he was not heard speaking.

"I observed that (Jett) was significantly mentally handicapped," actress Anne Archer, a friend of Travolta, was quoted as telling People magazine in its Friday edition.   Continued...

<p>Jett Travolta is pictured in this undated photograph, released December 4, 2009. Actor John Travolta broke a two-day silence over the death of his 16-year-old son Jett on Sunday, saying he and his wife, actress Kelly Preston were "heartbroken" by their sudden loss. Jett, who had a history of seizures, was found unconscious in a bathroom at his family's home at the Old Bahama Bay resort on Grand Bahama Island on Friday morning. REUTERS/Courtesy of the Travolta family/Rogers &amp; Cowan</p>