John Travolta

John Travolta

Infobox actor

caption = John Travolta in 2007
birthname = John Joseph Travolta
birthdate = birth date and age|1954|02|18
birthplace = Englewood, New Jersey, U.S.
othername =
occupation = Actor, singer, dancer
yearsactive = 1969 ─ Present| spouse = nowrap|Kelly Preston
(1991 — present)

website =
goldenglobeawards = Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1996 "Get Shorty"
goldenraspberryawards = Worst Actor
2000 "Battlefield Earth"; "Lucky Numbers"
Worst Screen Couple
2000 "Battlefield"
"with anyone sharing the screen with him"

John Joseph Travolta (born February 18, 1954) is a two-time Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe Award-winning American actor, dancer, and singer, best known for his leading roles in films such as "Saturday Night Fever", "Grease", and "Pulp Fiction".


Early life

Travolta, the youngest of six children,cite news|last=Pearce|first=Garth|coauthors=|title=On the move: John Travolta|pages=|publisher=Times Online|date=2007-07-15|url=|accessdate=2007-07-17] was born and raised in Englewood, New Jersey, an inner-ring suburb of New York City. His father, Salvatore Travolta, was a semi-professional football player turned tire salesman and partner in a tire company, [ [ John Travolta Biography (1954-) ] ] and his mother, Helen Cecilia (née Burke), who was 42 when Travolta was born, was an actress and singer who had appeared in "The Sunshine Sisters", a radio vocal group, and acted and directed before becoming a high school drama and English teacher. His father was a second-generation Italian American and his mother was Irish American;cite news|last=|first=|coauthors=|title=Begorrah!! Travolta's Irish...|pages=|publisher=Showbiz Ireland|date=2007-01-07|url=|accessdate=2007-07-17] cite news|last=Grant|first=Meg|coauthors=|title=Night Moves|pages=|publisher=Reader's Digest|date=February 2005|url=|accessdate=2007-07-17] He grew up in an Irish-American neighborhoodcite news|last=|first=|coauthors=|title=Celebetty: John Travolta|pages=||year=2000|url=|accessdate=2007-07-17] and has said that his household was predominantly Irish in culture. His family was Catholic.cite news|last=|first=|coauthors=|title=The Big Question: John Travolta|pages=|publisher="THE BIG QUESTION" BBC1|date=2004-01-28|url=|accessdate=2007-07-17]

Early career

After attending Dwight Morrow High School, Travolta moved across the Hudson River to New York City and landed a role in the touring company of "Grease (the musical)" and on Broadway in "Over Here!" singing the Sherman Brothers' song "Dream Drummin'". He then moved to Los Angeles to further his career in show business.

Travolta played a messenger on the CBS soap opera "The Edge of Night". He also appeared on another CBS serial "The Secret Storm". Travolta's first California-filmed television role was as a fall victim in "Emergency!" (S2E2) in September 1972, but his first significant movie role was as Billy Nolan, a bully who played a prank on Sissy Spacek's Carrie White in the horror film "Carrie" (1976). Around the same time he landed his star-making role as Vinnie Barbarino in the TV sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter" (1975–1979) in which his sister, Ellen, also occasionally appeared (as Arnold Horshack's mother).

'70s stardom

Around this time he also had a hit single entitled "Let Her In" peaking at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In the next few years, he appeared in some of his most memorable screen roles: Tony Manero in "Saturday Night Fever" (1977) and as Danny Zuko in "Grease" (1978). These two films were among the most commercially successful pictures of the decade and catapulted Travolta to international stardom and earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best actor. At age 24, Travolta became one of the youngest performers ever nominated for the Best Actor Oscar though he lost to Richard Dreyfuss in The Goodbye Girl. His mother and his sister Ann appeared as extras in "Saturday Night Fever" and his sister Ellen appeared as a waitress in "Grease". Travolta performed several of the songs on the "Grease" soundtrack album, that eventually went on to sell more than 10 million copies. In 1980, Travolta inspired a nationwide country music craze that followed on the heels of his hit film, "Urban Cowboy", in which he starred with Debra Winger.


After "Urban Cowboy" came a string of flops that sidelined his acting career. "Staying Alive", the sequel to "Saturday Night Fever", "Perfect", co-starring Jamie Lee Curtis, and "Two of a Kind", a romantic comedy reteaming him with Olivia Newton-John, were all commercial disasters severely beaten up by critics. Some suggest that he was typecast as a disco stud or 1970s icon, which could be the reason his agent intervened on several occasions to turn down acting roles. During that time he was offered, but turned down, lead roles in what would become box office hits, including "American Gigolo", "Flashdance", "An Officer and a Gentleman", "Splash" and "Fatal Attraction". Disenchanted, Travolta pursued flying and eventually earned his license to command aircraft. His only hit film was "Look Who's Talking" with Kirstie Alley and a baby voiced by Bruce Willis.


It was not until he played Vincent Vega in Quentin Tarantino's hit "Pulp Fiction" (1994), for which he received an Academy Award nomination, that his career was revived. The movie shifted him back onto the A-list, and he was inundated with offers. Coincidentally, before Travolta took the role he visited Tarantino, who was living in the same ramshackle apartment in Los Angeles that Travolta had inhabited when he got his start. Notable roles following "Pulp Fiction" include a movie-buff loan shark in "Get Shorty" (1995), an FBI agent in "Face/Off" (1997), a desperate attorney in "A Civil Action" (1998), a Bill Clinton-esque presidential candidate in "Primary Colors" (1998) and a military detective in "The General's Daughter" (1999).

Travolta also starred in "Battlefield Earth" (2000) based on a work of science fiction by L. Ron Hubbard, in which he played the leader of a group of aliens that enslaves humanity on a bleak future Earth. The film received almost universally negative reviews and did very poorly at the box office. [ [ rotten tomatoes about "Battlefield Earth"] ] The film won a Razzie Award for Worst Film of the Year at the 2000 awards. Travolta, who joined Scientology in 1975 and endorses Hubbard's teachings, had hoped that the film would be well received and be the first in a series of Hubbard film adaptations. In 2004, Travolta played Deputy Chief Mike Kennedy in the "Ladder 49". This film was notable for being the first post-9/11 film that focused on the life of a crew of firefighters. Travolta starred as a successful businessman gone broke/biker in 2007's "Wild Hogs". Travolta plays Edna Turnblad in the remake of "Hairspray", his first musical since "Grease". [ [ "Travolta on becoming a woman", interview with stv/movies, June 2007]]

Personal life

Travolta married actress Kelly Preston in 1991. They have a son named Jett, and a daughter named Ella Bleu.

Travolta is a certified pilot and owns five aircraft, including an ex-Australian Boeing 707-138 airliner. The plane bears the name "Jett Clipper Ella" in honor of his son Jett and his daughter Ella. Pan American World Airways was a large operator of the Boeing 707 and used Clipper in its names. The 707 aircraft bears the marks of Qantas, as Travolta acts as an official goodwill ambassador for the airline wherever he flies. His $4.9 million estate in the Jumbolair subdivision in Ocala, Florida is situated on Greystone Airport with its own runway and taxiway right to the door. [Kelly Preston showed a picture of this on the August 29, 2007 episode of "Late Night With Conan O'Brien". In a recent interview on MTV, John claimed that he 'hate ['s] all sitcoms", his pet hate being "King of Queens" ]

Travolta was previously involved with actress Diana Hyland, who died of breast cancer in 1977. [cite web|url=|title=biography of Diana Hyland|publisher=IMDB|accessdate = 2007-03-28]

Travolta has been a practitioner of Scientology since 1975 when he was given the book "" while filming a movie in Durango, Mexico. [cite web

url =
publisher = Church of Scientology International
author = Church of Scientology International
month = May | year = 2007
accessdate = 2007-05-21



* "Hairspray" (2007) US$14 million including "ca". US$3 million perquisites
* "Ladder 49" (2004) US$20 million
* "Primary Colors" (1998) US$18 million
* "Mad City" (1997) US$17 million
* "Face/Off" (1997) US$15 million

* "Michael" (1996) US$15 million
* "Phenomenon" (1996) US$18 million
* "Broken Arrow" (1996) US$17 million
* "Get Shorty" (1995) US$3.5 million
* "Pulp Fiction" (1994) US$140,000

Television work

* "The Tenth Level" (1975)
* "Welcome Back, Kotter" (cast member from 1975 - 1978)
* "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble" (1976)

* "Basements" (1987)
* "Chains of Gold" (1991) (also writer)
* "Punk'd" (2004) (Uncredited)

Music career


* "Over Here!" (Original Cast Album) (1974)
* "John Travolta" (1976)
* "Can't Let You Go" (1977)
* "Travolta Fever" (1978)
* "Grease" (movie soundtrack) (1978)
* "The Road to Freedom" (Scientology album) (1986)
* "Let Her In: The Best of John Travolta" (1996)
* "The Collection" (2003)
* "Hairspray" (2007)
* "Whenever I'm away from you, baby


* "You Set My Dreams To Music" (1969)
* "Goodnight Mr. Moon" (1969)
* "Rainbows" (1969)
* "Settle Down" (1970)
* "Moonlight Lady" (1971)
* "Right Time Of The Night" (1972)
* "Big Trouble" (1972)
* "What Would They Say" (1973)
* "Back Doors Crying" (1973)
* "Dream Drummin'" (1974)
* "Easy Evil" (1975)
* "Can't Let You Go" (1975)
* "Let Her In" (1976)
* "Slow Dancin'" (1976)
* "It Had To Be You" (1976)
* "I Don't Know What I Like About You Baby" (1976)
* "Baby, I Could Be So Good At Lovin' You" (1977)
* "Razzamatazz" (1977)
* "Sandy" (1978)
* "Greased Lightnin'" (1978)
* "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again" (1980)
* "Hooker Madness" (1983)

See also

*List of oldest and youngest Academy Award winners and nominees - Youngest Nominees for Best Actor

Further reading

* Brigitte Tast (ed.) "John Travolta" (Hildesheim/Germany 1978) ISBN 3-88842-103-9.


External links

* [ John Travolta official homepage]

* [ John Travolta: A Passionate Ambassador of Aviation]

NAME= Travolta, John
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Travolta, John Joseph
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Actor, singer, dancer
DATE OF BIRTH= 1954-02-18
PLACE OF BIRTH= Englewood, New Jersey, U.S.

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