Feb. 18th, 1954
Englewood, New Jersey, USA
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Host
Himself - John Travolta
John Joseph Travolta (born February 18, 1954) is an American actor, dancer, and singer. Travolta first became known in the 1970s, after appearing on the television series Welcome Back, Kotter and starring in the box office successes Saturday Night Fever and Grease. Travolta's acting career declined through the 1980s. His career enjoyed a resurgence in the 1990s with his role in Pulp Fiction, and he has since continued starring in more recent films such as Face/Off, Ladder 49, and Wild Hogs.
Travolta was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance in Get Shorty.
Travolta, the youngest of six children, was born and raised in Englewood, New Jersey, an inner-ring suburb of New York City. His father, Salvatore Travolta (November 1912 – May 1995), was a semi-professional American football player turned tire salesman and partner in a tire company. His mother, Helen Cecilia (née Burke, January 1912 – December 1978), 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 siblings, Joey, Ellen, Ann, Margaret, and Sam Travolta, have all acted His father was a second-generation Italian American and his mother was Irish American; he grew up in an Irish-American neighborhood and has said that his household was predominantly Irish in culture.
He was raised Roman Catholic, but converted to Scientology in 1975. Travolta attended Dwight Morrow High School, but dropped out as a junior at age 17 in 1971.
After Urban Cowboy (1980) Travolta starred in a series of financial and critical failures that sidelined his acting career. These included Perfect, co-starring 'Jamie Lee Curtis', and Two of a Kind, a romantic comedy reteaming him with 'Olivia Newton-John'. During that time he was offered, but turned down, lead roles in what would become box office hits, including American Gigolo and An Officer and a Gentleman, both of which went to Richard Gere.
In 1989, Travolta starred with 'Kirstie Alley' in Look Who's Talking, which grossed $297,000,000, making it his most successful film since Grease. Travolta continued to the two sequels Look Who's Talking Too (1990) and Look Who's Talking Now (1993).
In 2007 he starred in Wild Hogs and played Mrs. Edna Turnblad in the remake of Hairspray, his first musical since Grease. In 2008 he lent his voice for the film Bolt, in which he played the title role.
Travolta was in a relationship with actress 'Diana Hyland', whom he met while filming The Boy in the Plastic Bubble; Hyland died of breast cancer in 1977.
Travolta married actress 'Kelly Preston' in 1991. The couple had a son, Jett (April 13, 1992 – January 2, 2009). Their daughter, Ella Bleu (born 2000) and a third child, a son, Benjamin (born November 23, 2010) in Florida. Travolta and Preston have regularly attended marriage counseling; Travolta has stated that therapy has helped the marriage.
In 2009, Travolta's son, Jett, died while on a Christmas vacation in The Bahamas. A Bahamian death certificate was issued, attributing the cause of death to a seizure. Jett, who had a troubled history of seizures, reportedly suffered from Kawasaki disease at the age of two. Travolta confirmed speculation that his son had autism and suffered regular seizures and immediately made his public statements while giving testimony after a multi-million dollar extortion plot against him in connection to his son's death. After a mistrial, Travolta dropped the charges and has credited his immediate family and faith in helping him survive the premature death of his son and in moving forward with his film career.
- Appears in _Hairspray (2007)_ (qv), opposite 'Michelle Pfeiffer' (qv), whose debut film was _Grease 2 (1982)_ (qv), the sequel to _Grease (1978)_ (qv), in which Travolta appeared.
- (October 1997) Ranked #21 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list.
- Turned down the roles: _Splash (1984)_ (qv), _Apollo 13 (1995)_ (qv) and _Forrest Gump (1994)_ (qv).
- Got the role of Vincent Vega in _Pulp Fiction (1994)_ (qv) primarily because 'Michael Madsen (I)' (qv), the actor whom the part was written for, was unavailable due to a prior film commitment. Vincent was the brother of 'Michael Madsen (I)' (qv)'s character Vic Vega (AKA: Mr. Blonde in _Reservoir Dogs (1992)_ (qv)) and the role jump-started his career after a long slump.
- His characters make mention of an 'Al Pacino' (qv) film in at least three of his films: _Saturday Night Fever (1977)_ (qv); _Get Shorty (1995)_ (qv) and _Swordfish (2001)_ (qv).
- Did yoga and boxing to cut his love handles for the film _Swordfish (2001)_ (qv).
- 'Jett Travolta' (qv), his 16-year-old son, died following a seizure at the family's Bahamas holiday retreat on Friday Jan 2, 2009.
- Is of Italian descent on his father's side and Irish descent on his mother's side.