/ : John Travolta /

Birthdate: February 18, 1954
Birthplace: Englewood, New Jersey
Occupations: Actor, Musician
Quote: "There's hardly anything I wouldn't do for Quentin [Tarantino]. But I know...he already feels paid back by my doing a good job. I know Quentin doesn't feel I owe him anything...I don't think there's ever been anyone who's genuinely loved me more than Quentin. He doesn't want anything back other than my well-being, and every time I think about the purity of that, it makes me want to cry or something...and Steven Spielberg--he's the one who called me and told me to do the Nora Ephron movie [Michael]. So with Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg, I think I have the best guardian angels that the planet has to offer." --US magazine, December 1995
Travolta Photo

Claim to Fame: Played Vinnie Barbarino on the ABC sitcom, Welcome Back, Kotter (1975-1979)

Significant Other(s):
Wife: Kelly Preston, actress; born October 13, 1962; engaged January 1, 1991; married September 5, 1991, in Paris, France by a French Scientologist minister; remarried September 12, 1991 in Daytona Beach, Florida (marriage in France wasn't legal)
Diana Hyland, actress; born Januray 25, 1936; played Travolta's mother in The Boy in the Plastic Bubble; died March 28, 1977 of cancer

Father: Salvatore Travolta, former semi-professional football player, co-owner of a tire shop; born 1913; died May 26, 1995
Mother: Helen Travolta, actress, drama coach; died 1979 of cancer
Sister: Ellen Travolta, actress; older
Brother: Sammy Travolta, older
Sister: Annie Travolta, older
Brother: Joey Travolta, actor; older
Sister: Margaret Travolta, older
Son: Jett Travolta, born April 13, 1992; mother, Kelly Preston
Daughter: Ella Bleu Travolta; born April 3, 2000; mother, Kelly Preston

Bright-eyed and boyish, John Travolta first gained fame as Vinnie Barbarino, head "Sweathog" on the popular high school sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter" (ABC, 1975-79). The character began as a dim-witted, swaggering bully but soon evolved into sweet-natured, vulnerable and sexy teen idol. He first registered in features as a teen cad who plots against "Carrie" (1976) and truly graduated from TV "hustling" his way to stardom in one of the signature films of the late 70s, "Saturday Night Fever" (1977). Travolta's convincing urban Italian-American posturing, combined with a bruised sensitivity and several fiery disco routines helped make the film a resonant hit and earned him an Oscar nomination. 5After the critical and commercial fiasco of "Moment By Moment" (1978), a laughable romantic drama co-starring Lily Tomlin, Travolta cemented his popularity and proved himself a capable light romantic lead as Danny Zuko in "Grease" (1978). Buoyed by the immense popularity of TV's "Happy Days", this faux 1950s song-and-dance fest became one of Hollywood's highest grossing film musicals. The well-received "Urban Cowboy" (1980) featured the dancing lead in cowboy hat and boots as it tapped into America's ascendant interest in country-and-western culture. De Palma's "Blow Out" (1981) offered Travolta one of his most complex roles: a dedicated film sound recordist who accidentally records a political assassination. The result was a richly shaded portrait of the hack artist as fallen idealist.

Travolta subsequently languished for nearly a decade in forgettable and/or unpopular films. It took the sleeper hit of 1989, "Look Who's Talking" to re-establish him, although he was more of a supporting player in this romantic comedy. Nevertheless, its success generated at least two more jobs for the former superstar--"Look Who's Talking Too" (1990) and "Look Who's Talking Now" (1993).

Glowing reviews for his performance in Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" (1994), though, restored Travolta to Hollywood's A-list. Now relatively heavy-set, sporting long-hair and earrings, Travolta's Vincent Vega was a strangely sympathetic hitman with a heroin habit and a disconcertingly innocent view of the world. The resuscitated star found himself deluged with scripts and deals offering him the biggest paydays of his estimable career as well as a second Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

Since then, the actor has worked virtually non-stop, capitalizing on his success with several well-received characterizations. As Chili Palmer in Barry Sonnenfeld's popular "Get Shorty" (1995), he was acclaimed for his portrayal of a hitman entranced by Hollywood. John Woo's action-adventure thriller "Broken Arrow" (1996) offered him a rather malevolent turn as the mastermind of an extortion plot against the US government while "Phenomenon" (also 1996) let him show his softer side as a man who is struck by a white light and develops superior abilities. He rounded out the same year portraying a fallen angel in Nora Ephron's "Michael". In 1997, he reteamed with Woo for "Face/Off", exchanging identities and features with Nicolas Cage, was the supportive husband of a woman whose past catches up to her in "She's So Lovely" and was a desperate man driven to hostage-taking in "Mad City".

Swordfish (2001)
Domestic Disturbance (2001)
Battlefield Earth (2000)
Lucky Numbers (2000)
Standing Room Only (1999)
The General's Daughter (1999)
Forever Hollywood (1999)
Primary Colors (1998)
Welcome to Hollywood (1998)
A Civil Action (1998)
The Thin Red Line (1998)
Face/Off (1997)
She's So Lovely (1997)
Mad City (1997)
Broken Arrow (1996)
Phenomenon (1996)
Michael (1996)
America's Flying Aces: Blue Angels - 50th Anniversary (1996)
White Man's Burden (1995)
Get Shorty (1995)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Look Who's Talking Now (1993)
Chains of Gold (1992)
Shout (1991)
Boris and Natasha (1991)
Eyes of an Angel (1991)
Look Who's Talking, Too (1990)
The Experts (1989)
Look Who's Talking (1989)
Twist of Fate (1989)
The Dumb Waiter (1987)
Perfect (1985)
Olivia: Twist of Fate (1984)
Staying Alive (1983)
Two of a Kind (1983)
Blow Out (1981)
Urban Cowboy (1980)
Grease (1978)
Moment by Moment (1978)
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976)
Carrie (1976)
The Devil's Rain (1975)

1977: National Board of Review: Best Actor, Saturday Night Fever
1978: Golden Globe: World Film Favorite-Male
1983: NATO: Star of the Year
1994: Los Angeles Film Critics: Best Actor, Pulp Fiction
1994: London Film Critics Circle: Best Actor, Pulp Fiction
1995: MTV Movie Award: Best Dance Sequence, Pulp Fiction; shared with Uma Thurman
1995: Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), Get Shorty
1995: American Comedy: Funniest Male Performer in Film, Get Shorty
1996: NATO/ShoWest: Male Star of the Year
1998: MTV Movie Award: Best Onscreen Duo, Face/Off; shared with Nicolas Cage
1998: BAFTA: Britannia Award; eighth recipient
1999: Broadcast Film Critics Association: Alan J. Pakula Award

Travolta is a licensed pilot and owns three jets
Has appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone more than any other actor (1978, 1980, 1983, 1985)

Took dancing lessons from Fred Kelly (Gene Kelly's brother) from age six
Left school at 16 to pursue acting career


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