John Travolta

Actor, Singer, Dancer
The rollercoaster career of Hollywood star John Travolta decisively discredited the old adage that there are no second acts. The New Jersey native first gained fame as a suave, dim-witted Brooklyn high school student on ... Read more »
Born: 02/18/1954 in Englewood, New Jersey, USA


Actor (133)

American Crime Story 2010 - 2011, 2015 - 2016 (TV Show)


I Am Wrath 2016 (Movie)

Stanley Hill (Actor)

In a Valley of Violence 2016 (Movie)

The Marshal (Actor)

Life on the Line 2016 (Movie)

Beau (Actor)

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert 2016 (Tv Show)


Criminal Activities 2015 (Movie)

Eddie (Actor)

Gummy Bear 2015 (Movie)

Gummy Bear (Voice)

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2015 (Tv Show)


Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)


The 87th Annual Academy Awards 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)


The Forger 2015 (Movie)

Raymond J. Cutter (Actor)

The Late Show With David Letterman 2010, 2015 (Tv Show)


The 86th Annual Academy Awards 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)


Casting By 2013 (Movie)

Interviewee (Actor)

Killing Season 2013 (Movie)

Emil Kovac (Actor)

The 85th Annual Academy Awards 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)


Paul Williams Still Alive 2012 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Savages 2012 (Movie)

Dennis (Actor)

Dancing With the Stars 2011 (Tv Show)


The 33rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)


The Ninth Annual TV Land Awards 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)


The Oprah Winfrey Show 2010 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Special Appearance

From Paris With Love 2010 (Movie)

Charlie Wax (Actor)

Kirstie Alley's Big Life 2010 (Tv Show)


The 82nd Annual Academy Awards 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)


Old Dogs 2009 (Movie)

Charlie (Actor)

The Jay Leno Show 2009 (Tv Show)


The Taking of Pelham 123 2009 (Movie)

Ryder (Actor)

Bolt 2008 (Movie)

Voice of Bolt (Actor)

Oprah's Big Give 2008 (Tv Show)


The 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)


The 80th Annual Academy Awards 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)


Hairspray 2007 (Movie)

Edna Turnblad (Actor)

Lonely Hearts 2007 (Movie)

Elmer C Robinson (Actor)

The 2007 MTV Movie Awards 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)


The 2007 Teen Choice Awards 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)


Tony Bennett: An American Classic 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)


Wild Hogs 2007 (Movie)

Woody Stevens (Actor)

Celebrity Debut 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)


The 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)


The 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)


Be Cool 2005 (Movie)

Chili Palmer (Actor)

Reel Comedy: Be Cool 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)


The 47th Annual Grammy Awards 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)


The 77th Annual Academy Awards 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)


A Love Song for Bobby Long 2004 (Movie)

Bobby Long (Actor)

ABC 50th Anniversary Celebration 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)


Ladder 49 2004 (Movie)

Captain Mike Kennedy (Actor)

The 76th Annual Academy Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)


The Punisher 2004 (Movie)

Howard Saint (Actor)

Basic 2003 (Movie)

Agent Tom Hardy (Actor)

The 75th Annual Academy Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)


The 74th Annual Academy Awards 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)


Understanding 1994 - 2002 (TV Show)


Domestic Disturbance 2001 (Movie)

Frank Morrison (Actor)

Swordfish 2001 (Movie)

Gabriel Shear (Actor)

The 2001 MTV Movie Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)


The 73rd Annual Academy Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)


The Barbara Walters Special (03/25/01) 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)


Battlefield Earth 2000 (Movie)

Terl (Actor)

Lucky Numbers 2000 (Movie)

Russ Richards (Actor)

Hollywood Animal Crusaders 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)


Inside Scientology 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)


The 56th Annual Golden Globe Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)


The 5th Annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)


The 71st Annual Academy Awards Presentation 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)


The Entertainment Business 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)


The General's Daughter 1999 (Movie)

Paul Brenner (Actor)

A Civil Action 1998 (Movie)

Jan Schlichtmann (Actor)

Forever Hollywood 1998 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Primary Colors 1998 (Movie)

Governor Jack Stanton (Actor)

The 25th Daytime Emmy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)


The Thin Red Line 1998 (Movie)

Brigadier General Quintard (Actor)

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)


Face/Off 1997 (Movie)

Sean Archer (Actor)

Mad City 1997 (Movie)

Sam Baily (Actor)

Music in Movies '96 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)


Nickelodeon's 10th Annual Kids' Choice Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)


She's So Lovely 1997 (Movie)

Joey (Actor)

Sylvester Stallone 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)


The 24th Annual American Music Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)


The 54th Annual Golden Globe Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)


Welcome to Hollywood 1997 (Movie)

(cameo appearance) (Actor)

1996 ShoWest Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)


Broken Arrow 1996 (Movie)

Vic Deakins (Actor)

Earth Day at Walt Disney World 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)


Michael 1996 (Movie)

Michael (Actor)

Phenomenon 1996 (Movie)

George Malley (Actor)

The 53rd Annual Golden Globe Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)


The 68th Annual Academy Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)


Get Shorty 1995 (Movie)

Chili Palmer (Actor)

Inside the Academy Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)


MTV News Raw 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)


The 67th Annual Academy Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)


White Man's Burden 1995 (Movie)

Louis Pinnock (Actor)

Pulp Fiction 1994 (Movie)

Vincent Vega (Actor)

Look Who's Talking Now 1993 (Movie)

James Ubriacco (Actor)

Boris and Natasha 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)


Chains of Gold 1991 (Movie)

Scott Barnes (Actor)

Eyes of An Angel 1991 (Movie)

Bobby (Actor)

Seriously... Phil Collins 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)


Shout 1991 (Movie)

Jack Cabe (Actor)

Let It Be 1990 (Movie)


Look Who's Talking Too 1990 (Movie)

James Ubriacco (Actor)

Experts 1989 (Movie)

Travis Heath (Actor)

Look Who's Talking 1989 (Movie)

James Ubriacco (Actor)

Perfect 1985 (Movie)

Adam Lawrence (Actor)

Staying Alive 1983 (Movie)

Tony Manero (Actor)

Two of A Kind 1983 (Movie)

Zack Melon (Actor)

Blow Out 1981 (Movie)

Jack (Actor)

Urban Cowboy 1980 (Movie)

Buford "Bud" Davis (Actor)

Grease 1978 (Movie)

Danny (Actor)

Moment By Moment 1978 (Movie)

Strip (Actor)

Saturday Night Fever 1977 (Movie)

Tony Manero (Actor)

Carrie 1976 (Movie)

Billy Nolan (Actor)

The Devil's Rain 1974 (Movie)

Danny (Actor)

Kirstie (Tv Show)


Our Friend, Martin (TV Show)


The Dumb Waiter (TV Show)


The List (TV Show)

Music (7)

This Is 40 2012 (Movie)

("You Can't Stop The Beat") (Song Performer)

Hairspray 2007 (Movie)

("Welcome To The 60's") (Song Performer)

The Shaggy Dog 2006 (Movie)

("Greased Lightnin'") (Song Performer)

A Love Song for Bobby Long 2004 (Movie)

("Barbara Allen") (Song Performer)

Basic 2003 (Movie)

("Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen") (Song Performer)

Two of A Kind 1983 (Movie)

("Take a Chance") (Song Performer)

Grease 1978 (Movie)

("Summer Nights") (Song Performer)
Producer (3)

Criminal Activities 2015 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Battlefield Earth 2000 (Movie)


She's So Lovely 1997 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)
Writer (1)

Chains of Gold 1991 (Movie)



The rollercoaster career of Hollywood star John Travolta decisively discredited the old adage that there are no second acts. The New Jersey native first gained fame as a suave, dim-witted Brooklyn high school student on the sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter" (ABC, 1975-79). Being in the right place in the right era, he became inextricably linked to pop culture trends, thanks to sensational starring roles in the disco drama "Saturday Night Fever" (1977) and the 1950s retro musical, "Grease" (1978). Travolta also had a hand in the country music revival of the early 1980s with his popular portrayal of a mechanical bull-riding oil rigger in "Urban Cowboy" (1980). Then for some reason, the biggest male movie star of the late-1970s languished throughout the next decade and beyond, his engaging talent virtually forgotten until a bold decision by Quentin Tarantino cast him in the cult mainstay "Pulp Fiction" (2004). Following the rousing response to Travolta's darkly funny performance as a junkie hit man, he was overnight commanding millions of dollars for macho hits like "Get Shorty" (1995) and "Ladder 49" (2004) and becoming one-half of a celebrated Hollywood couple after marrying Kelly Preston. Critics raved when Travolta made a belated return to his musical roots in as a tubby Baltimore stage mom in the box-office smash "Hairspray" (2007). In fact, Travolta defined more than any other celebrity - save perhaps Cher and Frank Sinatra - the very idea that a so-called "has-been" could revive a career deemed long dead, coming back stronger than ever.


Kirstie Alley Actor

Co-starred in "Look Who's Talking" (1989) Alley wrote in 2012 memoir The Art of Men (I Prefer Mine al Dente) that Travolta was "probably...the greatest love of my life"

Ella Bleu

Born April 3, 2000; mother, Kelly Preston

Marilu Henner Actor

Met when they appeared together in touring company of "Grease" in 1972 Had on-again, off-again relationship until 1985

Diana Hyland Actor

Met while co-starring in the ABC TV-movie "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble" (1976); Travolta was 18 years Hyland's junior Died of cancer on March 27, 1977

Kelly Preston Actor

Met while filming "The Experts" (1989) Engaged in January 1991 Married Sept. 5, 1991 in Paris, France by a French Scientologist minister (was legally invalid) Remarried in a legal union on Sept. 12, 1991 in Florida

Helen Travolta Actor

Born Jan. 18, 1912; Irish-American; appeared in The Sunshine Sisters, a radio vocal group; acted and directed before becoming a high school drama and English teacher; was director of a summer theater until her family grew to six children; was 42 when John, the last child, was born Cast in a minor part in "Saturday Night Fever" (1977) Died of cancer on Dec. 3, 1978

Salvatore Travolta

Born in 1913; semi-professional football player turned tire salesman and partner in a tire company Died in 1995

Joey Travolta Actor

Born Oct. 14, 1950

Jett Travolta

Born April 13, 1992; mother, Kelly Preston; parents claimed he suffered from Kawasaki disease Died on Jan. 02, 2009 after suffering from a seizure at his family's vacation home at the Old Bahama Bay Hotel on Grand Bahama Island; parents later admitted he was autistic

Sam Travolta Actor

Older; worked onscreen with brother in "Swordfish" (2001), "Wild Hogs" (2007), and "Old Dogs" (2009)

Ann Travolta Actor

Older; acted onscreen with brother in several films including "Saturday Night Fever" (1977) and "Urban Cowboy" (1980)

Benjamin Travolta

Born Nov. 23, 2010; mother, Kelly Preston

Ellen Travolta Actor

Born Oct. 6, 1940 Appeared onscreen with brother in the film "Grease" (1978)

Margaret Travolta Actor

Older; acted onscreen with brother in films including "Michael" (1996), "Swordfish" (2001), and "Be Cool" (2005)


Took dancing lessons from Fred Kelly (Gene Kelly's brother) from age of six

Dwight Morrow High School

Englewood, New Jersey
Dropped out after his junior year and moved to New York City



Became the star of the series "American Crime Story"


Starred in the action film "Life on the Line"


Featured in Oliver Stone's ensemble crime drama "Savages"


Reunited with "Grease" co-star Olivia Newton-John to record holiday album <i>This Christmas</i>


Played an FBI Agent opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers in "From Paris with Love," co-written by Luc Besson


Co-starred with Robin Williams in the comedy "Old Dogs"; also starred wife Kelly Preston and daughter Ella Travolta


Played the villainous role in Tony Scott's remake of "The Taking of Pelham 123"


Lent his voice to the title character, a small white German Shepherd in the animated feature "Bolt"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for performing the song "I Thought I Lost You"


Cast in the comedy-adventure "Wild Hogs" as one of four middle-aged friends who take a freewheeling motorcycle trip


Cast in gender-bending role as 1950s housewife Edna Turnblad (originally played by Divine in John Waters' 1988 film) in the big screen adaptation of the Broadway musical "Hairspray"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Supporting Actor


Again played Chili Palmer, his charater from the hit film "Get Shorty" in its sequel "Be Cool"


Cast as Chief Kennedy in the drama "Ladder 49" opposite Joaquin Phoenix


Cast opposite Thomas Jane in "The Punisher"


Co-starred with Scarlett Johansson in "A Love Song for Bobby Long"


Played a DEA agent in dramatic thriller "Basic"


Portrayed a spy in the thriller "Swordfish"


Realized dream project of starring in the feature adaptation of L. Ron Hubbard's sci-fi novel "Battlefield Earth"; film and performance was panned by critics


Starred opposite Lisa Kudrow in the Nora Ephron directed "Lucky Numbers"


Portrayed Governor Jack Stanton in the political feature "Primary Colors," helmed by Mike Nichols


Played attorney Jan Schlichtman who battles powerful companies on behalf of the victims of toxic poisoning in "A Civil Action," based on the book by Jonathan Harr


Starred opposite Nicolas Cage in second film with director Woo "Face/Off"


First film with John Woo, "Broken Arrow"


Cast as Chili Palmer in Barry Sonnenfeld's "Get Shorty"; starred with Gene Hackman, Rene Russo and Danny DeVito


Revitalized feature acting career with an acclaimed portrayal of a junkie hitman in Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction"; earned second Best Actor Academy Award nomination


Co-wrote screenplay and starred in "Chains of Gold"


Initially revived career with comedy "Look Who's Talking" but did not follow up on movie's success


Returned to TV to co-star in Harold Pinter's "The Dumb Waiter," a one-act play directed by Robert Altman


Reprised Tony Manero in the "Saturday Night Fever" sequel "Staying Alive"


Reteamed with De Palma for "Blow Out"


Starred with Debra Winger in "Urban Cowboy"


Reprised stage role for the feature version of "Grease" opposite Olivia Newton-John


First starring role in a feature, as Tony Manero in "Saturday Night Fever"; earned Best Actor Oscar nomination


TV-movie debut, "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble" (ABC)


Landed featured role in Brian De Palma's "Carrie"


Cast as Vinnie Barbarino on "Welcome Back, Kotter" (ABC); began appearing with less frequency toward the end of its run


Made feature film debut in a bit part in "The Devil's Rain"


Made Broadway debut in "Over Here!"; acted opposite the Andrews Sisters for 10 months


Appeared in the original Broadway production of "Grease"; also toured with show for 10 months


Dropped out of high school at age 16


Made stage debut in "Who Will Save the Plowboy?" at age 12

Acted in off-Broadway productions

Began acting career in summer stock in New Jersey

Bonus Trivia


After completing his flight training, Travolta was named ambassdor-at-large for Australia's Quantas airlines. On July 1, 2002, he took his family on a two-month trip around the world. They planned to visit 13 cities and travelled on a refurbished Boeing 707 that Travolta purchased from the airline.


An avid flier since the age of 16, Travolta was a licensed jet pilot and owned several jets.


He also backed out of starring in "American Gigolo" (1980) and Gere stepped in.


Held the record for the most Rolling Stone covers for an actor (1978, 1980, 1983, 1985).


Impressed by Travolta after their collaboration on Harold Pinter's "The Dumb Waiter" (ABC, 1987), director Robert Altman considered him for the lead in "The Player" (1992), but eventually chose Tim Robbins. He feared that Travolta would bring "too much history" to the part.


Frequented Denny’s restaurant, often for late night meals. The popular franchise chain was also where he ate throughout the film "Lucky Numbers" (2000).


Was a finalist with Robby Benson for the role of Michael Corleone's son in "The Godfather, Part II" (1974). Benson won the part but the character was cut from the release print.


Turned down the lead in "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982), a part reportedly written for him, because the shooting conflicted with his attendance of American Airlines' month-long jet pilot training school. Gere got that role as well.


Turned down the lead in "Blind Date" (1987). The part became Bruce Willis' feature debut as a lead.


Was named Man of the Year by Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals in 1981.


He was offered the lead in "Days of Heaven" (1978) but the producers of ABC's "Welcome Back, Kotter" would not release him. The role instead went to Richard Gere.


Reportedly left the production of "The Double," directed by Roman Polanski, nine days before shooting. He had been expected to earn a $16 million salary for the feature. A breach of contract lawsuit was settled out of court in July 1997.


On May 4, 2012, Travolta was sued by an anonymous masseur who accused him of assault and sexual battery during a routine massage session earlier that year in Los Angeles. A second anonymous masseur came forward with similar allegations just days after the first lawsuit was filed in California. Travolta’s attorney, Marty Singer, released a statement that called the accusations "absurd and fictional," along with photographic proof his client was miles away in New York City when the original incident allegedly occurred. The first accuser, nicknamed 'John Doe No. 1' dismissed his lawsuit against Travolta on May 15, 2012, while the second masseur dropped his lawsuit two days later.