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

Filmography

Actor (126)

American Crime Story 2015 - 2016 (TV Show)

Actor

Gummy Bear 2015 (Movie)

Gummy Bear (Voice)

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2015 (Tv Show)

Himself

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

Himself

Life on the Line 2015 (Movie)

Beau (Actor)

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

Presenter

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

Guest

Criminal Activities 2014 (Movie)

Eddie (Actor)

In a Valley of Violence 2014 (Movie)

The Marshal (Actor)

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

Presenter

Killing Season 2013 (Movie)

Emil Kovac (Actor)

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

Presenter

Paul Williams Still Alive 2012 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Savages 2012 (Movie)

Dennis (Actor)

Casting By 2011 (Movie)

Interviewee (Actor)

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

Actor

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

Actor

The Oprah Winfrey Show 2010 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Special Appearance

From Paris With Love 2010 (Movie)

Charlie Wax (Actor)

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

Actor

Old Dogs 2009 (Movie)

Charlie (Actor)

The Taking of Pelham 123 2009 (Movie)

Ryder (Actor)

Bolt 2008 (Movie)

Voice of Bolt (Actor)

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

Actor

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

Actor

Hairspray 2007 (Movie)

Edna Turnblad (Actor)

Lonely Hearts 2007 (Movie)

Elmer C Robinson (Actor)

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

Actor

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

Actor

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

Actor

Wild Hogs 2007 (Movie)

Woody Stevens (Actor)

Celebrity Debut 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

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

Actor

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

Actor

Be Cool 2005 (Movie)

Chili Palmer (Actor)

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

Actor

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

Actor

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

Actor

A Love Song for Bobby Long 2004 (Movie)

Bobby Long (Actor)

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

Actor

Ladder 49 2004 (Movie)

Captain Mike Kennedy (Actor)

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

Actor

The Punisher 2004 (Movie)

Howard Saint (Actor)

Basic 2003 (Movie)

Agent Tom Hardy (Actor)

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

Actor

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

Actor

Understanding 1994 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Domestic Disturbance 2001 (Movie)

Frank Morrison (Actor)

Swordfish 2001 (Movie)

Gabriel Shear (Actor)

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

Actor

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

Actor

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

Actor

Battlefield Earth 2000 (Movie)

Terl (Actor)

Lucky Numbers 2000 (Movie)

Russ Richards (Actor)

Hollywood Animal Crusaders 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Inside Scientology 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

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

Actor

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

Actor

The Entertainment Business 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

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)

Actor

The Thin Red Line 1998 (Movie)

Brigadier General Quintard (Actor)

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Face/Off 1997 (Movie)

Sean Archer (Actor)

Mad City 1997 (Movie)

Sam Baily (Actor)

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

Actor

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

Actor

She's So Lovely 1997 (Movie)

Joey (Actor)

Sylvester Stallone 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

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

Actor

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

Actor

Welcome to Hollywood 1997 (Movie)

(cameo appearance) (Actor)

1996 ShoWest Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Broken Arrow 1996 (Movie)

Vic Deakins (Actor)

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

Actor

Michael 1996 (Movie)

Michael (Actor)

Phenomenon 1996 (Movie)

George Malley (Actor)

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

Actor

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

Actor

Get Shorty 1995 (Movie)

Chili Palmer (Actor)

Inside the Academy Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

MTV News Raw 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

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

Actor

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)

Actor

Chains of Gold 1991 (Movie)

Scott Barnes (Actor)

Eyes of An Angel 1991 (Movie)

Bobby (Actor)

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

Actor

Shout 1991 (Movie)

Jack Cabe (Actor)

Let It Be 1990 (Movie)

(Actor)

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)

Actor

Our Friend, Martin (TV Show)

Voice

The Dumb Waiter (TV Show)

Actor

The List (TV Show)

Actor
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 (2)

Battlefield Earth 2000 (Movie)

(Producer)

She's So Lovely 1997 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)
Writer (1)

Chains of Gold 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Biography

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.

Relationships

Kirstie Alley Actor

Companion
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

Daughter
Born April 3, 2000; mother, Kelly Preston

Marilu Henner Actor

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

Diana Hyland Actor

Companion
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

Wife
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

Mother
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

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

Joey Travolta Actor

Brother
Born Oct. 14, 1950

Jett Travolta

Son
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

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

Ann Travolta Actor

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

Benjamin Travolta

Son
Born Nov. 23, 2010; mother, Kelly Preston

Ellen Travolta Actor

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

Margaret Travolta Actor

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

EDUCATION

Dwight Morrow High School

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

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

Milestones

2012

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

2012

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

2010

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

2009

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

2009

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

2008

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"

2007

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

2007

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

2005

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

2004

Cast opposite Thomas Jane in "The Punisher"

2004

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

2004

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

2003

Played a DEA agent in dramatic thriller "Basic"

2001

Portrayed a spy in the thriller "Swordfish"

2000

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

2000

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

1998

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

1998

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

1997

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

1996

First film with John Woo, "Broken Arrow"

1995

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

1994

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

1990

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

1989

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

1987

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

1983

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

1981

Reteamed with De Palma for "Blow Out"

1980

Starred with Debra Winger in "Urban Cowboy"

1978

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

1977

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

1976

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

1976

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

1975

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

1975

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

1974

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

1972

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

1969

Dropped out of high school at age 16

1966

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

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

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Travolta and Robby Benson were finalists 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.

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

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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.

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

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

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Travolta 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.

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

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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.

.

Travolta 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.

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

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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.

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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.

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