John Travolta, born on February 18, 1954, is an American actor. He rose to fame during the 1970s, starring in box office hits like “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease.” His acting career declined in the 1980s, but had a resurgence in the 1990s with his role in “Pulp Fiction,” and he has since starred in films such as “Get Shorty,” “Broken Arrow,” “Swordfish,” “Be Cool,” “Wild Hogs,” “Hairspray,” “Bolt,” and “The Taking of Pelham 123.” We celebrate this inspirational artist here.
John Joseph Travolta
February 18, 1954
John Travolta was born on February 18, 1954. He is the youngest of six children of Helen and Salvatore Travolta. Travolta grew up in the small town of Englewood, New Jersey. In adolescence, his mother decided to enroll him in a drama school in New York, where he studied singing, dancing, and acting. At age 16, he landed his first professional job, in the summer musical “Bye Bye Birdie.” He soon decided to put his studies aside and invest for good in the profession, moving to New York, and starting to work with some regularity in summer productions and television commercials.
At age 18, Travolta made his Broadway debut with “Grease.” Shortly thereafter, he joined the cast of “Over Here!,” where he worked for 10 months. Deciding to try his luck in Hollywood, he left New York for Los Angeles. He participated in the telefilm “The Devil’s Rain” and had small roles in the television series “Medical Center,” “Emergency!,” and “The Rookies.” He was brought to the American public’s consciousness through the T.V. series “Welcome Back, Kotter,” where he played one of the main characters.
His film career began with the film “Carrie,” which was directed by Brian de Palma. By the time he went to shoot “Saturday Night Fever,” Travolta was already attracting hysterical fans. In a documentary recorded for the 30th-anniversary edition of the film, actress Donna Pescow, interpreter of Annette, said that fans once shook the trailer where she and Travolta were to make him leave the place. Security support was needed to calm the situation. With the film’s resounding success and an Oscar nomination, Travolta has become a global movie star.
John Travolta plays Chuck Benson in an episode of the series "Emergency!"
Travolta has his first breakout role in the horror film "Carrie."
Travolta receives an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance in "Saturday Night Fever."
After a few years of being less successful, Travolta returns and appears in "Pulp Fiction."
Travolta plays Edna Turnblad in the film remake of "Hairspray."
Travolta plays Robert Shapiro in the true crime series "American Crime Story."
Why We Love John Travolta
He sang a duet with Miley Cyrus
How could you not love this man? The 2009 animated movie "Bolt" had a song on the soundtrack called 'I Thought I Lost You,' which he sang alongside the pop star, Cyrus.
John Travolta said that some of the best advice he ever received was from Marlon Brando which has helped him tame his expectations of people. That's some pretty solid advice and he's very grateful to him.
He's still super close to his "Grease" co-star
Travolta and Olivia Newton-John first met in the 1978 musical film. They meet often and text each other every day. Their fans love their friendship!
5 Surprising Facts
He trained how to ride the bull
Travolta had his very own mechanical bull installed in his home before filming the movie “Urban Cowboy,” and he got so good that he didn't even need a stunt double.
He had a near-death experience
Travolta is a licensed pilot and he was once flying with his family but he had to make an emergency landing in Washington, D.C., and almost collided with a commercial craft during the descent.
“Chicago” was a foregone opportunity
Travolta expressed that one of his biggest regrets was turning down a role in the movie "Chicago."
He likes his coffee strong
Travolta uses a full half-pound of a very strong blend to brew up his morning coffee.
A dress was named after him
At an event at the White House, Princess Diana wanted Travolta to dance with her, so he walked up to her at midnight and asked her for a dance, then she named the dress she wore on that night the 'Travolta dress.'
John Travolta FAQs
What is John Travolta's ethnicity?
His father was a second-generation Sicilian American, while his mother was Irish American.
Did Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta date?
No romantic relationship developed between the two.
What are John Travolta's most famous movies?
His most famous films include “Grease” and “Pulp Fiction.”
John Travolta’s birthday dates