Photo: John Travolta
Video: John Travolta
Biography of John Travolta
John Travolta is an American actor, singer and dancer. Winner of Golden Globe and Emmy awards. He gained worldwide fame after playing Vincent Vega in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.
Actor and director John Travolta
Childhood and youth
John (John Joseph Travolta) was the sixth child in the family, born in 1954 in New Jersey, USA. The father of the actor, in order to feed his wife and all the children, was engaged in the sale of auto parts, leaving his career as a football player, his mother was an actress and acting teacher. Parents from childhood instilled in John and his brothers and sisters a love of theater, cinema and music, so three of them eventually became actors.
John Travolta as a child
In addition to creativity in childhood, John was fond of aviation: he collected a collection of aircraft and could follow flight exercises for hours. Even then, the boy was determined to become rich enough to buy a private jet and fly alone.
John Travolta in his youth
From the age of 6, Travolta began attending dance classes. Thanks to his excellent physical data, at the age of 16, John performed professionally on the theater stages in New Jersey. Later, he acted in theater productions on Broadway, because of which he dropped out of school and began studying at the Dwight Morrow Drama School in Englewood.
Travolta received his first film role in the 1972 TV movie The Recruits. Three years later – a new work in the series “Come back, Koter.” This picture made Travolta the idol of the youth of the 70s. Glory continued to grow, and in the same year, John played in the tapes “The Tenth Level” and “Devil’s Rain”.
On the big screen, Travolta made his debut a year later. He got an episodic, but bright and picturesque role in the horror film “Carrie” based on the novel by Stephen King.
John Travolta in Carrie
Due to his dancing skills, John has more often starred in musicals and musical films. For example, in the film “Saturday Night Fever” in 1977, the actor played a character typical of the youth of the late 70s: Travolta’s hero thought only about fun at the discos.
John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever
In 1978, a role in Grease followed. The musical became a real benefit for Travolta and brought him success as an actor, songwriter and music writer.
But in the future, the actor’s career was not so successful. Travolta turned down roles in American Gigolo and An Officer and a Gentleman, and Richard Gere took over his fame.
The next work with Brian De Palma in the film “Puncture” (1981) was successful. From that moment, almost every year, exciting pictures with the participation of Travolta began to come out. Gradually, in the minds of the audience, the actor became associated with a charming and charming guy who danced superbly.
John Travolta in the movie Puncture
Sylvester Stallone’s decision to try his hand at directing was Travolta’s stellar chance. The actor shot the film “Lost” in 1983, where John was entrusted to show the success story of one dancer in front of the cameras: both his front side and the wrong side – work, training, injuries, disappointments.
Sylvester Stallone, Finola Hughes and John Travolta on the set of Lost
In his youth, Travolta’s idol was Quentin Tarantino, so the opportunity to play in his film was a real gift of fate for John. In 1994, the picture “Pulp Fiction” appeared on the screens, where John played the role that brought him an Oscar nomination – the audience was simply delighted with the gangster Vincent. The Travolta twist scene, along with Uma Thurman, became the most popular dance number of the 90s, and subsequently a real cultural unit.
After that, the number of roles offered to John and the amount of fees increased dramatically. In 1995, the actor played in the comedy thriller Get Shorty, followed a year later by the action movie Broken Arrow. In 1997, John threw himself into work on films of various genres: the comedy She’s Beautiful with Sean Penn in the title role, the drama Mad City, where Dustin Hoffman worked with Travolta, and the thriller Face Off, on which John worked with Nicolas Cage.
Nicolas Cage and John Travolta in Face Off
In 2000, Travolta decided to try himself as a director. His film debut was an adaptation of Ron Hubbard’s novel Battlefield: Earth. The picture was a “sensation” at the Golden Raspberry anti-award: the tape received seven out of nine awards at once.
John Travolta was one of the few who, after the fall, again managed to conquer the pinnacle of fame. In 2001, the actor starred in two successful projects at once: The Phantom Menace with Vince Vaughn and Steve Buscemi in the lead role, as well as Austin Powers, where Travolta played a short but bright episode.
The actor was also interested in genre films, so he surprised fans by starring in The Punisher (2004), based on Marvel comics.
John Travolta in The Punisher
However, the most amazing work of John Travolta was the female role. The actor played in Hairspray (2007) the mother of a plump girl who dreamed of becoming a dancer. The heroine of John was clumsy and fat, but the actor managed to literally fall in love with her with the help of his charisma.
John Travolta in the movie Hairspray
In 2009, Travolta starred in the family comedy So So Vacation with Robin Williams. Also in this film appeared the wife and daughter of John.
In 2015, American Crime Story, a crime series directed by Scott Alexander, starred John and Friends star David Schwimmer.
John Travolta in American Crime Story
In 2018, the drama Gotti Code directed by Kevin Connolly was released, where John played along with his wife. The film was not liked by the public, receiving a rating of 0% on the Rotten Tomatoes website.
Personal life of John Travolta
On the set of the film Under the Hood (1976), John met actress Diana Hyland, who was 18 years older than him. Diana had breast cancer, and after a year of relationship, the actress died.
John Travolta and Diana Hyland
In 1991, the actor married his colleague Kelly Preston, known for the film Gemini (1988) starring Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Both spouses were followers of Scientology, so their union was combined by a Scientology priest.
John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston
The couple had three children: sons Jett (1992) and Benjamin (2010) and daughter Ella Blue (2000). The eldest child died in 2009 due to a seizure caused by Kawasaki syndrome.
John Travolta, his wife and older children
In the fall of 2017, Travolta’s former massage therapist accused him of sexual harassment in 2000. Earlier, in 2012, another actor’s masseur filed a lawsuit against John on the same issue. Both claims were later withdrawn. In 2014, former Travolta pilot Douglas Gotterboy claimed that he had been forced to have sex with the star for six months, but John denied them.
John Travolta, his wife, daughter and son
John Travolta now
In 2019, the premiere of the film “Poisonous Rose” took place, in which Travolta starred in the title role along with Morgan Freeman. The actor also played the main roles in the films Side by Side and The Fan, but all these films received extremely low critical ratings. The same fate awaited the series “Strong Hart”, on which Travolta worked with Kevin Hart.
On July 12, 2023, John Travolta lamented his Instagram followers about his wife’s death. 57-year-old Kelly Preston died of breast cancer. No one knew about the disease, except for the closest. Kelly struggled with cancer for two years, but the disease turned out to be stronger. The actor took a break in his career to devote time to children who lost their mother:
I need to be with the kids, so I’m sorry if there’s no news from us for a while. Just know that I will feel your love for weeks and months as we heal.
More John Travolta news