One of six children born to Helen Travolta and Salvatore Travolta, John Travolta grew up in Englewood, New Jersey. His father owned a tire repair shop in Englewood. John appeared in a local production of "Who'll Save the Plowboy?". His mother enrolled him in a drama school in New York, where he studied voice, dancing, and acting. He decided to combine all three of these skills and become a musical comedy performer. At 16, John landed his first professional job in a summer stock production of the musical "Bye Bye Birdie". John Travolta quit school at 16 and moved to New York. He worked regularly in summer stock and on TV commercials. When work was scarce in New York, he went to Hollywood and appeared in minor roles in several series. A role in the national touring company of the hit fifties musical "Grease" brought him back to New York. An opening in the New York production of "Grease" gave John his first Broadway role at age 18. After "Grease", John became a member of the company of the Broadway show "Over Here", which starred the famed Andrews Sisters. After 10 months in "Over Here", John decided to try Hollywood once again. Once in Hollywood, John had no trouble getting roles in numerous TV shows. He was seen on "The Rookies" (1972), "Emergency!" (1972) and "Medical Center" (1969) and also made a movie, The Devil's Rain (1975). The Devil's Rain (1975) was made in New Mexico. The day he returned to Hollywood from New Mexico, John was called to an audition for a new situation comedy series ABC was planning to produce called "Welcome Back, Kotter" (1975). John got the part of Vinnie Barbarino and the series went on the air during the 1975 fall season.
Ranked #21 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
He appeared on the cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine 4 times, the most for any actor (through 1994).
He was named Man of the Year by Harvard's Hasty Pudding Club in 1981.
Richard Gere practically owes his film career to Travolta. Travolta turned down the leads for Days of Heaven (1978), American Gigolo (1980) and An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), all of which went to Gere.
Travolta married Kelly Preston twice. Their first wedding on 5 September 1991, by a French Scientologist minister, was declared illegal. The couple met during the filming of The Experts (1989).
Travolta and Kelly Preston have a son, Jett (born 13 April 1992).
Jett was conceived during a weekend at the home of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis. (source: Premiere August 1996, p.60)
Brother of Joey Travolta, Ellen Travolta, Ann Travolta, Margaret Travolta and Sam Travolta.
Was the youngest of six siblings. Parents: Salvatore and Helen Travolta of Englewood, NJ.
During the filming of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976) (TV) he fell in love with Diana Hyland, 18 years his senior. She died of cancer in his arms in 1977.
Pilots a multitude of jet aircraft. Most notable aviation feat is successful landing at Washington National of a Gulfstream IIB with complete electrical failure. Conditions at the time were night, IMC, icing. December of 1993.
Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1976" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 28.
In July 1978 he became the very first male to make the cover of "McCall's" magazine.
He pilots three Gulfstream jets and a Learjet. Also owns a Boeing 707.
His second child with Kelly Preston, daughter Ella Bleu was born, weighing in at 4.08 kilos (nine pounds). [3 April 2000]
Read for the Tom Hanks role in Splash (1984) but was discouraged by his agent from doing the film.
Was signed on to play rock star Jim Morrison in an early 80s biopic about The Doors. Due to legal problems, the project was dropped.
Did yoga and boxing to cut his love handles for the film Swordfish (2001).
His favorite film is Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942).
Was told to gain thirty pounds for his role in the movie Primary Colors (1998).
Owns homes in Santa Barbara, California, Florida, Maine and in his wife's home state of Hawaii. Main residence is in Ocala, Florida where he owns a large home, complete with airstrip for his planes.
Hit #106 on the Billboard Singles Charts in 1977 with "Slow Dancing (Feels So Good)" (Midland Int. 10977)
According to the documentary "We Get To Win This Time" (2002), the producers of Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) considered teaming up Sylvester Stallone with Travolta as Rambo's young partner in rescuing the American POWs. Stallone nixed this idea when he decided it would be better to make the film a solo project.
Spent nine months learning how to dance to disco music while filming Saturday Night Fever (1977).
Owns, and is qualified to fly, a Boeing 707-138, appropriately registered N707JT, first built in 1964 for QANTAS of Australia. Recently he had the aircraft painted in its original QANTAS paintjob and took it on a worldwide promotional tour for QANTAS, and in return was trained as a 747-400 first officer with Qantas.
He has also worked as a musician, and released several albums. He claims that he got all his inspiration from one song only; the instrumental song "Dreamstreet", a song by Patrick Rondat.
While filming the movie Blow Out (1981), he started to suffer from insomnia, which he had since he was a child waiting up for his mother to come home from late acting jobs. He learned to play the violin to calm his nerves.
In October 2004 he starred in a series of commercials for Sky TV (meant for Italian TV). Directed by Harald Zwart the commercials play as a sit-com, where Travolta - as himself - moves in with a working-class family because they have Sky.
He was voted the 64th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Ranked #3 in TV Guide's list of "TV's 25 Greatest Teen Idols" (23 January 2005 issue).
Has published two books: John Travolta Staying Fit! (published by Simon and Schuster in 1984) Propeller One-Way Night Coach (A Fable for All Ages)(published by Warner Books in 1997)
His first released record came out in 1976 when he had a hit single, "Let Her In". When record producers saw him in "Welcome Back, Kotter" (1975) singing Barbara Anne (by the Beach Boys), they signed him.
After the Grease album was released he came out with a delux 2-record set called: Travolta Fever, which was released in 1978.
His favorite movie is Un homme et une femme (1966). His favorite movie as a child was Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942).
During the 70s he frequently watched foreign films, one of his favorites was Strada, La (1954).
Is Oprah Winfrey's favorite movie star.
His best female friend is Kirstie Alley.
He frequently eats at Denny's in the middle of the night. Which is where he ate through the movie Lucky Numbers (2000).
Was friends with James Cagney, Cary Grant, Barbara Stanwyck.
His favorite actor growing up was James Cagney.
Turned down the roles: Splash (1984), Apollo 13 (1995), Forrest Gump (1994).
Owned a three-bedroom beach front oceanfront estate, on Oahu in Hawaii from 1986-2005. He and his wife Kelly Preston sold it to Kathy Ireland for $3 million U.S. and she plans to rent the private residence out as one of several Kathy Ireland Worldwide company vacation villas.
Turned down several offers from the producers of Chicago (2002) to play the role of Billy Flynn. Richard Gere accepted the role and won a Golden Globe for his performance.
Got the role of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction (1994) primarily because Michael Madsen, the actor whom the part was written for, was unavailable due to a prior film commitment. Vincent was the brother of Madsen's character Vic Vega, AKA: Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs (1992) and the role jump-started his career after a long slump.
Is of Italian descent on his father's side and Irish descent on his mother's side.
Was considered for the role of Jim Morrison in The Doors (1991). The part went to Val Kilmer instead.
His performance as Tony Manero in "Saturday Night Fever" (1977) is ranked #73 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
His performance as Tony Manero in "Saturday Night Fever" (1977) is ranked #76 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
On episode of Saturday Night Live (episode 20.3)he parodied his own character Vinnie Barbarino of "Welcome back Kotter".