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John Travolta Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (92) | Personal Quotes (15) | Salary (17)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 18 February 1954Englewood, New Jersey, USA
Birth NameJohn Joseph Travolta
Nickname Bone
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (2)

John Travolta first gained fame as the swaggering Vinnie Barbarino on the television series Welcome Back, Kotter (1975). In 1977, he parlayed his teeny-bopper fame into a big-screen career with the disco blockbuster Saturday Night Fever (1977). He languished in light dramas and television movies in the 1980s, but started a comeback in 1989 with Look Who's Talking (1989). He further resuscitated his career with an Oscar nomination for his role as a heavyset sympathetic hitman in Pulp Fiction (1994) in 1994.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ray Hamel

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 called Travolta Tires in Hillsdale, NJ. Travolta 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 he landed his first professional job in a summer stock production of the musical "Bye Bye Birdie". He quit school at 16 and moved to New York, and worked regularly in summer stock and on television commercials. When work became 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 1950s musical "Grease" brought him back to New York. An opening in the New York production of "Grease" gave him his first Broadway role at age 18. After "Grease", he became a member of the company of the Broadway show "Over Here", which starred The Andrews Sisters. After ten months in "Over Here", he decided to try Hollywood once again. Once back in Hollywood, he had little trouble getting roles in numerous television shows. He was seen on The Rookies (1972), Emergency! (1972) and Medical Center (1969) and also made a movie, The Devil's Rain (1975), which was shot in New Mexico. The day he returned to Hollywood from New Mexico, he was called to an audition for a new situation comedy series ABC was planning to produce called Welcome Back, Kotter (1975). He got the part of Vinnie Barbarino and the series went on the air during the 1975 fall season. The rest, as they say, is history.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Kim Mills

Spouse (1)

Kelly Preston (12 September 1991 - present) (3 children)

Trade Mark (4)

Cleft chin and razor-sharp cheekbones
Often works some sort of dance into his roles
New Jersey accent
Black hair and blue eyes

Trivia (92)

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), An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), and Chicago (2002), all of which went to Gere.
John 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).
John Travolta and Kelly Preston had a son, Jett Travolta (13 April 1992 - 2 January 2009).
His son, Jett Travolta, was conceived during a weekend at the home of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis. (source: Premiere August 1996, p.60).
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) 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 Travolta was born, weighing in at 4.08 kilos (nine pounds). [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 1980s 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).
Was told to gain thirty pounds for his role in the movie Primary Colors (1998).
Owns homes in Santa Barbara, California; Ocala, 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 John Travolta as Rambo's young partner in rescuing the American POWs. Sylvester 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).
He owns (and is qualified to fly as second in command) 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 paint-job 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 suffered 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 television commercials for Sky TV (meant for Italian TV). Directed by Harald Zwart, the television commercials play as a sit-com, where John 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 Top 20 hit single, "Let Her In". When record producers saw him in Welcome Back, Kotter (1975) singing "Barbara Anne", originally by The Beach Boys, they signed him.
After the "Grease" album was released, he came out with a deluxe 2-record set called: "Travolta Fever", which was released in 1978.
His favorite movie is A Man and a Woman (1966). His favorite movie as a child was Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942).
During the 1970s, he frequently watched foreign films. One of his favorites was La Strada (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 and Barbara Stanwyck.
His favorite actor growing up was James Cagney.
Turned down the roles: Splash (1984), Apollo 13 (1995) and Forrest Gump (1994). Tom Hanks was cast as the lead.
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 for whom the part was written, was unavailable due to a prior film commitment. Vincent was the brother of Michael 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).
On the Saturday Night Live (1975) episode, Saturday Night Live: John Travolta/Seal (1994), he parodied his Welcome Back, Kotter (1975) character, "Vinnie Barbarino".
His characters make mention of an Al Pacino film in at least three of his films: Saturday Night Fever (1977); Get Shorty (1995) and Swordfish (2001).
Owns a home in Ocala, Florida because of his wife's intense love of horses.
He lost 20 pounds for his role in Saturday Night Fever (1977).
Was strongly in the running to play Larry Meadows in The Last Detail (1973), only losing the part to Randy Quaid at the last minute. This would have been his big-screen debut.
Is good friends with actor Forest Whitaker who appeared with him in Phenomenon (1996) and Battlefield Earth (2000).
Was among the guests at Tom Cruise's and Katie Holmes' wedding ceremony in Italy.
[2 April 2007] On his return flight from Germany to New York, the actor was forced to make an emergency landing in his Boeing 707 at Ireland's Shannon Airport. He'd been promoting his new movie in Europe and encountered technical difficulties on his return flight. Fortunately for the actor, he was flying over Ireland at the time he first detected his private jet's engine problems and was safely diverted to Shannon on Ireland's west coast. Not allowing himself to be fazed by the whole ordeal, Travolta grounded his 34-seater and continued his flight home on a commercial airline.
Friend of actor Billy Lockwood.
In 1985, Princess Diana asked him to dance at a party at the White House.
For his acting, drew inspiration from James Cagney, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and others.
Master of Ceremony at the Centennial of Flight Celebration at Kitty Hawk in December 2003, where he presented to John Glenn aviation's highest award.
Has been the Ambassador for Qantas since 2001.
He also owns an Eclipse 500 twin turbofan aircraft.
Appears in Hairspray (2007), opposite Michelle Pfeiffer, whose debut film was Grease 2 (1982), the sequel to Grease (1978), in which Travolta appeared.
He has claimed his favorite director to work with was Sylvester Stallone, for Staying Alive (1983). He said Stallone knew how to make him look the best on screen.
Stated that one of his favorite places is Gander, Newfoundland, Canada.
Jett Travolta, his 16-year-old son, died following a seizure at the family's Bahamas holiday retreat on Friday Jan 2, 2009.
His publicist is Paul Bloch.
Was offered the role of Melvin Udall in As Good as It Gets (1997). The part went to Jack Nicholson.
Close friend of Dakota Fanning and Robin Williams.
Was in consideration for the part of Lester Burnham in American Beauty (1999) but Kevin Spacey, who went on to win a Best Actor Oscar for his performance, was cast instead.
He was offered Richard Gere's role in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), and opted to go to American Airlines' jet pilot school, instead.
Owns a vacation home on a small island in Maine's Penobscot Bay. The secluded 20-room château, surrounded by acres of pines, overlooks the ocean and comfortably accommodates up to 50 guests. He bought it because Christmas is his favorite holiday, and he wanted a place big enough to house his extended family.
Was married to Kelly Preston in Paris in a private ceremony.
He was due to have played the lead role in The Double, an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel about a man whose life is taken over by his doppelganger. He was being paid $17m and shooting was to have started in Paris in June 1996. Just days before principal photography was due to begin, he flew back to US following an argument with the film's director, Roman Polanski, over alleged changes to the script and the film collapsed shortly afterwards.
Lives in Los Angeles, California and Anthony, Florida.
John and his wife, Kelly Preston, are expecting their third child [May 18, 2010].
He was inducted into the 2011 New Jersey Hall of Fame for his contributions to the Arts and Entertainment.
Third child, a son named Benjamin, was born three days prematurely in a Florida hospital on November 23, 2010 at 8 lbs. 3 oz.
Stepbrother-in-law of Chris Palzis.
Son-in-law of Peter Palzis.
On Inside the Actors Studio: Episode #9.13 (2003), he listed Going Places (1974) as his favorite movie.
John and his wife, Kelly Preston, have the distinction of having both starred in movies based on Stephen King novels, where the title of each was a girl's name which began with the letter "C". John starred in Carrie (1976), Kelly in Christine (1983).
In 1986, he was slated to co-star with Whoopi Goldberg in a buddy/action-comedy called "Public Enemies", produced by the Cannon Group. In it, he would have played a disgruntled cop who is teamed up with a reckless young rookie, played by Goldberg, to uncover the whereabouts of a notorious mob figure. Bud Yorkin was attached to direct. Even though it was heavily publicized at the Cannes Film Festival, funding fell through and the project was scrapped.
Although he is often cast as Italian-American and is of Italian descent, he has admitted that his family was invested more in their Irish ancestry and he grew up mostly around Irish culture.
Was good friends with James Gandolfini. His father sold tires to James' father.
Speaks French.
Release of the book, "Travolta: The Life" by Nigel Andrews.
Release of his audiobook, "Propeller One-Way Night Coach: A Fable For All Ages".
Release of the book, "John Travolta" by Rachel Simpson.
Release of his book, "John Travolta Staying Fit!".
Currently writing his autobiography, which will be released in Fall/2006. [February 2005]
In pre-production for the film Lonely Hearts (2006), which will start shooting in March in Florida. [February 2005]
In honor of his 60th birthday on Feb 18, 2014, there was a special singalong showing of Grease at the Million Dollar Theater in Los Angeles. Before the start of the movie a video tribute from Olivia Newton John was played followed by a thank you video from John Travolta.
Has starred in films that appear in both IMDb's Top 250 and IMDb's Bottom 100. The highest of his IMDb Top 250 film is at 5th position with Pulp Fiction (1994). The lowest of his entry in IMDb's Bottom 100 is on 73th (number 27 from the bottom) with Battlefield Earth. [March 2014]

Personal Quotes (15)

[on his role in Carrie (1976)]: I wanted to work with Brian De Palma. I knew the film would be interesting and attract a lot of attention.
"I have fame on the level of a Marilyn Monroe or an Elvis Presley, but part of the reason I didn't go the way they did was because of my beliefs. People make judgments about Scientology, but often they don't know what they're talking about".
There is nothing gay in this movie (Hairspray (2007)). I'm not playing a gay man. Scientology is not homophobic in any way. In fact, it's one of the more tolerant faiths. Anyone's accepted.
When they asked me to be Edna Turnblad I said, 'Gee, 32 years as a leading man -- why me? What makes you think I'd be the perfect woman?'
As you get older you have to force yourself to have new dreams. For instance, I've been flying for 37 years but now teaching others to fly is interesting for me. Sometimes you have to find new angles on life to keep you interested, like sharing successes and inspiring and helping others. You have to go out of your way to activate your dreams and keep them going in this third chapter of your life.
[of his role as Edna in Hairspray (2007)] It was tough dancing in high heels, but we did change the heels to more of a dance shoe - like a Capezio. You know they kept giving me these skinny high heels and it's like, 'Okay, I understand those. My mother wore those.' However, when I was growing up and I saw girls in the chorus, they had a thicker heel and it was a dance shoe and I kept telling them to find those shoes. I knew they existed, and finally they brought out a shoe and I said, 'That's the shoe! Now make it in many colors'.
[on Saturday Night Fever (1977):] I love being regarded as a sex symbol, but I can't take it too seriously.
[on how the late James Gandolfini consoled him after the death of his son] James went out of his way to come to Florida and he would not leave Florida until I was okay, or he felt that I would be fine. After a week I said, 'Jim you can really, you can, you know, we'll be fine. I've got a lot of support here.' But the idea that in our profession someone would go out of their way and not want to leave you until he felt you were okay, that's the kind of soul that James Gandolfini was. My father sold tires to his father. I was his inspiration to get into the business. He would see pictures of me on the wall from movies and he decided that he wanted to be an actor. He was a people person first and then everything else. He was this beautiful man and I love him very much.
[on James Gandolfini] My father sold tires to his father..and I was his inspiration to get into [show] business. He would see pictures of me on the wall from the movies and decided he wanted to be an actor. The beautiful thing about Jim was that he was a people person first. [When our son Jett passed away] James went out of his way to come to Florida and would not leave until I was OK, or he felt that I would be fine. That's the kind of soul that James Gandolfini was. He was a beautiful man and I love him very much.
[on being cast in Pulp Fiction (1994)] There was a rumor that a young new director who had directed a film called Reservoir Dogs (1992) was quite interested in working with me. And his name was Quentin Tarantino. I said, "Sounds good. He's talented. I saw the movie. I would love to meet him, too." After six or seven hours of hanging out, he verbally presented two ideas to me. One was the vampire movie From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) and the other one was Pulp Fiction. I responded to Pulp Fiction but I didn't respond to From Dusk Till Dawn, and he noticed that. So at the end of the meeting he said, "I'm curious. You seem to like the 'Pulp Fiction' one, but you did not respond as much to the other." I said, "Well, it's simple, Quentin. I'm just not a vampire guy."
To be honest, I thought "Pulp" would have the same fate as Reservoir Dogs (1992), meaning it would be an art house movie that would have a smaller audience. I never thought it would have a mainstream audience; I thought it was too unique of a movie to hit a commercial note. And when it did, it surprised all of us, I think, because we were going to be fine with it having the same success as Reservoir Dogs. But that it would become Forrest Gump (1994) was a whole other idea.
My best quality? The transparency in my eyes. I only have to think a thought and it's seen.
I don't think I'm very cool as a person. I'm just better than anyone else at acting cool.
[on dancing with Princess Diana at the White House in 1985] There really was something lovely and girlish about her and I felt that I had taken her back to her childhood when she had probably watched Grease (1978) and for that moment I was her Prince Charming.
[on his plans for after the 2014 Oscars ceremony] I don't drink very much, but I wait until Oscar night to have my drinks. So now I'm ready to stay out until five in the morning. We're gonna do Vanity Fair, then we're gonna do Madonna's party, and we're gonna have fun tonight. I'm not gonna be happy until we see the sun rise.

Salary (17)

Pulp Fiction (1994) $150,000
Get Shorty (1995) $6,000,000
Broken Arrow (1996) $7,000,000
Phenomenon (1996) $8,000,000
Michael (1996) $12,000,000
Face/Off (1997) $20,000,000
Mad City (1997) $20,000,000
Primary Colors (1998) $17,000,000
A Civil Action (1998) $20,000,000
The General's Daughter (1999) $20,000,000
Battlefield Earth (2000) $10,000,000+ Profit Points
Lucky Numbers (2000) $22,000,000plus 20% of gross
Swordfish (2001) $20,000,000
Basic (2003) $15,000,000
Ladder 49 (2004) $20,000,000
Be Cool (2005) $20,000,000
Hairspray (2007) US$14,000,000 including ca. US$3,000,000 prerequisites

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