John Joseph Travolta was born on the 18th of February, 1954, in Englewood, New Jersey. His father, Salvatore, was a semi-pro footballer turned tyre salesman. His mother, Helen, was the entertainer in the family. She had played in a radio vocal group called The Sunshine Sisters, and had acted and directed before becoming a high school drama teacher. John also had five brothers and sisters - Joey and Sam, and Ellen, Ann and Margaret. All of them have worked in TV, film or music. This clearly had much to do with Helen's influence, but also Salvatore's who encouraged his children by assembling a small theatre in the family's basement.
He became famous for his appearance in Saturday Night Fever and Grease at the height of the disco era, as well as for his portrayal of Vinnie Barbarino on the television sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. After that, his career more or less slumped until he played Vincent Vega in Quentin Tarantino
's Pulp Fiction, for which he received an Academy Award nomination.
John also played a lead role in the Battlefield Earth, in which he plays the leader of a group of aliens that enslave humanity in a bleak future Earth. The film received almost universally negative reviews and did poorly at the box office. Travolta, who is a Scientologist (converted 1975) and idolizes the late L. Ron Hubbard, had hoped that the film would be well-received and be the first in a series of Hubbard film adaptations.
He is married to actress Kelly Preston and father of two children. Previously he was involved with actress Diana Hyland, who died of breast cancer (reportedly in Travolta's arms).
Travolta is a qualified pilot and owns five airplanes, including a former Qantas Boeing 707-138. The plane bears the name 'Jett Clipper Ella'. Pan Am was a large operator of the 707 and used Clipper in their names. The plane is named for his son Jett and daughter Ella. His house in Ocala, Florida has its own runway and taxiway right to the door. In 1993, Travolta successfully performed an emergency landing of a plane with electric trouble at Washington Reagan National Airport.
Travolta has always been accessible to the public and loves to sign autographs.
Hairspray (2007) (post-production) .... Edna Turnblad
Wild Hogs (2007) .... Woody Stevens
Lonely Hearts (2006) .... Elmer C. Robinson
Be Cool (2005) .... Chili Palmer
Ladder 49 (2004) .... Captain Mike Kennedy
A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004) .... Bobby Long
The Punisher (2004) .... Howard Saint
Basic (2003) .... Hardy
Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002 John Travolta
as Goldmember in 'Austinpussy'
Domestic Disturbance (2001) .... Frank Morrison
Swordfish (2001) .... Gabriel Shear
Lucky Numbers (2000) .... Russ Richards
Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 (2000) .... Terl
The General's Daughter (1999) .... Warr. Off. Paul Brenner/Sgt. Frank White
The Thin Red Line (1998) .... Brig. Gen. Quintard
A Civil Action (1998) .... Jan Schlichtmann
Primary Colors (1998) .... Governor Jack Stanton
Mad City (1997) .... Sam Baily
Face/Off (1997) .... Sean Archer/Castor Troy
She's So Lovely (1997) .... Joey Germoni
Michael (1996) .... Michael
Phenomenon (1996) .... George Malley
Broken Arrow (1996) .... Maj. Vic 'Deak' Deakins
Get Shorty (1995) .... Chili Palmer
White Man's Burden (1995) .... Louis Pinnock
Pulp Fiction (1994) .... Vincent Vega
Look Who's Talking Now (1993) .... James Ubriacco
Shout (1991) .... Jack Cabe
Eyes of an Angel (1991) .... Bobby
Chains of Gold (1991) (TV) .... Scott Barnes
Look Who's Talking Too (1990) .... James Ubriacco
Look Who's Talking (1989) .... James Ubriacco
The Experts (1989) .... Travis
Basements (1987) (TV) .... Ben (segment "The Dumb Waiter")
Perfect (1985) .... Adam Lawrence
Two of a Kind (1983) .... Zack
Staying Alive (1983) .... Tony Manero
Blow Out (1981) .... Jack Terry
Urban Cowboy (1980) .... Bud
"Welcome Back, Kotter" .... Vinnie Barbarino (51 episodes, 1975-1979)
Moment by Moment (1978) .... Strip Harrison
Grease (1978) .... Danny Zuko
Saturday Night Fever (1977) .... Tony Manero
Carrie (1976) .... Billy Nolan
The Devil's Rain (1975) .... Danny
The Tenth Level (1975) (TV)