Real name: John Joseph Travolta
Birthdate: February 18, 1954
Partner: Kelly Preston
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Travolta, youngest of six children, was born in Englewood, New Jersey, the son of Salvatore Travolta, a semi-professional football player turned tire salesman and partner in a tire company, and Helen Cecilia (née Burke), an actress and singer who had appeared in The Sunshine Sisters, a radio vocal group, and acted and directed before becoming a high school drama and English teacher. She was 42 when Travolta was born. Travolta's father was a second-generation Italian American and his mother was Irish American; Travolta grew up in an Irish-American neighborhood and has said that his household was predominantly Irish in culture. His family was Catholic.
Travolta's first television role was as a fall victim in Emergency! (S2E2) in Sept. 1972, but his first major movie role as Billy Nolan, a sadistic bully who taunted Sissy Spacek's Carrie White in the horror film Carrie (1976). Around the same time he landed his star-making role as Vinnie Barbarino in the TV sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter (1975–1979) in which his sister, Ellen, also occasionally appeared (as Arnold Horshack's mother). (Travolta also had appeared in various TV commercials during this time span, appearing in ads for Band-Aid, Haggar Slacks and Mony Insurance among others.)Travolta in one of his earliest roles, in The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976)
Around this time he also had a hit single entitled "Let Her In" peaking at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In the next few years, he appeared in some of his most memorable screen roles: Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever (1977) and as Danny Zuko in Grease (1978). These two films were among the most commercially successful pictures of the decade and catapulted Travolta to international stardom. His mother and his sister Ann appeared as extras in Saturday Night Fever and his sister Ellen appeared as a waitress in Grease. Travolta performed several of the songs on the Grease soundtrack album, that eventually went on to sell more than 10 million copies. In 1980, Travolta inspired a nationwide country music craze that followed on the heels of his hit film, Urban Cowboy, in which he starred with Debra Winger.
Travolta also starred in Battlefield Earth (2000) based on a work of science fiction by L. Ron Hubbard, in which he played the leader of a group of aliens that enslaves humanity on a bleak future Earth. The film received almost universally negative reviews and did very poorly at the box office.The film won a Razzie Award for Worst Film of the Year at the 2000 awards. Travolta, who converted to Scientology in 1975 and endorses Hubbard's teachings, had hoped that the film would be well received and be the first in a series of Hubbard film adaptations. In 2004, Travolta played Deputy Chief Mike Kennedy in the Ladder 49. This film was notable for being the first post-9/11 film that focused on the life of a crew of firefighters. Travolta starred as a workaholic with a bad hairpiece turned biker in 2007's Wild Hogs. Travolta plays Edna Turnblad in the remake of Hairspray, his first musical since Grease.
Travolta married actress Kelly Preston in 1991. They have a son named Jett, and a daughter named Ella Bleu.Travolta dancing with Diana, Princess of Wales at a White House dinner on 9 November 1985.
John Travolta has been a practitioner of Scientology since 1975 when he was given the book Dianetics while filming a movie in Durango, Mexico.