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John Travolta

John Travolta

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Also Known As: John Joseph Travolta Died:
Born: February 18, 1954 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Englewood, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, dancer, singer, illustrator, author

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

n. Meanwhile, Travolta made a rare foray into animated features, voicing the lead character in the popular and acclaimed "Bolt" (2008), a family adventure about a famous television dog who discovers that his fictional powers are of no use when he goes on a real-life cross-country journey to reunite with his co-star (voiced by Miley Cyrus). Travolta earned a Golden Globe nomination for performing the song "I Thought I Lost You," however his latest professional achievement was overshadowed by personal tragedy when Jett died after suffering a seizure while on vacation with the family in the Bahamas. Travolta and Preston had in the past stated that the 16-year-old suffered from Kawasaki syndrome, an inflammation of the blood vessels possibly brought on by environmental toxins. A huge public outpouring of sympathy followed, with Travolta and Preston finally confirming in public that their son had autism and suffered from regular seizures. Meanwhile, Travolta sued two Bahamians he claimed had tried to extort him and his wife for $25 million in connection to their sonâ¿¿s death, though in the end the judge ruled the case a mistrial and Travolta declined to pursue it further.Travolta returned to theaters in...

n. Meanwhile, Travolta made a rare foray into animated features, voicing the lead character in the popular and acclaimed "Bolt" (2008), a family adventure about a famous television dog who discovers that his fictional powers are of no use when he goes on a real-life cross-country journey to reunite with his co-star (voiced by Miley Cyrus). Travolta earned a Golden Globe nomination for performing the song "I Thought I Lost You," however his latest professional achievement was overshadowed by personal tragedy when Jett died after suffering a seizure while on vacation with the family in the Bahamas. Travolta and Preston had in the past stated that the 16-year-old suffered from Kawasaki syndrome, an inflammation of the blood vessels possibly brought on by environmental toxins. A huge public outpouring of sympathy followed, with Travolta and Preston finally confirming in public that their son had autism and suffered from regular seizures. Meanwhile, Travolta sued two Bahamians he claimed had tried to extort him and his wife for $25 million in connection to their sonâ¿¿s death, though in the end the judge ruled the case a mistrial and Travolta declined to pursue it further.

Travolta returned to theaters in the summer of 2009 in a rare villainous turn as the mastermind of a subway hijacking in "The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3" (2009), Tony Scottâ¿¿s remake of the classic 1974 thriller adapted from Morton Freedgoodâ¿¿s novel. Despite the star power of Travolta and Denzel Washington as the transit dispatcher trying to stop his destructive plan, the big budget film brought in disappointing box office returns. The versatile star opted for a family comedy for his next outing, starring opposite Robin Williams as a pair of business partners entrusted with the care of infant twins in "Old Dogs" (2009). Following that critically maligned comedy, Travolta returned to playing harder-edged characters in "From Paris with Love" (2010), where he portrayed a crazed special agent who partners with a low-level CIA operative (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) to stop a terrorist bombing plot. While Travolta struggled to find the right project to boost his box office standing, he again faced public scrutiny, this time in the form of the first of several lawsuits filed against him over alleged sexual assault and battery stemming from an incident with a masseuse at the Beverly Hills Hotel in January 2012. The first suit was filed in May and claimed that the actor tried to have sex following a massage. Travoltaâ¿¿s lawyers called the suit a "complete fiction and fabrication," and sought to get it thrown out of court, citing that the actor was allegedly on the East Coast at the time of the incident. Hot on the heels of that accusation, a second masseuse filed suit following a similar incident in Atlanta later that same month. The unnamed plaintiff claimed that Travolta touched him and exposed himself while trying to initial sex. Travoltaâ¿¿s lawyers responded in similar fashion, calling the second suit "fabricated."volta was able to parlay his "Pulp Fiction" success into even greater stardom than he had known in his prime. He worked non-stop, taking advantage of film opportunities like Barry Sonnenfeld's popular adaptation of Elmore Leonard's "Get Shorty" (1995), in which he garnered acclaim for his portrayal of Chili Palmer, the ultra-cool hit man who becomes entranced by Hollywood. In "White Man's Burden" (1995), Travolta starred with Harry Belafonte in an ambitious film about discrimination that won mixed critical notices and little audience support. He followed with John Woo's action-adventure thriller "Broken Arrow" (1996), in which he played a pilot who masterminds an extortion plot against the U.S. government.

Off-screen, Travolta was by now a licensed pilot for a variety of classes of aircraft and kept a personal fleet of planes at his home in Florida. In 1996, he reportedly received an $8 million fee for "Phenomenon," in which he played a man who develops superior abilities after being struck by a white light. The press virtually overlooked this indiscretion, and studios continued to line up for his services. In his spare time, Travolta continued to fly the friendly skies, eventually earning his shot at flying jumbo jets. The $8 million fee was a bargain compared to what Travolta was soon earning. He finished 1996 as a fallen angel in Nora Ephron's "Michael," before unleashing a juggernaut line-up in 1997-98. He was again paired with John Woo for "Face/Off," a lyrical thriller about identity exchange that wove together sadistic cruelty and grotesque sentimentality with breathtaking assurance. Although most critics despaired over Costa-Gavras' "Mad City" (1997) and panned Travolta's singularly stupid character, he found himself on surer ground in Nick Cassavetes' romantic drama, "She's So Lovely" (1997), which matched him with far better results opposite Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn and afforded him a role of some nuance. He received $20 million to portray Governor Jack Stanton, a thinly veiled adaptation of then-President Bill Clinton, in Mike Nichols' "Primary Colors" (1998). He also squeezed in performances as an attorney battling powerful corporations on behalf of toxic poisoning victims in "A Civil Action" and was part of a star-studded cast including Sean Penn, John Cusack, Gary Oldman and George Clooney in Terrence Malick's war picture, "The Thin Red Line" (1998).

After appearing in the unsuccessful and highly ridiculed apocalyptic alien movie written by Ron L. Hubbard, "Battlefield Earth" (2000) which he also produced â¿¿ and which many perceived as a vanity project and payback to Scientology â¿¿ Travolta and Preston gave birth to a daughter Ella and redeemed his film career as another top-notch bad guy in the otherwise routine action thriller, "Swordfish" (2001). Unfortunately, the forgettable film was more notable for Halle Berry's nude scene than for anything else. With the routine thriller "Basic" (2003), Travolta played a DEA agent investigating a mysterious disappearance. His subsequent role as the villainous money-launder Howard Saint in the comic book superhero adaptation "The Punisher" (2004) was a step in the right direction performance-wise, walking a fine line between a realistic performance and moments of high camp, but the film itself was not overwhelming.

Travolta delivered a strong performance in his follow-up, "Ladder 49" (2004), playing a veteran firefighter who tries to impart practical wisdom to a promising up-and-comer (Joaquin Phoenix). Although the part was not entirely suited to Travolta's strengths, the actor made the most of the supporting role. He easily slipped back into character as Chili Palmer for the entertaining sequel "Be Cool" (2005), in which Chili segues from the movie biz into the music industry. After an unusual two-year hiatus from the big screen â¿¿ he had been working incessantly since "Pulp Fiction" â¿¿ Travolta emerged in "Wild Hogs" (2007), a wildly successful road comedy about four middle-aged men (Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy) who set out to prove their manhood with a freewheeling, cross-country motorcycle trip. Despite a bevy of bad reviews, "Wild Hogs" reaped a box office whirlwind, but with the musical "Hairspray" (2007), critics and audiences alike were in agreement that Travolta was still the real deal.

Playing a role originated by famed drag queen Divine in the original John Waters film, Travolta was outrageously entertaining as Edna Turnblad, the 1960s working-class Baltimore mom of wannabe TV dance star Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Bosky). The role necessitated an agonizing amount of prosthetics and makeup to transform Travolta into a Hefty Hideaway spokes model, but the veteran stage star still danced his way into a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The summer blockbuster went on to become the third top grossing musical of all time, with "Grease" still holding strong in first positio(1983),

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Life on the Line (2015)
3.
4.
 Forger, The (2015)
5.
 Gummy Bear (2014)
6.
 I Am Wrath (2014)
7.
 Casting By (2013)
8.
 Killing Season (2013)
10.
 Savages (2012)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1966:
Made stage debut in "Who Will Save the Plowboy?" at age 12
1970:
Dropped out of high school at age 16
:
Began acting career in summer stock in New Jersey
:
Acted in off-Broadway productions
1974:
Made Broadway debut in "Over Here!"; acted opposite the Andrews Sisters for 10 months
1975:
Made feature film debut in a bit part in "The Devil's Rain"
1975:
Cast as Vinnie Barbarino on "Welcome Back, Kotter" (ABC); began appearing with less frequency toward the end of its run
1976:
TV-movie debut, "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble" (ABC)
1976:
Landed featured role in Brian De Palma's "Carrie"
1978:
Reprised stage role for the feature version of "Grease" opposite Olivia Newton-John
1981:
Reteamed with De Palma for "Blow Out"
1983:
Reprised Tony Manero in the "Saturday Night Fever" sequel "Staying Alive"
1987:
Returned to TV to co-star in Harold Pinter's "The Dumb Waiter," a one-act play directed by Robert Altman
1989:
Initially revived career with comedy "Look Who's Talking" but did not follow up on movie's success
1990:
Co-wrote screenplay and starred in "Chains of Gold"
1995:
Cast as Chili Palmer in Barry Sonnenfeld's "Get Shorty"; starred with Gene Hackman, Rene Russo and Danny DeVito
1996:
First film with John Woo, "Broken Arrow"
1998:
Portrayed Governor Jack Stanton in the political feature "Primary Colors," helmed by Mike Nichols
1998:
Played attorney Jan Schlichtman who battles powerful companies on behalf of the victims of toxic poisoning in "A Civil Action," based on the book by Jonathan Harr
2000:
Realized dream project of starring in the feature adaptation of L. Ron Hubbard's sci-fi novel "Battlefield Earth"; film and performance was panned by critics
2000:
Starred opposite Lisa Kudrow in the Nora Ephron directed "Lucky Numbers"
2003:
Played a DEA agent in dramatic thriller "Basic"
2004:
Cast opposite Thomas Jane in "The Punisher"
2004:
Cast as Chief Kennedy in the drama "Ladder 49" opposite Joaquin Phoenix
2004:
Co-starred with Scarlett Johansson in "A Love Song for Bobby Long"
2005:
Again played Chili Palmer, his charater from the hit film "Get Shorty" in its sequel "Be Cool"
2007:
Cast in the comedy-adventure "Wild Hogs" as one of four middle-aged friends who take a freewheeling motorcycle trip
2008:
Lent his voice to the title character, a small white German Shepherd in the animated feature "Bolt"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for performing the song "I Thought I Lost You"
2009:
Played the villainous role in Tony Scott's remake of "The Taking of Pelham 123"
2010:
Played an FBI Agent opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers in "From Paris with Love," co-written by Luc Besson
2012:
Featured in Oliver Stone¿s ensemble crime drama "Savages"
2012:
Reunited with "Grease" co-star Olivia Newton-John to record holiday album <i>This Christmas</i>
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Education

Dwight Morrow High School: Englewood , New Jersey -

Notes

Travolta reportedly left the production of "The Double" directed by Roman Polanski nine days before shooting. He had been expected to earn a $16 million salary for the feature. A breach of contract lawsuit was settled out of court in July 1997.

He holds the record for the most ROLLING STONE covers for an actor (1978, 1980, 1983, 1985).

Travolta was named Man of the Year by Harvard's Hasty Pudding Club in 1981.

An avid flier since the age of 16, he is a licensed jet pilot and owns three jets.

Travolta and Robby Benson were finalists for the role of Michael Corleone's son in "The Godfather, Part II" (1974). Benson won the part but the character was cut from the release print.

Travolta was offered the lead in "Days of Heaven" (1978) but the producers of "Welcome Back, Kotter" would not release him. The role went to Richard Gere.

He also backed out of starring in "American Gigolo" (1980) and Richard Gere stepped in.

Travolta turned down the lead in "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982), a part reportedly written for him, because the shooting conflicted with his attendance of American Airlines' month-long jet pilot training school. Gere got that role as well.

Travolta turned down the lead in "Blind Date" (1987). The part became Bruce Willis' feature debut as a lead.

Impressed by Travolta after their collaboration on Harold Pinter's "The Dumb Waiter" (ABC, 1987), director Robert Altman considered Travolta for the lead in "The Player" (1992) but eventually chose Tim Robbins. He feared that Travolta would bring "too much history" to the part.

"There's hardly anything I wouldn't do for Quentin [Tarantino]. But I know that he already feels paid back by my doing a good job. I know Quentin doesn't feel I owe him anything ... I don't think there's ever been anyone who's genuinely loved me more than Quentin. He doesn't want anything back other than my well-being, and every time I think about the purity of that it makes me want to cry or something. And Steven Spielberg, he's the one who called me and told me to do the Nora Ephron movie "Michael." So with Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg, I think I have the best guardian angels that the planet has to offer."---John Travolta quoted in US, December 1995.

After completing his flight training, Travolta was named ambassdor-at-large for Australia's Quantas airlines. On July 1, 2002, he took his family on a two-month trip around the world. They planned to visit 13 cities and travelled on a refurbished Boeing 707 that Travolta purchased from the airline.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Marilu Henner. Actor, singer. Met while touring in "Grease" in 1972; had on-again, off-again relationship until 1985.
companion:
Diana Hyland. Actor. 18 years Travolta's senior; met while co-starring in TV-movie "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble"; died of cancer on March 28, 1977.
wife:
Kelly Preston. Actor. Born on October 13, 1962; became engaged on January 1, 1991; married on September 5, 1991 in Paris by a French Scientologist minister; remarried on September 12, 1991 in Daytona Beach, Florida as marriage in France wasn't legal; met while filming "The Experts"; she had been previously divorced from actor Kevin Gage after a two-year marriage; briefly engaged to Charlie Sheen in 1989 and also lived with George Clooney.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Salvatore Travolta. Born c. 1913; died on May 26, 1995; semi-professional football player and co-owner of tire shop.
mother:
Helen Travolta. Former actor. Was drama coach and director of a summer theater until her family grew to six children; Irish-American; was 42 when John, the last child, was born; died of cancer in 1979.
sister:
Ellen Travolta. Actor. Older.
brother:
Sammy Travolta. Older.
sister:
Annie Travolta. Older.
brother:
Joey Travolta. Actor. Older.
sister:
Margaret Travolta. Older.
son:
Jett Travolta. Born on April 13, 1992 in Daytona Beach, Florida; mother, Kelly Preston.
daughter:
Ella Bleu. Born on April 3, 2000; mother, Kelly Preston.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"John Travolta" Jove Books
"John Travolta: Back in Character" Overlook Press
"Fever! The Biography of John Travolta" Boxtree
"Propeller One-Way Night Coach" Warner Books
"Travolta: The Life"
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

Contributions

Rob Edelman ( 2006-03-14 )

Source: I am a co-author of this book.

Add to Bibliography:
The John Travolta Scrapbook, by Rob Edelman & Audrey Kupferberg (Citadel Press, 1997)

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