Below is a compiled list of the most interesting facts about John Travolta. Check it out!
John Joseph Travolta was born in Englewood, New Jersey, one of six children of Helen Travolta (née Helen Cecilia Burke) and Salvatore/Samuel J. Travolta. His father was of Italian descent and his mother was of Irish ancestry. His father owned a tire repair shop called Travolta Tires in Hillsdale, NJ. Travolta started acting appearing in a local production of “Who’ll Save the Plowboy?”. His mother, herself an actress and dancer, 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), Larmet Går (1972) and Calling Dr. Gannon (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.
Interesting Facts about John Travolta
- Turned down the leading role in Forrest Gump (1994), a decision he later admitted was a mistake.
- John stars in three of the top 150 Greatest Movies of All Time, as listed by Empire Magazine: Blow Out (1981) (#139), Carrie (1976) (#86), Pulp Fiction (1994) (#9) [August 2015].
- Got the role of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction (1994) primarily because Michael Madsen, the actor for whom the role 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.
- He frequently eats at Denny’s in the middle of the night. Which is where he ate through the movie Lucky Numbers (2000).
- Michael Jackson’s song “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” (1983) was originally written for Travolta but ultimately ended up as Michael’s own personal recording from his 1982 “Thriller” album. Travolta would later appear as one of several celebrity cameos in Michael Jackson: Liberian Girl (1989).
- 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 sitcom, where John Travolta – as himself – moves in with a working-class family because they have Sky.
- In honor of his 60th birthday on February 18, 2014, there was a special singalong showing of Grease (1978) 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.
- 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 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.
- He has appeared in two films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant: Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Pulp Fiction (1994).
- Listed as one of twelve “Promising New Actors of 1976” in John Willis’ Screen World, Vol. 28.
- John Travolta has had 5 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from 1976-1978: “Grease Lightnin” (#47), “Whenever I’m Away From You” (#38), “All Strung Out On You” (#34), “Let Her In” (#10), and “You’re the One That I Want”, which peaked at #1 and was on the chart for 24 weeks.
Personal Quotes by John Travolta
I’m from a working-class family. We didn’t have a lot, but we had the arts. You’re talking to a guy who is making a living at doing what he loves doing – acting, singing and dancing. So any career ups and downs were not that significant to me; the only things that really powerfully impinged on me were my losses, and there were many in my life.- John Travolta
I played football in the ninth and 10th grade. I looked a lot like Joe Namath, so I think my looks got me there more than my abilities.- John Travolta
Autism and seizures are the least known areas of illnesses.- John Travolta
I actually do like playing off-beat people. I think it’s more fun.- John Travolta
I will direct one day, but I have a feeling that it will be very limited.- John Travolta