The youngest of six children, John Travolta has evolved from a Broadway stage geek into a film star with a career that’s seen its share of comebacks.
After dropping out of high school to pursue a career in acting, Travolta made his debut in an off-Broadway production of “Rain” in 1971. He then joined the Broadway cast of “Grease” — a stint that would come in handy later in his career.
But it was his role as the suave and dimwitted Vinnie Barbarino in the hit '70s sitcom “Welcome Back Kotter” that propelled Travolta to stardom. His small-screen fame would lead to roles in the box-office hit “Saturday Night Fever” (1977) — which garnered him an Oscar nod and solidified him as one of disco’s icons — and “Grease” (1978). Around this same time, the cleft-chinned sex symbol had a few hit singles.
What followed in film was a series of hits (“Urban Cowboy”) and flops (“Staying Alive,” “Two of a Kind”). Despite a brief resurgence in the late 1980s with the “Look Who’s Talking” film series, Travolta’s career was hardly what it used to be.
Cue Quentin Tarantino.
In 1994, Travolta made a career comeback when he starred in Tarantino’s crime flick “Pulp Fiction.” His role as hitman Vincent Vega earned him his second Academy Award nomination. He went on to win a Golden Globe for his performance in the critically acclaimed film “Get Shorty.”
Travolta, who is a certified pilot, is married to actress Kelly Preston. The couple had two children: son Jett and daughter Ella Bleu. On Jan. 2, 2009, Jett died after suffering a seizure during a family vacation at their home in the Bahamas.
|1977||Best Actor||Saturday Night Fever||Nomination|
|1994||Best Actor||Pulp Fiction||Nomination|