Although The Boy in the Plastic Bubble isn’t a very well-known film, it was notable in John Travolta’s life for two reasons: it was one of his first film roles, and it was during filming that he met Diana Hyland. Hyland was 18 years older than Travolta and played his mother in the film, but they dated until she died of cancer the next year at 41 years old.
Travolta’s Hollywood Friends
John Travolta has now been acting for over 40 years, and during that time he has made many friends throughout Hollywood. He has a quite eclectic group of friends, including Dakota Fanning, who is 40 years younger than he is. He was also friends with comedian and actor Robin Williams, who sadly took his own life in 2014.
The Role That Got Away
Every famous actor or actress has a few tales of great roles that they turned down, only to regret it later. For Travolta, that role is the lead character in the 1994 hit Forrest Gump. Of course, around that time he made a great decision by taking the part of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, too.
Not About The Money
Many times, John Travolta’s highest paying roles have been for some of his least critically adored films. Few people remember Travolta mainly for his role in Look Who’s Talking, but that movie grossed $300 million! His role in Pulp Fiction only paid $150,000, but he certainly doesn’t regret it, as it is considered to be the part that put him back on the A-list.
Hitting It Off With The Princess
John Travolta got to meet Princess Diana in 1985 during a White House party, and the other attendees cleared the floor so that they could dance together. Afterward, Travolta remarked that “there was something lovely and girlish about her.” He wondered if she had been a fan of Grease when she was younger and perhaps for a moment, he was her Prince Charming.
Judged Due To His Beliefs
John Travolta once said that he thought his fame level could have been equal to someone like Marilyn Monroe or even Elvis Presley, but his beliefs held him back. “People make judgments about Scientology, but often they don’t know what they’re talking about,” Travolta said.
An Average Student
Like many other dreamers at his age, John Travolta had his head in the clouds and wasn’t an outstanding student. However, he was well-liked by his teachers, mostly because of his charming personality. He, later on, said that he got along with his teachers because he “tried to communicate with them on a more adult level.”
High School Dropout
At just 16 years old, John was convinced that he knew exactly what his future held. That was when he dropped out of school and moved to New York City, where he tried out for acting gigs while living with his older sister. His first role was in the musical Bye Bye Birdie, although he also did TV commercials during this time.
Romance On The Set of Grease?
Anyone who was a fan of the film Grease could see that John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John had amazing chemistry. Did they hook up off camera? Olivia said no, but did admit that they each had a crush on the other one. They never officially dated, but they remain friends to this day.
John’s Religious Past
One of the things that John Travolta is famous for is his faith in Scientology. He was introduced to the religion in 1975 when he was given a copy of the book Dianetics. Today, John said that his religion has been very helpful to him, especially during the loss of his girlfriend when he was still very young and his son decades later.
Strange Name Idea
John Travolta’s religion isn’t the only rather quirky thing about him. He also wanted to name his daughter Qantas, after an airline that he was an ambassador for. He liked the name, but his wife wouldn’t let him go through with the idea. Instead, they named her Ella, which seems a much better choice.
Sports And Drama Family
John Travolta’s family had performance in mind well before he was born. His mother performed as an actress and singer, while his father made crowds cheer as a semi-pro football player. Eventually, they settled down as a drama teacher and tire salesman, respectively, but their son would take their dreams of stardom all the way.
Started Off As Doody
Many don’t know that John was a replacement cast member in the Broadway version of Grease long before he was in the film. On Broadway, he was a replacement for the role of Doody, however. Afterward, he was part of the cast of Over Here! until he decided to head out to Hollywood ten months later.
Acting Runs In The Family
As mentioned earlier, John’s mother was once an actress. However, acting goes much further than with just John, as his niece, Nicole, is also in the business. She has already appeared on such shows as The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Two and a Half Men, and Cowgirl Up.
On To Hollywood
Although John Travolta didn’t become an A-list sensation overnight, he did start landing acting roles right away after getting to Hollywood. He appeared in the TV shows Emergency!, The Rookies, and Medical Center, as well as the 1975 film The Devil’s Rain.
John thought he was moving along nicely with his acting career as The Devil’s Rain was wrapping up in New Mexico, but he couldn’t imagine how right he was. The day that he got back to Hollywood, he got a call to audition for Welcome Back, Kotter. Travolta was able to win the lead role of Vinnie Barbarino.
Just Like His Character
There were a number of reasons that John felt that the character of Vinnie was perfect for him. One was that like himself, Vinnie was a class clown. “I was a clown at school, but definitely not a leader like Vinnie,” John said. “I was a dumb clown, not a cool clown. I was the sort of fool who’d do anything for a laugh.”
They Caught The Fever
By 1977, John had landed an even bigger role – that of Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever. The movie was a critical and box office hit, and he received a Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards at just 24 years old. The disco-themed film is still seen as an unforgettable snapshot of the disco age in the late 1970s.
The Travolta family was always all about dramatics. John’s father even built a stage in the basement for acting practice. Furthermore, John’s sister Ellen was also an actress for a long time. You can even see her in the films Saturday Night Fever and Grease.
Travolta’s Singing Career
John Travolta did a little singing in his early acting days, even earning a top ten single with the song “Let Her In.” The same year the song came out, he also appeared in Carrie and the TV movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. 1976 was a good year for John Travolta!
Time To Get Greasy
The Travolta Train was just getting started after the success of Saturday Night Fever. Soon, Travolta found himself acting in Grease again, although this time it was the film version and he was starring as Danny Zuko. The film grossed $400 million worldwide, and he earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy.
King Of The Trends
Just as John Travolta perfectly captured the trend of disco dancing, he did the same thing with country music and mechanical bulls in Urban Cowboy. In the film, John starred as wannabe cowboy Bud Davis opposite Debra Winger, who played his love interest.
Sometimes, when you’re on the top, the only thing that can bring you down is yourself. This was the case when John Travolta got done filming Urban Cowboy. Although he starred in Perfect with Jamie Lee Curtis, he turned down roles in American Gigolo and An Officer and a Gentleman that would help make Richard Gere a huge star.
One thing that a lot of John Travolta fans don’t know is that the actor has always had a passion for flying. He got his pilot’s license at just 22 years old, and his love for aviation has only grown since then. He owns many airplanes, including his own Boeing 707!
He Lives At His Own Airport
It’s hard to be shocked by anything when it comes to extravagant millionaire mansions, but John Travolta really broke the mold with his. That’s because his mansion doubles as a private airport, with several full runways. “We designed the house for the jets and to have access to the world at a moment’s notice,” Travolta said.
The Secret Behind Hairspray
John Travolta carried on the tradition by playing Edna Turnblad in the film version of Hairspray in 2007. What tradition? Well, Edna has always been played by a man. It took John 14 months to agree to do the role, for which he had to wear a huge fat suit, a dress, and heels.
Happy To Lend A Hand
Everyone remembers the 2010 earthquake that killed many in Haiti, but most don’t know that John Travolta personally flew tons of medication, food, and supplies to the island himself. “We have the ability to actually help make a difference in the situation in Haiti, and I just can’t see not using this plane to help,” he said.
Tragedy Strikes The Travolta Family
At a young age, John’s son Jett was diagnosed with autism and Kawasaki disease, in which medium-sized blood vessels become inflamed. During a 2010 vacation, Jett hit his head during a seizure and ultimately died from his injuries. It was “the worst thing that’s ever happened in my life,” John later said.
“I Didn’t Know If I Was Going To Make It”
For a scary period of time after Jett’s death, John admits that he wasn’t sure if he would make it through the aftermath. “Life was no longer interesting to me, so it took a lot to get me better,” he added. He received support from the Church of Scientology and others as he recovered.
The Travolta And Oprah Connection
One of John Travolta’s famous friends is none other than Oprah Winfrey. For her show’s 25th anniversary, she gave away an 8-day vacation to Sydney, Australia, with John Travolta piloting the plane to take the passengers there! It’d be amazing to be able to say that John Travolta flew you to Australia.
Adding To Their Family
John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston welcomed a new life into the world in 2010, as their second son, Benjamin, was born. It was wonderful timing for the couple, as they had been trying to have another child for years and Jett had just died the year before. “Certainly having little Benjamin has been a beautiful kind of glue for us to re-bond after a tremendous loss,” Travolta said.
Keeping Jett’s Memory Alive
Every parent wants their child’s life to lead to a greater good, especially after a tragic loss. John and Kelly began the Jett Travolta Foundation after his passing, which endeavors to help children with “vision, hearing, mobility, communication, and behavioral impairments,” along with learning disabilities and health needs.
Travolta’s Net Worth
Curious as to how much John Travolta is worth after all of these years? Apparently, his acting career has helped him amass a $170 million net worth. Most of this comes from acting, as he demands a salary of up to $20 million per film, although he also has property investments and endorsements to thank.
Don’t forget about John’s daughter, Ella Bleu Travolta. She was born in 2000 and started acting at just 9 years old. She was even in Old Dogs, a film that starred her mom and dad. Although Ella doesn’t seem all that interested in an acting career, John believes his daughter has serious potential.
John Travolta is still very active as an actor and recently appeared in the film Gotti as the famous mob boss John Gotti. He also has filmed other upcoming rolls, including the lead role in Speed Kills, about the dangerous double life of a speedboat racing champion.
The Biggest Flop Ever?
Battlefield Earth is known as one of the biggest commercial and critical flops of all time. The movie had a production budget of $73 million and made just $29 million worldwide while getting ravaged by critics. Still, Travolta said he doesn’t regret the movie and would do it all over again. “It was a moment where I could say ‘I had all the power in the world and could do whatever I wanted,'” he explained.
Travolta’s Dream Role?
John Travolta has spent a considerable amount of time in his later years playing villains. He said that he wouldn’t stop playing villains until he reaches his goal: playing the bad guy in a James Bond film. Although he has made this aspiration well-known, nothing has happened just yet.
John Travolta’s singing ability took a backseat to his acting career for many years, but he re-emerged to sing once again for 2008’s Bolt. In the movie, he not only voiced the main character, a superhero dog but also did a duet with Miley Cyrus for the film’s soundtrack!
A Close Call
Even the best pilots encounter a close call every now and then, and John Travolta is no exception. In 1992, while flying with family and friends to Maine for Thanksgiving, John’s plane had an electrical failure, and they had to make an emergency landing. They made it to an airport and had the tires blow out, but no one was hurt during the scary experience.
Although John Travolta has had quite a career, he may not have as much of a future when it comes to awards shows. That’s because, during the 2014 Oscars, he flubbed Frozen star Idina Menzel’s name, improbably calling her “Adele Dazeem.” Naturally, Travolta has been made fun of for the mistake ever since.
When it comes to marriages, Hollywood isn’t really that full of success stories. However, John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston have had a strong relationship for years and been married since 1991. Although tabloids regularly spread negative rumors about them, the two continue to be a very happy couple.
One Wedding Isn’t Enough
Indeed, for a love like John and Kelly’s, one wedding just wasn’t enough. After they met in 1989 and fell in love, the couple dated for three years and married in Paris. Still, to make it official in the United States, they needed another ceremony, which they held in Florida.