John Travolta: Life in pics

Updated: February 18, 2010 09:38 IST

As Grease star John Travolta turns 56 today, here's a look at the actor, singer and dancer's journey so far.

John Travolta: Life in pics
John Travolta is an American actor, dancer and singer. He first became known in the 1970s, after appearing on the television series Welcome Back, Kotter and starring in the box office successes Saturday Night Fever and Grease. (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
Travolta, the youngest of six children, was born and raised in Englewood, New Jersey, an inner-ring suburb of New York City. His father, Salvatore Travolta, was a semi-professional football player turned tire salesman and partner in a tire company. His mother, Helen Cecilia (née Burke), who was 42 when Travolta was born, was 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. (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
After attending Dwight Morrow High School, Travolta moved across the Hudson River to New York City and landed a role in the touring company of the musical Grease and on Broadway in Over Here! singing the Sherman Brothers' song Dream Drummin. He then moved to Los Angeles to further his career in show business. (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
Travolta married actress Kelly Preston in 1991. The couple had two children: Jett, born on April 13, 1992, and Ella Bleu, born on April 3, 2000. (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
Travolta was previously involved with actress Diana Hyland, whom he met while filming The Boy in the Plastic Bubble; Hyland died of breast cancer in 1977.(Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
All was not well between John and Kelly. The couple has regularly attended marriage counselling, and Travolta admits that therapy has helped the marriage.(Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
Their son, Jett died on January 2, 2009 while the family was on holiday in The Bahamas. A Bahamian death certificate was issued, attributing the cause of death to a seizure. (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
Jett, who had a history of seizures, reportedly suffered from Kawasaki disease in early childhood.(Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
Long a source of speculation, in September 2009, Travolta testified that his son had autism and suffered regular seizures, as part of his testimony in a trial which resulted after an extortion attempt following Jett Travolta's death.(Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
Travolta is a certified pilot and owns five aircraft, including an ex-Australian Boeing 707-138 airliner. The plane bears the name Jett Clipper Ella in honour of his children. Pan American World Airways was a large operator of the Boeing 707 and used Clipper in its names. The 707 aircraft bears the marks of Qantas, as Travolta acts as an official goodwill ambassador for the airline wherever he flies. His $4.9 million estate in the Jumbolair subdivision in Ocala, Florida, is situated on Greystone Airport with its own runway and taxiway right to his front door.(Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
Travolta's first California-filmed television role was as a fall victim in, Emergency! (S2E2), in September 1972, but his first significant movie role was as Billy Nolan, a bully who was goaded into playing a prank on Sissy Spacek's character in the horror film, Carrie (1976). (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
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). (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
Around this time, Travolta had a hit single entitled Let Her In peaking at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
In the next few years, he appeared in some of his most memorable screen roles: Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever (1977). The movie earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. At age 24, Travolta became one of the youngest performers ever nominated for the Best Actor Oscar.(Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
Next year too John was seen as Danny Zuko in Grease (1978). This films was also among the most commercially successful pictures of the decade and catapulted Travolta to international stardom.(Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
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.(Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
After Urban Cowboy came a string of flops that sidelined his acting career. Staying Alive, the sequel to Saturday Night Fever, Perfect, co-starring Jamie Lee Curtis, and Two of a Kind, a romantic comedy reteaming him with Olivia Newton-John. (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
His only hit film was Look Who's Talking (1989) with Kirstie Alley and a baby voiced by Bruce Willis.(Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
It was not until he played Vincent Vega in Quentin Tarantino's hit Pulp Fiction (1994), for which he received an Academy Award nomination, that his career was revived. The movie shifted him back onto the A-list, and he was inundated with offers. (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
Travolta played a movie-buff loan shark in Get Shorty (1995). (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
He also played an FBI agent and terrorist in Face/Off (1997). (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
John Travolta played a desperate attorney in A Civil Action (1998). (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
He also played a Bill Clinton-esque presidential candidate in Primary Colors (1998). (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
John was seen as a military detective in The General's Daughter (1999). (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
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. (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
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. (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
Travolta starred as a once successful businessman gone broke and divorced who takes to the road on a motorcycle road-trip with his friends in 2007's Wild Hogs. (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
He was the lead voice role of the Disney film Bolt (2008), where he played a lost canine actor trying to get home and also sang "I Thought I Lost You,' the duet for the ending credits of the film with co-star Miley Cyrus. (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
In 2009, he appeared in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, and Old Dogs, a live-action comedy, co-starring with Robin Williams and Bernie Mac. (Text: Wikipedia)
John Travolta: Life in pics
John Travolta will be seen in the upcoming movie From Paris With Love.

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