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John Travolta’s Life: The Uncut, Real Story



John Travolta is an American staple in cinema. He has starred in practically every type of roll you can in Hollywood from a young age in Grease to newer movies such as Gotti where John plays the famous American gangster.
Take a look into the true life story of John Travolta from his early upbringing in Englewood, New Jersey to his early career stardom when he moved across the river and into New York City.

The Real John Travolta

John Travolta is known for many things: his outstanding acting performance in Pulp Fiction, his killer iconic dance moves in Grease and Saturday Night Fever, and his infamous marriage to Kelly Preston. But many fans don’t know the real John…the man behind all of the fame, leather jackets, and swiveling hip thrusts. Rumors and potential scandals seem to follow the actor wherever he goes, and his daughter may have revealed more than she should have in a recent interview….

Childhood, Schooling, And Early Career

To understand Travolta, you have to know where he came from. Englewood, New Jersey, was his birthplace, in a neighborhood filled with Irish-Americans. He was the youngest of five siblings and grew up Catholic. His mother, Helen, was an actress and dancer, so she was a great influence on her son, who admired her acting career as a child. At 16, he dropped out of high school to focus on acting. That first step into a very different world would have its scandalous repercussions….

Tragic End To A Relationship With An Older Woman

John met actress Diana Hyland while filming The Boy in the Plastic Bubble in 1976. She was 18 years older than him, but the two fell in love and started dating. She had starred as his mother in the movie, which added a bit of creepiness to the affair. Nevertheless, they were insanely happy together, but their whirlwind romance came to an abrupt end when Diana was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died at 41, after less than a year of fighting the disease. Nonetheless, Travolta was even more determined now to make something huge of himself.

1977 Film Breakthrough

John’s first huge breakthrough in the movie industry was his groundbreaking performance in Saturday Night Fever, in which he played an energetic disco dancer named Tony Manero. It is from this film where his iconic ’70s-style dance moves originated. It made disco music instantly a more widespread, liked genre of tunes. John took nine months of dancing lessons to prepare himself for the role, but he had no clue that it would prepare him for another wildly popular dance movie….


Adapted from a Broadway show, Danny Zuko became his most popular character of his entire career. It might have been because he did such an outstanding acting job. “We both had a crush on each other,” said Olivia Newton-John. “It created great chemistry.” John admitted to having feelings for her in return, and their natural spark really shines through on the screen. But that wasn’t his only breakout role of his career.

Other Prominent Roles

Urban Cowboy was a 1980s romance flick which captured the essence of country music in America at the time and even made it more popular. Travolta took a break from acting, turning down roles left and right. It wasn’t until 1994 when he took a part in Pulp Fiction that he came back on the scene again, but in a very big way. He was even nominated for an Academy Award! Some of his other prominent roles were Swordfish in 2001 and Hairspray in 2007, in which he actually had to wear a 30-pound fat suit and play a woman! Anyone familiar with Travolta knows about his wacky beliefs, though….

His Belief In Scientology

In 1975, while John was in Mexico filming The Devil’s Rain, he read the book “Dianetics,” in which Scientology beliefs and theories are described in depth. He quickly became a convert. In 1999, he starred in the Sci-Fi movie Battlefield Earth. It is based on the book which was written by the founder of Scientology, Ron Hubbard. Though the movie tanked, John never regretted the role. “If we had to do it over again, I would still do it. It was a moment where I could say ‘I had all the power in the world and could do whatever I wanted.’ Not a lot of people get that opportunity, and I did what I wanted to do,” he said.

Love And Marriage

In 1989, John met his now wife and mother of his children, Kelly Preston. Maybe you can have it all! Though he would never forget his first love, Diana, he found the ability to fall for someone again and find contentment and happiness. The two met on the set of The Experts, started dating, and wed three years later. They got married again two weeks later, in Florida, since their first wedding wasn’t valid in the U.S. Today, they are one of Hollywood’s strongest couples, still in love and raising their beautiful family….though their family was about to get smaller.

Family Tragedy Strikes

In 1992, John and Kelly welcomed Jett into the world, their oldest son. He was born with autism and Kawasaki disease, so he was prone to seizures. He had a seizure one night while bathing in the bathtub. He tripped and hit his head on the edge of the tub and died shortly after. John referred to his son’s death as “the worst thing that’s ever happened in my life.” He considered stopping acting altogether. “The truth is, I didn’t know if I was going to make it,” he said, adding, “Life was no longer interesting to me, so it took a lot to get me better.” Fortunately, he had a hobby to help him get through it all.

A Dangerous Hobby

At the young age of 22, Travolta earned his pilot license, and he’s been hooked on flying ever since. He holds 11 various types of jet ratings, from a small aerobatic plane to an oversized Boeing 707. John enjoys his extravagant toys and relishes in the perks of his hobby, but even he can experience a dangerous near-death scenario. In 1992, his plane began losing power as he was piloting it, and the plane almost crashed. Because he thought quickly on his feet, he managed to stabilize the plane and land it safely. For all his normalities, though, there are a few things about Travolta that are quite bizarre….

Quirky Facts About John

There are many little things about John that not many people are aware of, interesting facts about his experiences, interests, and talents. In 1997, he wrote a children’s book called “Propeller One-Way Night Coach: A Fable for All Ages,” which he originally created just for his children until it got widespread attention and a publisher wanted it! Then there was that stint he did with the rum….

Dancing and Rum

Travolta may be popular in the U.S., but he is insanely popular in Brazil as well. In 2013 he appeared in a TV commercial for cachaça Ypióca, a Brazilian brand of rum. It was shot in Rio, and John shows off his impressive salsa moves for the camera. Do you have any clue what his favorite sport and food is?

Spot of Tennis

When John was about 55 years old, he became extremely interested in tennis. “I play at midnight, kind of vampire style,” he said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, adding, “My house manager and the house maintenance person, they both live my hours, so… at midnight we go to the local tennis court.” All of that tennis playing requires John to eat many calories. His favorite condiment? Hot Mustard of Colman’s. And he loves McDonald’s. Do you remember that huge boo boo he made at the Oscars, though?

Mistake At The Oscars

John made a pretty hilarious slip up at the 2014 Academy Awards ceremony. He called Idina Menzel, the famous Frozen singer, onto the stage by the name of “Adele Dazeem.” The two laughed and played off the mistake harmoniously, and John personally apologized to her after the ceremony, with flowers. What a gentleman! But what is he doing now?

What He’s Working On Now

Today, John still works hard to stay in the limelight, and it isn’t hard for him. In 2016, he gave an amazing performance of Robert Shapiro in the FX series, American Crime Story. He had studied Shapiro’s mannerisms, like his taut mouth, his distinct style of speech, and his pinched facial expressions, for months before the first shoot. Now, he is working on Speed Kills in Puerto Rico, and The Life and Death of John Gotti is now in post production. John admitted that preparing for the role of Gotti had taken him roughly over six years, but claimed they had several things in common, like how they both love gin martinis. Do you remember his other various love interests?

Relationship With Kirstie Alley

These two starred together in Look Who’s Talking in 1989 and then again in Look Who’s Talking Too in 1990. Over the years of working together, the two had to deal with many rumors surrounding their relationship, and most fans believed they were more than friends. “I think he is and has remained one of my best friends for almost 25 years, 26 years… before he was married, and I was married. But I fell in love with him,” Kirstie even admitted during an interview. Sadly, nothing ever happened romantically between the two…that we know of.


In 1997, John starred in a Sci-Fi action movie called Face/Off with Nicolas Cage. The two play the same exact character during the flick, but before and after a facial transplant surgery. Cage had to spend two weeks around John, mimicking him and learning his movements and mannerisms, so that the two would act and talk like each other in the movie. But do you know what Travolta’s very first acting role was?

His First TV Appearance

Travolta’s first step into acting occurred in the ’70s in a TV show called Emergency! about a group of firefighters in Los Angeles. He starred in the episode names “Kids,” in which a 16-year-old teenager falls down a canyon and breaks his leg. This may have been his first part, but it definitely was not his first big break. In fact, it turns out he’s a lot tougher than you thought.

His Own Stunts

Though John doesn’t do all of his own stunts, he tries to participate in as many as he can, safely. In Urban Cowboy, John performed all of the bull riding stunts in the film, thanks to practicing with a mechanical bull at his own house for months prior to shooting. Travolta was always used to hard work, though, even before his acting days.

A Hard Worker Before Acting

Before he got into acting, John proved he was a hard worker from a young age. He worked a string of odd jobs to support himself after he left school. As he attended auditions, he also worked at the local grocery store as a cashier and later on as a luggage handler. Fortunately, this strong sense of work ethic poured over into his acting career, and made him the wealthy man he is today.

Influence Of Quentin Tarantino

Noteworthy director Quentin Tarantino had to pull some major strings to cast John in Pulp Fiction, claiming that John had made poor career choices. Tarantino wanted to get him back on track, and offered him a few other roles as well. He served as a bit of a mentor for John back then.

Naming His Daughter

John and his wife Kelly initially got into a few arguments over naming their daughter, Ella, who was born in 2000. John wanted to name her Qantas after the Australian airline, but Kelly refused. They eventually settled on Ella Bleu Travolta. Now an adult, she was shocked when she found out the truth about her father.

A Possible Bond Villain

John has said in past interviews that even though he has played the “bad guy” in several roles, he won’t stop until he gets to play James Bond. Apparently, there has been a positive response from the Bond movie producers, so you never know. You may be looking at the future Mr. Bond!

Close Famous Friends

Being famous himself, John has cultivated a pretty intimate list of close friends in Hollywood over the course of his life. A few of them are Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Tom Hanks. He has been known to do favors for them at the drop of a hat and is always there to support them in the entertainment industry. What a guy!

Giving Back

After their sudden loss of their son Jett, John and his wife wanted to find a special way to commemorate their son. So, they organized a foundation that supports “charitable, literary, and educational purposes.” It aims to provide “relief to children with vision, hearing, mobility, communication, behavior learning impairments or other special medical, environmental, health or educational needs.” For his entire career, John has been a man of immense generosity, always giving back to charity and attending events and galas.
He may be a generous person, but there’s one thing about John Travolta that will absolutely shock you….

Huge Marlon Brando Fan

John has always admired the famous Godfather actor Marlon Brando. He once came up to John and said, “Don’t expect things from people that they can’t give you.” Brando also told John that he never laughed so hard in his life when he saw John’s character imitate him in Saturday Night Fever.

Forever A Legend

He has sung with Miley Cyrus and danced with Princess Diana. He flew Oprah’s fans to Australia on his private jet. His niece, Nicole, is following in his acting footsteps, appearing on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Anger Management, and Two and a Half Men. John has proven to be one of the most intriguing and captivating personalities in Hollywood, from the ’70s to now. And though he rolls around in style in cars like his Jaguar XJ6, Rolls-Royce Phantom, and a 1970 Mercedes-Benz, he is still the humble family man with the adorable disco dance moves that we will continue to love for years and years to come. If you haven’t had enough of the intimate details of John’s life, keep reading….

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