Whatever Happened To John Travolta

John Joseph Travolta was born on February 18, 1954. He is an American actor and singer who was raised to fame in the 1970s. he appeared on the television sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. It aired from 1975 to 1979. He also starred in a blockbuster like Carrier (1976), Saturday Night Fever (1977), Grease (1978), and Urban Cowboy (1980). 

Later on, in the 1980s, his career went down the slope and he experiences a revival in the 1990s with his role in Pulp Fiction (1994). He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Pulp Fiction and Saturday Night Fever. Also, he won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture. He got married to Kelly Preston, who was an American actress and model, in 1991. Additionally, Travolta is a private pilot and he owns four planes.

Whatever Happened To John Travolta

Early Life

Travolta, the youngest of six children was born and raised in Englewood, New Jersey. It is a suburb in the inner crown of New York City in Bergen County, New Jersey. His father Salvatore Sam Travolta was a semi-professional football player. Later on, he turned into a tire salesman and partner in a tire company, known as Travolta Tire Exchange. 

His mother, Helen Cecilia was an actress and singer who appeared in The Sunshine Sisters. It was a radio vocal group and she acted and directed before becoming a high school drama teacher and English teacher. His brothers Sam, Margaret, Ann, Ellen, and Joey were inspired by their mother’s love for drama and theatre. Hence, they became actors. His father was a second-generation Sicilian American with roots in Gordano. 


After dropping out of school, Travolta crossed the Hudson River to New York and landed a role in the touring company of the musical Grease and on Broadway in Over Here! He sang the Sherman Brothers song Dream Drummin. Later on, he moved to Los Angeles for a professional career. 

Travolta was seen on the California screen as a fallen victim in Emergency in September 1972. He appeared in season 2 episode 2. The first major role in of John Travolta was of Billy Nolan, a tyrant who was tricked into playing a prank on the character of Sissy Spacek in the horror film named Carrie (1976). 

In this period, he also had a lead role as Vinnie Barbarino in the ABC television comedy Welcome Back, Kotter. In this sitcom, his sister Ellen appeared occasionally. Her role was of mother of Arnold Horshack. 

1970s Stardom

John Travolta had a single titled Let Her In. It was a hit reaching number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in July 1976. Over the years, he appeared in The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. Also, he had two other most notable roles on the screen such as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever and Danny Zuko in Grease. 

These films were among the most commercially successful films of the decade and they catapulted Travolta to international stardom. Saturday Night Fever was the reason he earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. He was only 24 at that age, making him one of the youngest performers to be nominated for an Oscar Award. 

His mother and sister Ann appeared in Saturday Night Fever and her sister Ellen played the role of a waitress in Grease. Travolta performed several of the songs from the Grease soundtrack album. After the disastrous Moment by Moment in 1978, he starred with Lily Tomlin. In the 1980s, he inspired a national craze for country music that followed in the footsteps of his hit film Urban Cowboy. In this movie, he starred with Debra Winger. 

The Downturn of John Travolta – 1980s

After Urban Cowboy, Travolta starred in a series of commercial and critical flops that sidelined his acting career. These included Two of a Kind (1983), a romantic comedy that brought him together with Olivia Newton-John. Perfect (1985), he co-starred with Jamia Lee Curtis. 

He appeared in Staying Alive, a sequel to Saturday Night Fever in 1983. For this movie, he trained rigorously and he lost 20 pounds. The film was a financial success and had a profit of over $65 million. On the other hand, it was looked down upon by critics. 

Meanwhile, Travolta was offered a leading role in what would have become a box office hits, including American Gigolo, and An Officer and a Gentleman both for Richard Gere, as well as Splash. He declined these offers and Tom Hanks landed on these roles. 

Resurgence of John Travolta – 1990s

In 1989, Travolta starred with Kirstie Alley in Look Who’s Talking that grossed $297 million. It was the most successful film since Grease. He went on to star in Look Who’s Talking Too in 1990 and Look Who’s Talking Now in 1993. His resurgence was not until he played the role of Vincent Vega in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction in 1994. He played the role with Samuel L. Jackson and received an Oscar Award nomination. Hence, his career was revived. 

As a result, he was put back on the A list and he was inundated with offers with notable roles after Pulp Fiction. He appeared in the movie lender in getting Short in 1995. 

John Travolta as a Private Pilot

Travolta is a private pilot and he owns four aircraft. One of the aircraft’s ex-Qantas Boeing 707-138B (Ex-VH-EBM) was donated in 2017 to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) near Wollongong Australia. This aircraft was scheduled to fly to Australia in November 2019 but then due to the condition of the aircraft, it was delayed until 2020. 

Travolta plans to be on board when the plane travels to Illawarra Regional Airport, where HARS is based. However, Travolta was not allowed to fly the plane because it will be registered as an Australian Aircraft. 

The 707 aircraft wears an old Qantas livery and whenever it is flown, Travolta acted as the airline’s goodwill ambassador. The 707 aircraft is named Jett Clipper Ella by Travolta after his children. The Clipper in the name is referred to Pan Am’s use of the word in the name of its aircraft. 

Golden Plate Award

His property in Ocala, Florida is located at Jumbolair Airport. The runway and taxiway go to his house with two units for covered aircraft access. In 1984, Travolta was inducted into the American Academy of Achievement. There he achieved Golden Plate Award from the Awards council member General Chuck Yeager, USF.

On November 24, 1992, Travolta was flying Gulfstream N728T at night over a solid underground sky. It was the time when it suffered a total electrical system failure while flying under instrument flight rules at the National Airport of Washington. During the emergency landing, it was about to collide in midair with a USAir Boeing 727. It was the event that was attributed to a risky decision by an Air Traffic Controller. 

In 2007, John Travolta was inducted into Living Legends of Aviation and was the official ambassador for the award. On September 13, 2020, during the first episode of the final season of her talk show, Oprah Winfrey announced that she would take the entire studio audience on an eight-day all-expense-paid trip to Australia. But Travolta will be serving as a pilot for the trip. It is because he has been helping Winfrey to plan the trip for over a year. 

Sexual Assault Allegation

In May 2012, an anonymous masseur filed a complaint against Travolta. The male masseur cited allegations of bodily harm and sexual assault. A lawyer for Travolta denied the allegations that they were complete fabrication and fiction. Also, the attorney of Travolta declared that he was not in California on the day in question. Hence, the case was dismissed. 

Later on, another masseur joined the lawsuit making similar allegations on Travolta, but both were rejected by freedom of expression. 

John Travolta – Where Is He Now?

Due to tragedies, he has not been much on the screen but there are no more Travolta’s movies. After the tragedy of losing their eldest son, John Travolta lost his wife in 2020. Over the decades, he has been famous for his major and leading roles in different sitcoms and movies. He is not just an actor but a pilot too. He owns four aircraft and one of the mansions is designed for the jets to have access to the world at his doorstep. 

His career went down the slope in the 1980s but he revived in the industry in the 1990s by landing on the major roles of hit movies. Also, his roles got him nominated for the Oscar Award for Best Actor.