Monday, September 10, 2007

John Travolta

John Joseph Travolta (born February 18, 1954) is a two-time Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and singer. He established his career as a leading Hollywood actor with films such as Saturday Night Fever and Grease. Travolta enjoyed a career revival in the 1990s, stemming from his role in Pulp Fiction.

Early life
Travolta, youngest of six children, was born in Englewood, New Jersey, the son of Salvatore Travolta, a semi-professional football player turned tire salesman and partner in a tire company, and Helen Cecilia (née Burke), 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. She was 42 when Travolta was born. Travolta's father was a second-generation Italian American and his mother was Irish American;Travolta grew up in an Irish-American neighborhood and has said that his household was predominantly Irish in culture. His family was Catholic.

Early career
After dropping out of Dwight Morrow High School after his junior year, Travolta moved to New York City to get a job as a performer. He landed a role in the touring company of Grease (musical) and on Broadway in Over Here! singing the Sherman Brothers' song "Dream Drummin'.'" Travolta also cut singles for a local record company, but the songs were quickly forgotten. But eventually, he moved to Los Angeles to further his career in show business.

Travolta's first television role was as a fall victim in Emergency! (S2E2) in Sept. 1972, but his first major movie role as Billy Nolan, a sadistic bully who taunted Sissy Spacek's Carrie White in the horror film Carrie (1976). 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). (Travolta also had appeared in various TV commercials during this time span, appearing in ads for Band-Aid, Haggar Slacks and Mony Insurance among others.)

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