John Travolta (born February 18, 1954) is an American actor, dancer, and singer. Travolta 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. Travolta’s acting career declined through the 1980s. His career enjoyed a resurgence in the 1990s with his role in Pulp Fiction, and he has since continued starring in Hollywood films, including Face/Off, Ladder 49, and Wild Hogs. Travolta was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance in Get Shorty.
Travolta was in a relationship with actress Diana Hyland, whom he met while filming The Boy in the Plastic Bubble; Hyland died of breast cancer in 1977.
Travolta married actress Kelly Preston in 1991. The couple had a son, Jett (April 13, 1992 – January 2, 2009). Their daughter, Ella Bleu, was born in 2000 and a third child, a son called Benjamin, was born on November 23, 2010 in Florida.
Travolta and Preston have regularly attended marriage counseling; Travolta has stated that therapy has helped the marriage.
Travolta is a certified private pilot and owns five aircraft, including an ex-Qantas Boeing 707–138 airliner. The plane bears the name Jett Clipper Ella in honor 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.
On November 24, 1992, Travolta was piloting his Gulfstream N728T at night above a solid undercast, when he experienced a total electrical system failure, while flying under instrument flight rules into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. During the emergency landing he almost had a mid-air collision with a USAir Boeing 727, an event attributed to a risky decision by an air traffic controller.
On September 13, 2010, during the first episode of the final season of her talk show, Oprah Winfrey announced that she would be taking her entire studio audience on an 8-day expenses-paid trip to Australia, with Travolta serving as pilot for the trip. He had helped Winfrey plan the trip for over a year.
Travolta has been a practitioner of Scientology since 1975 when he was given the book Dianetics while filming the movie The Devil’s Rain in Durango, Mexico. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, joining other celebrities in helping with the relief efforts, Travolta flew his 707 full of supplies, doctors, and Scientologist Volunteer Ministers into the disaster area.
In May 2012, an anonymous masseur filed a lawsuit against Travolta citing claims of sexual assault and battery. A lawyer for Travolta said that the allegations were “complete fiction and fabrication” and someone wanting their 15 minutes of fame. Travolta’s counsel also stated that his client would be able to prove that he was not in California on the day in question and asserted that Travolta would “sue the attorney and Plaintiff for malicious prosecution” after getting the case thrown out. A second masseur later joined the lawsuit making similar claims. Both lawsuits were subsequently dropped by the complainants and dismissed without prejudice.
A judge ruled to dismiss a defamation lawsuit against Travolta and his attorney Marty Singer by writer Robert Randolph. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Malcolm Mackey dismissed the case on September 27, 2012 because he found that a letter, written by Singer in response to allegations in a book by Randolph, had free speech protection.
In 2009, Travolta’s son, Jett, died while on a Christmas vacation in the Bahamas. A Bahamian death certificate was issued, attributing the cause of death to a seizure. Jett, who had a troubled history of seizures, reportedly suffered from Kawasaki disease at the age of two. Travolta confirmed speculation that his son had autism and suffered regular seizures and immediately made his public statements while giving testimony after a multi-million dollar extortion plot against him in connection of his son’s death. After a mistrial, Travolta dropped the charges and has credited his immediate family and faith in helping him survive the premature death of his son and in moving forward with his film career