Birth Name: John Joseph Travolta
Birth Date: February 18, 1954
Birth Place: Englewood, New Jersey, USA
Height: 6' 2"
Profession: Actor, musician
Claim to fame: As Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Short Bio: John Travolta was born February 18, 1954, in Englewood, John Travolta was the youngest of six children in a family of entertainers; all but one of his siblings pursued showbusiness careers as well. By the age of 12 Travolta himself had already joined an area actors' group, and soon began appearing in local musicals and dinner-theater performances. By age 16, he dropped out of high school to take up acting full-time, relocating to Manhattan to make his off-Broadway debut in 1972 in Rain, and a minor role in the touring company of the hit musical Grease followed.
In 1975, Travolta was cast in an ABC sitcom entitled Welcome Back, Kotter. As Vinnie Barbarino, a dim-witted high school Lothario, he shot to overnight superstardom, and his face instantly adorned T-shirts and lunch boxes. Before the first episode of the series even aired, he also won a small role in Brian De Palma's wickedly funny 1976 horror picture Carrie, giving him inroads to the movie industry, and at the early peak of his Kotter success he even recorded a series of pop music LPs -- Can't Let Go, John Travolta, and Travolta Fever -- scoring a major hit with the single "Let Her In." Approached with a role in Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven, he was forced to reject the project in the face of a busy Kotter schedule, but in 1976 he was able to shoot a TV feature, director Randal Kleiser's The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, which won considerable critical acclaim. Diana Hyland, the actress who played Travolta's mother in the picture, also became his offscreen lover until her death from cancer in 1977.
Unfazed, Travolta signed on to star in the 2007 Baby Boomer comedy Wild Hogs, alongside a dream cast of Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy, who played four listless suburbanites who decide to "live on the edge" by grabbing their sawed-off choppers and hitting the open road as would-be Hell's Angels. Later that year, Travolta took another comedic turn in Hairspray, Adam Shankman's screen adaptation of the stage musical (which, in turn, is an adaptation of John Waters's 1988 feature), which put Travolta in drag to play the heavy set, bouffant hair-do'd mother once played by drag queen Divine. He would follow this up with some middling action fare, with The Taking of Pelham 13 and From Paris with Love, as well as a sequel to Wild Hogs, 2009's Old Dogs. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi.