Hard to believe that John Travolta is turning 60 years old. One of the most recognized names in Hollywood, he has turned from musical talent to a more complete artist in his later years.
When John Travolta’s name comes up, many immediately think back to his starring roles in Grease and Saturday Night Fever, two musicals that put the actor in America’s collective consciousness during the 1970s.
Many were surprised to find out that Travolta could sing and dance as he did, after getting his starring break in the 1976 adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel Carrie, followed by his portrayal of real-life Tod Lubitch, who is born with a deficient immune system which forces him to spend his time in a completely sterile habitat, in the drama The Boy In The Plastic Buble.
Those three roles would define who John Travolta would become and he proved early on that he had the chops to play anything from a vain teenager, to one with a serious health condition that made social life a nightmare.
The blue-eyed, black-floppy-haired star continued his rise to fame in the 80s, with Urban Cowboy alongside Debra Winger and would also star in the sequel to Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive.
John Travolta once again showed a different side of his acting ability when he starred, as the cab-driver who turns out to be a great baby sitter, in the adorable 1989 rom-com Look Who’s Talking with Kirstie Alley.
The 60-year-old continued to be a successful cross-over television, big screen star and in 1994 landed the role of Vincent Vega in Quentin Tarantino’s iconic crime thriller Pulp Fiction, opposite Uma Thurman. The movie received critical acclaim and propelled John Travolta’s career to a different level.
His prolific career kept growing as he starred in diverse roles in movies such as Get Shorty, Face Off, Domestic Disturbance, Swordfish, The Punisher, and Ladder 49 in the 90s and 2000s.
John Travolta went back to his musical roots when he starred in Hairspray in 2007 and continues to work tirelessly in all genres.
But it has not all been wine and roses for the multi-faceted actor. In January 2009, Travolta and wife Kelly Preston went through any parents’ worst nightmare, when they lost their son Jett from a seizure at age 16.
A devastated John Travolta has recently opened up about what it was like to lose his son and credits his religion, Scientology, and actor James Gandolfini for bringing him back from the brink.
“The truth is, I didn’t know if I was going to make it. Life was no longer interesting to me, so it took a lot to get me better.”
“I will forever be grateful to Scientology for supporting me for two years solid, I mean Monday through Sunday. They didn’t take a day off, working through different angles of the techniques to get through grief and loss, and to make me feel that finally I could get through a day.”
After Gandolfini passed away suddenly, while vacationing in Italy in 2013, John Travolta has promised to do everything in his power to take care of the late actor’s family.
John Travolta is 60 today? What? pic.twitter.com/l5YuYq2zLk
— Keir Beckwith (@KeirB) February 18, 2014
— NJ.com (@njdotcom) February 18, 2014
And through all the grief he and Preston suffered following Jett’s death, a ray of hope blessed their family when they welcomed a new member, Benjamin, on November 23, 2010.
We will next see John Travolta in the crime thriller The Forger and the biopic about the mob boss Gotti: In The Shadow Of My Father.
[Image via Aleš Studený / Shutterstock.com]