During the 1970s, he frequently watched foreign films. One of his favorites was La strada (1954).
He owns (and is qualified to fly as second in command) a Boeing 707-138, appropriately registered N707JT, first built in 1964 for QANTAS of Australia. Recently he had the aircraft painted in its original QANTAS paint-job and took it on a worldwide promotional tour for QANTAS and, in return, was trained as a 747-400 first officer with Qantas.
His favorite movie is Un homme et une femme (1966). His favorite movie as a child was Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942).
Was strongly in the running to play Larry Meadows in The Last Detail (1973), only losing the part to Randy Quaid at the last minute. This would have been his big-screen debut.
His first released record came out in 1976 when he had a Top 20 hit single, "Let Her In". When record producers saw him in "Welcome Back, Kotter" (1975) singing "Barbara Anne", originally by The Beach Boys, they signed him.
One episode of "Saturday Night Live" (1975) (episode 20.3) he parodied his own character Vinnie Barbarino of "Welcome Back, Kotter" (1975).
During the filming of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976) (TV) he fell in love with Diana Hyland, 18 years his senior. She died of cancer in his arms in 1977.
John and his wife, Kelly Preston, have the distinction of having both starred in movies based on Stephen King novels, where the title of each was a girl's name which began with the letter "C". John starred in Carrie (1976), Kelly in Christine (1983).
His performance as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever (1977) is ranked #73 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
His characters make mention of an Al Pacino film in at least three of his films: Saturday Night Fever (1977); Get Shorty (1995) and Swordfish (2001).
He lost 20 pounds for his role in Saturday Night Fever (1977).
Hit #106 on the Billboard Singles Charts in 1977 with "Slow Dancing (Feels So Good)" (Midland Int. 10977).
Spent nine months learning how to dance to disco music while filming Saturday Night Fever (1977).
Richard Gere practically owes his film career to Travolta. Travolta turned down the leads for Days of Heaven (1978), American Gigolo (1980), An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), and Chicago (2002), all of which went to Gere.
In July 1978 he became the very first male to make the cover of "McCall's" magazine.
After the "Grease" album was released, he came out with a deluxe 2-record set called: "Travolta Fever", which was released in 1978.
Was signed on to play rock star Jim Morrison in an early 1980s biopic about The Doors. Due to legal problems, the project was dropped.
He was named Man of the Year by Harvard's Hasty Pudding Club in 1981.
While filming the movie Blow Out (1981), he suffered from insomnia, which he had since he was a child waiting up for his mother to come home from late acting jobs. He learned to play the violin to calm his nerves.
He was offered Richard Gere's role in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), and opted to go to American Airlines' jet pilot school, instead.
He has claimed his favorite director to work with was Sylvester Stallone, for Staying Alive (1983). He said Stallone knew how to make him look the best on screen.
Read for the Tom Hanks role in Splash (1984) but was discouraged by his agent from doing the film.
Turned down the roles: Splash (1984), Apollo 13 (1995) and Forrest Gump (1994). Tom Hanks was cast as the lead.
Has published two books: "John Travolta Staying Fit!", published by Simon and Schuster in 1984, & "Propeller One-Way Night Coach, A Fable for All Ages", published by Warner Books in 1997.
In 1985, Princess Diana asked him to dance at a party at the White House.
Owned a three-bedroom beach front oceanfront estate, on Oahu in Hawaii from 1986-2005. He and his wife Kelly Preston sold it to Kathy Ireland for $3 million U.S. and she plans to rent the private residence out as one of several Kathy Ireland Worldwide company vacation villas.
In 1986, he was slated to co-star with Whoopi Goldberg in a buddy/action-comedy called "Public Enemies", produced by the Cannon Group. In it, he would have played a disgruntled cop who is teamed up with a reckless young rookie, played by Goldberg, to uncover the whereabouts of a notorious mob figure. Bud Yorkin was attached to direct. Even though it was heavily publicized at the Cannes Film Festival, funding fell through and the project was scrapped.
John Travolta married Kelly Preston twice. Their first wedding on 5 September 1991, by a French Scientologist minister, was declared illegal. The couple met during the filming of The Experts (1989).
Was considered for the role of Jim Morrison in The Doors (1991). The part went to Val Kilmer instead.
John Travolta and Kelly Preston had a son, Jett Travolta (13 April 1992 - 2 January 2009).
Pilots a multitude of jet aircraft. Most notable aviation feat is successful landing at Washington National of a Gulfstream IIB with complete electrical failure. Conditions at the time were night, IMC, icing. December of 1993.
He appeared on the cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine 4 times, the most for any actor (through 1994).
Got the role of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction (1994) primarily because Michael Madsen, the actor for whom the part was written, was unavailable due to a prior film commitment. Vincent was the brother of Michael Madsen's character Vic Vega (AKA: Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs (1992)) and the role jump-started his career after a long slump.
Is good friends with actor Forest Whitaker who appeared with him in Phenomenon (1996) and Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 (2000).
He was due to have played the lead role in "The Double", an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel about a man whose life is taken over by his doppelganger. He was being paid $17m and shooting was to have started in Paris in May 1996. Just days before principal photography was due to begin, he flew back to US following an argument with the film's director, Roman Polanski, over alleged changes to the script and the film collapsed shortly afterwards.
Jett was conceived during a weekend at the home of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis. (source: Premiere August 1996, p.60).
Was offered the role of Melvin Udall in As Good as It Gets (1997). The part went to Jack Nicholson.
Ranked #21 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Was told to gain thirty pounds for his role in the movie Primary Colors (1998).
Was in consideration for the part of Lester Burnham in American Beauty (1999) but Kevin Spacey, who went on to win a Best Actor Oscar for his performance, was cast instead.
His second child with Kelly Preston, daughter Ella Bleu Travolta was born, weighing in at 4.08 kilos (nine pounds). [3 April 2000]
He frequently eats at Denny's in the middle of the night. Which is where he ate through the movie Lucky Numbers (2000).
Did yoga and boxing to cut his love handles for the film Swordfish (2001).
Has been the Ambassador for Qantas since 2001.
Turned down several offers from the producers of Chicago (2002) to play the role of Billy Flynn. Richard Gere accepted the role and won a Golden Globe for his performance.
According to the documentary We Get to Win This Time (2002) (V), the producers of Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) considered teaming up Sylvester Stallone with John Travolta as Rambo's young partner in rescuing the American POWs. Sylvester Stallone nixed this idea when he decided it would be better to make the film a solo project.
Master of Ceremony at the Centennial of Flight Celebration at Kitty Hawk in December 2003, where he presented to John Glenn aviation's highest award.
On "Inside the Actors Studio: Episode #9.13" (2003), he listed Les valseuses (1974) as his favorite movie.
In October 2004, he starred in a series of television commercials for Sky TV (meant for Italian TV). Directed by Harald Zwart, the television commercials play as a sit-com, where John Travolta - as himself - moves in with a working-class family because they have Sky.
Ranked #3 in TV Guide's list of "TV's 25 Greatest Teen Idols" (23 January 2005 issue).
[2 April 2007] On his return flight from Germany to New York, the actor was forced to make an emergency landing in his Boeing 707 at Ireland's Shannon Airport. He'd been promoting his new movie in Europe and encountered technical difficulties on his return flight. Fortunately for the actor, he was flying over Ireland at the time he first detected his private jet's engine problems and was safely diverted to Shannon on Ireland's west coast. Not allowing himself to be fazed by the whole ordeal, Travolta grounded his 34-seater and continued his flight home on a commercial airline.
Appears in Hairspray (2007), opposite Michelle Pfeiffer, whose debut film was Grease 2 (1982), the sequel to Grease (1978), in which Travolta appeared.
Jett Travolta, his 16-year-old son, died following a seizure at the family's Bahamas holiday retreat on Friday Jan 2, 2009.
John and his wife, Kelly Preston, are expecting their third child [May 18, 2010].
Third child, a son named Benjamin, was born three days prematurely in a Florida hospital on November 23, 2010 at 8 lbs. 3 oz.
He was inducted into the 2011 New Jersey Hall of Fame for his contributions to the Arts and Entertainment.