There are many actors and actresses that have just as many secrets as they have films to their name. John Travolta is a perfect example of this. Join us as we unravel the many hidden details about Travolta’s life, from Scientology to secret romances.
Making An Announcement
There has been much mystery that surrounds John Travolta’s private life. The list of supposed romantic partners that he has had over the years has been absolutely staggering. But now, the actor has finally set the record straight about the intense speculation.
High School Dropout
Despite never getting a high school diploma, John Travolta went on to be a massive Hollywood star. His high school years though, were quite the rollercoaster ride. He dropped out of Dwight Morrow High School, the same school that Sarah Jessica Parker attended. But there was a significant age gap between the two, so this meant that the two never actually went to school together. At only 17 years of age, he was just a junior when he dropped out.
A Love For A Lifetime
When John Travolta was filming The Experts back in 1987, this was the moment when he met his one true love, Kelly Preston. Amazingly, the actress was still married when she fell head over heels for Travolta. Just three years later, when they were filming separate movies in Vancouver, the pair decided that they couldn’t stay away from each other any longer, and they got into a serious relationship together. In 1991, with Kelly now divorced, the couple went to Paris and tied the knot.
Love Before Kelly
Although he had something special with Preston, she wasn’t the first love of his life. In 1976, when he was filming The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, Travolta was crazy for Diana Hyland, who was actually his mother in the movie. 18 years his senior, Travolta didn’t mind the age gap and the pair got romantically involved. However, just a year later, Hyland was told that she had breast cancer. Travolta, who was 22 at the time, couldn’t believe his luck, and he was by Hyland’s side when she passed away at 41 years of age.
Kelly And Clooney
Before she met Travolta, Kelly Preston had already had a string of high profile relationships. She had been previously married to actor Kevin Gage. Despite the fact that the couple tied the knot in Hawaii, they only lasted two years together. Also, that’s right folks, as you can see in the photos below, she was romantically involved with George Clooney. She dated the superstar from 1987 to 1989. After breaking up, she still had the pet pig that Clooney gave her while they were together – Max.
He Was A Loner
Believe it or not, when Travolta was in high school, he just wasn’t a hit with the ladies. On the contrary, young John was a bit of a loner. He was a misfit, a social outcast, some might say. “Not too many of my friends identified with what I was doing,” Travolta said. “I participated in football and basketball and did what they were doing, but not many kids understood my going to acting studios at night.”
They Married Twice
Shortly after their wedding, Travolta and Preston were already having problems! After originally getting married in France in 1991, the couple returned to the U.S. only to be told that their marriage wasn’t actually legal. Even though a French Scientologist minister officiated the wedding, things weren’t OK, at first. As a result, they were told that they would have to get married again, this time in America. So they had a small wedding on Daytona Beach, Florida, a few days later.
Tragedy soon turned its ugly head for Travolta. On January 2, 2009, his 16-year-old son, Jett, passed away after suffering a seizure. John’s family were on vacation in the Bahamas and Jett hit his head on his bathtub. He died shortly after. Naturally, it was a huge loss for John and his family. Kelly Preston and Jett’s sister Ella were absolutely devastated. In a statement shared with People Magazine, the family attorney said, “To bury your son is the worst thing you can ever do.”
Youngest Of Six
As for John, his upbringing was interesting, to say the very least. The youngest of six, Travolta came from a family who lived in Englewood, New Jersey. His parents had unique jobs, with his father Salvatore working as a semi-professional football player. His mother, Helen, was actually an actress too. And they weren’t the only ones. All of John’s siblings tried their luck in acting at some stage in their lives, with some of them even directing and producing some movies.
He’s A Pilot
Although you may not know this, it is well documented that Travolta loves to fly. He’s a trained pilot, having acquired his pilot’s license a long time ago. Due to his staggering wealth, the actor owns many planes, five to be precise. These include a Boeing 707 aircraft that he loves to show off to friends and family alike. He even has a runaway that starts at his front door so he can have easy access to flight.
It should come as no surprise that John Travolta is worth a ton of money. With many household movie titles under his belt such as Grease, Pulp Fiction, and Saturday Night Fever, the actor is truly one of Hollywood’s biggest superstar. As of 2017, he is believed to be worth approximately $170 million. As previously mentioned, the star doesn’t hesitate to splash his earnings on the finest things in life, such as his planes. Unlike many other stars, he has done well to hold onto his riches.
Saturday Night Fever
One of Travolta’s most memorable moments is when he took to the dance floor in the classic 1977 movie Saturday Night Fever. But make no mistake about it, Travolta wasn’t a natural dancer. In fact, it took the actor over nine months to train for the role. And although he enjoyed dancing as a kid, nothing could prepare him for this role. “I liked black dancing better than white dancing,” he said. “I used to watch Soul Train, and what I wanted to create was a Soul Train feel in Saturday Night Fever.”
Oprah’s Best Friend
One of John Travolta’s biggest fans is the one and only Oprah Winfrey. The talk show host has struck a fabulous bond with Travolta over the years and the actor is always excited to help her out. In 2010, Oprah stunned the crowd when she told them that she was sending them all on a trip to Australia and that Travolta was going to the fly them down under. The trip was an 8-day, all-expenses-covered trip and John planned it for over a year!
John Gets Personal
When it comes to their relationship, Travolta and Preston never seem to be coy about their private life. They are happy to share many details with the press. In fact, they told journalists that they had actually conceived their late son Jett while they were staying at Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s home. However, the couple have also been open to the trial and tribulations that they have faced together, having addressed and dealt with issues with a Scientologist marriage counselor.
Pregnant At 47
Although they struggled to get over the passing of Jett; John and Kelly didn’t have to wait long before they were expecting again. Incredibly, at 47 years of age, Preston was pregnant with her third child. She couldn’t believe it, and the couple were so excited to share their news with the public. “It’s impossible to keep a secret – especially one as wonderful as this,” they wrote. “We want to be the first to share this great news with everyone that we are expecting a new addition to our family.”
In 2011, the incredible moment had arrived. John and Kelly welcomed their third child, Benjamin, for the public to see. It was just hat they needed after the tragic passing of their son, Jett. “He’s given the house a renewed spirit and purpose. He’s brought us a new beginning,” John said. “For us, it’s been uplifting, especially when he smiles at me and seems contented in my arms.” There is no denying that the arrival of Benjamin healed some painful wounds.
Kelly And Charlie Sheen
The list of high-profile lovers of Kelly Preston doesn’t seem to end. Here is another fine example of one of Kelly’s old flames – Charlie Sheen. In 1990, she was actually engaged to the actor, but after an accident with a firearm, things came to an abrupt end. When Kelly was carrying a pair of jeans in her apartment, she didn’t realize that there was a gun in one of the pockets. The firearm went off, and the rest was history. Kelly called off the engagement and sold the 2.5-carat engagement ring.
Behind The Scenes
Soon after Travolta tragically lost his partner Diana Hyland, he was coming off the immense success of the hit movie Saturday Night Fever. Just four days later, the actor started filming Grease, which was also a successful movie in its own right, becoming the highest grossing flick in 1978. When filming the movie, Travolta apparently kept lip-syncing the phrase “heap lap trials” wrong and was saying “heat lap trials” instead. After reading articles about Hyland’s untimely passing, he struggled with the scene.
Turned Down Splash
The truth is that the mid-80s could have been very different for Travolta. After reading the script of hit flick Splash, Travolta’s agent persuaded him not to take the role, which ended up being Tom Hanks’. Other candidates for the role included Dudley Moore, Chevy Chase, Michael Keaton, and even Bill Murray. After the 1984 movie became a massive hit at the box office, Travolta realized that his agent had let him down considerably. What was he going to do next?
Naturally, Travolta’s passion for planes and flying would go to the next level when he became an ambassador for Qantas Airways. This decision came after the September 11 attacks, as he didn’t want the untimely events to dissuade people from flying. What impressed Travolta the most was Quantas’ reputation as one of the safest airlines in the world. After becoming an ambassador and undergoing intense training with the airline, Travolta bought one of the company’s former planes, the Boeing 707.
It is not just planes that Travolta enjoys purchasing. The actor also enjoys buying property. The multimillionaire owns a variety of properties in states such as Florida, Maine, California and even Hawaii. Although he is mainly based in Ocala, Florida, which is where the biggest house is located, he is very proud of his other houses too. His Ocala home also operates as an airport. It has two runways. “We designed the house for the jets and to have at our access the world at a moment’s notice,” he said.
His love for flying runs so deep that Travolta has been in the cockpit with fellow actors such as Marlon Brando. However, there are numerous individuals that the actor would have loved to fly with, despite not having the chance to. Those who are at the top of his hypothetical bucket list include Howard Hughes, the main character of the Leonardo DiCaprio-led flick The Aviator. Another star of the skies he’d love to have had the chance to fly with is Atlantic high flyer, Charles Lindbergh.
Kirstie Alley And Travolta
Kirstie Alley and John Travolta’s serious friendship is firmly rooted in the fact that they are both Scientologists. Their first chance to get to know each other properly came when they starred alongside each other in the hit flick Look Who’s Talking. To this day, they are still good friends. Because she was married to Parker Stevenson the time though, she could never be romantically involved with Travolta. “It took me years to not look at John as a romantic interest,” she said in an interview with Howard Stern.
Cruise vs. Travolta
Another celebrity who is also a Scientologist is Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise. And although fans would assume that this would mean that the two are good friends, this is just not true. Former Scientologist celeb Leah Remini wrote about it in her book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology. It was then that she confirmed that they weren’t friends, despite the shared religion. Not only does Cruise not like Travolta or Alley, but he didn’t even invite them to his wedding with Katie Holmes.
Throughout their careers, Travolta and Preston have been very open about their relationship and have constantly made an effort to keep their bond honest, special and fresh. “We really care deeply about each other and we protect each other — and we keep [our relationship] up to date,” Travolta said in an interview. Kelly also believed this was the case, saying, “Keep checking in and keep growing and changing. Keep doing things, just the two of you.” It seems like this couple has only got stronger.
Amazingly, it seems like John Travolta is very easy to push around as far as his kids are concerned. “Daddy says yes to everything. He is that dad,” Ella said. Even Kelly agreed, saying, “They come to me first. [Ben] comes to me and says, “Can I have ice cream?” at midnight and I say, “No, no, you have to go to bed” — and, mind you, it’s midnight and he’s 5. And Dad’s like, “Sure! Do you want hot fudge on that?”‘
Ella Travolta Now
Nowadays, Ella Travolta is a beautiful young lady, who has a very proud dad. Unlike many actors, Travolta is very excited at the idea of his daughter becoming an actress. At the 2017 SAG awards, after being asked whether or not he thought Ella had what it takes to be an actress, he answered by saying, “Yes, I want her to because she is so good at it. She is such a good performer.” We shall see if he is right or not…
There is no doubt that Travolta enjoys experimenting with many different looks, both with the hair on his head as well as the hair on his face. In his 40 years in the industry, the actor has tried out a variety of different facial hair styles, whether it be mustaches, goatees, beards or sideburns. There seems to be no style that this superstar hasn’t attempted at some point in his career. Has he pulled any of them off? We’re not so sure. But at least he has no fear.
Dance With Princess Diana
One the most extraordinary moments in John Travolta’s life has to be when Princess Diana asked him to dance at President Ronald Reagan’s White House gala in the 80s. “Yes, I danced with Princess Diana in 1986, I believe. That was one of the highlights of my life,” he said proudly. According to him, the Princess and the actor locked hands and “were off for 15 minutes of dancing. I’m so honored that I was able to experience it.”
You’re The One That I Want
There is no denying that one of Travolta’s fondest screen partners was the Australian legend, Olivia Newton-John. Their most triumphant moment came in the 70s when they starred in the musical Grease as Danny Zuko and Sandy “Sandra-Dee” Olsson, respectively. After their awesome shared performance, many speculated that the pair would hit it off and have an off-screen relationship. However, nothing ever came of it and the duo remained strictly professional. They are still good friends to this day.
After turning down numerous successful roles because of exterior influences, Travolta ended up in numerous movies that turned out to be bombs at the box office, as well as from a critical point of view. It was certainly a tough time for a star who was, at one point, considered to be one of the best actors of his generations. Would he ever be able to reclaim the success he had achieved in the 70s? One thing was for sure, he would have to wait…
As soon as the 90s approached, Travolta would once again see success come his way when he starred alongside Scientologist friend Kirstie Alley in the baby comedy Look Who’s Talking. The movie was an instant success, raking in an incredible $297 million at the box office. It was a truly special time for Travolta, as he was able to explore career paths that he hadn’t previously taken. For example, he starred in the classic Quentin Tarantino movie Pulp Fiction alongside Samuel L. Jackson.
It was during this time that Travolta took on many roles that you wouldn’t have expected him to star in. These included his roles in movies such as Get Shorty, Face/Off and A Civil Action. But one of his most unique roles came at the turn of the millennium when he starred in Primary Colors as a presidential candidate similar to that of Bill Clinton. But it wasn’t the role itself that was surprising, it was what Travolta did to prepare for it…
Travolta’s work on Primary Colors was nothing short of impressive. The producers wanted Travolta’s character to look a certain way and as a result, asked him to gain a staggering thirty pounds. The measures that he took to become the character of Jack Stanton were light years away from his days as Danny Zuko. Travolta’s most effective way of putting on weight was by eating many cheeseburgers. “It’s been fun gaining it,” Travolta admitted, once production was over.
One particular stage that Travolta has hit the headlines from is that of the Oscars. The actor got into a silly situation when he referred to singer/actress Idina Menzel as “Adele Dazeem” while introducing her at the 2014 Academy Awards. After his live blunder, the actor sent her flowers and apologized to her. But this didn’t stop the many comedians who took to social media and poked fun at Travolta. Also, Menzel got her revenge when she introduced Travolta at the Oscars as “Glom Gazingo.”
Another Oscar Oops
“Glom Gazingo” was at it again when he embarrassed himself, once again at the Oscars. This time, he ended up photobombing Scarlett Johansson on the red carpet and planted a huge smacker on her cheek, much to her dismay. The photos became a viral sensation. However, the actress was quick to defend Travolta. “The image that is circulating is an unfortunate still-frame from a live-action encounter that was very sweet and totally welcome,” she said. “That still photo does not reflect what preceded and followed if you see the moment live.”
He’s An Author
Not only is Travolta an actor and a pilot, he’s also a writer – specifically, an author. After his many movie roles, the actor had his own book published back in 1984, John Travolta Staying Fit: His complete program for reshaping your body through weight resistance training and modern dance techniques. Despite the unnecessarily long title, the book did very well and spurred him to write another in 1997 by the name of Propeller One-Way Night Coach, A Fable for All Ages.
OJ Simpson Criticisms
In 2016, there were two fascinating shows detailing the controversial OJ Simpson case. One was titled O.J.: Made in America, and the other was The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Travolta starred in the latter as Robert Shapiro, a lawyer who was part of OJ’s “dream team.” Apparently, Robert Shapiro was not consulted when Travolta was cast for the role and “wish[ed] [Travolta] would have talked to [him].” He didn’t believe that Travolta gave an accurate portrayal of him.
Cutting Some Bangs
Travolta was at one point, involved with ShareSpace, a non-profit organization founded by astronaut Buzz Aldrin. At a celebrity auction organized by the company, Travolta gave attendees the ultimate offer when he offered a lucky winner to reenact the iconic Pulp Fiction dance that he had once done with Uma Thurman’s character, Mia Wallace. Amazingly, before the winner even got the chance to dance, Travolta decided to help her have the bangs that Thurman rocked so fabulously all those years ago and cut her hair himself!
Gotti Get Me Some Travolta
One of Travolta’s more recent acting roles came when he starred as John Gotti, head of the Gambino family in a biographical movie called Gotti. The movie came out mid-December 2017 and Travolta has already received rave reviews for his performance as the notorious gangster. The cast also consists of great actors such as Stacy Keach from Prison Break, among others. The movie looks like it will capture the brutality and drama surrounding the gangster’s life.
Not only has Travolta had to deal with the tragic loss of his son, Jett, he has also suffered loss in other areas of his life. In 2010, his family were touching down in an airport in Maine. But what happened next was absolutely heartbreaking. A liaison was walking his dogs when all of a sudden, a truck hit them, killing them in the process. The airport ended up kindly sending a floral arrangement to Travolta and his family to pay condolences.
Good Vs. Evil
Travolta has spent much of his career extremely interested in the psychology of actors and is fascinated by the differences between playing protagonists and antagonists. “Playing a bad guy is always a freeing experience, because you don’t have the same envelope of restrictions as you have playing a good guy,” Travolta said. “Good guys restrain themselves; they kind of have their moral fiber cut out for them in varying degrees.” In reality, he has spent much more time playing good-guy roles.
A Career Of A Lifetime
Travolta’s career has been nothing short of illustrious. Amazingly, over 10 of his movies have made over $100 million in the States alone. Not only that, eight of them have made over $200 million on a global stage. It’s difficult to put one’s finger on what it is that makes this actor so marketable. But after a long filmography with hits such as Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Hairspray, Look Who’s Talking, Pulp Fiction, and Phenomenon, it should be no surprise.
One of the most stunning stories to have come out in Travolta’s career was when his former pilot, Douglas Gotterba, made some amazing claims about his relationship with the actor. He claimed that they had been romantically involved for six years. Gotterba also shared his side of the story, claiming they had started an affair while he was working for him. Because he wasn’t tied to any confidentiality agreement when he worked for Travolta, he felt like he could say whatever he wanted.
One of the most fascinating details about Travolta is that he is one of the most famous Scientologists on the planet. Although he was born Roman Catholic, he converted in 1975. “Forty years for me, I’ve been a part [of it], and I’ve loved every minute of it. My family has done so well with it. It’s been a beautiful thing for me,” he said. “I’ve saved lives with it and saved my own life several times. Through my loss of my son, it helped me every step of the way for two years solid, and here I am.”
Living In Fear
This doesn’t mean though that Travolta’s relationship with his faith has always done him good. In 1991, William Franks, the Executive Director of the Church of Scientology, believed that Travolta wanted to leave the church, but chose not to out of fear. This is mainly due to the rumors surrounding his personal life. Not only that, but ex-Scientologists Lawrence Wright and Marty Rathbun have worked hard to protect Travolta’s secrets, working closely with his attorneys to maintain Travolta’s reputation.
Still Defends Scientology
Although his relationship with his faith has been complicated to say the very least, he is still very much an advocate of Scientology and continues to promote it to this day. In an anti-Scientology documentary called Going Clear, Travolta confessed that he couldn’t share the negative aspects of the religion. “I haven’t experienced anything that the hearsay has [claimed], so why would I communicate something that wasn’t true for me?” he said. He continued by saying it has “been so beautiful for me, that I can’t even imagine attacking it.”
Lawsuits And Assault
However, this didn’t stop the rumors and legal issues from coming Travolta’s way. In 2012, he was filed a lawsuit that accused the actor of unwanted advances. The allegations came just days after another man had claimed to have had a relationship with Travolta. Two more men sued the actor for “assault and battery.” Eventually, there was no evidence to support the case and Travolta’s attorney even disproved the men’s fabricated story. Travolta was once again, an innocent man.
Travolta had somewhat of a blast from the past in 2012, when the late, Jeff Conaway was at the center of an interesting story. Originally Travolta’s co-star in Grease as Kenickie, Conway at one point was engaged to a woman called Vikki Lizzi. Lizzi believed that Travolta had made unwanted advances towards Conaway a couple of decades after they worked together. It was “a malicious tabloid agenda to boost lagging sales by running outrageous defamatory stories about my client sourced by people seeking notoriety or a payday,” according to Travolta’s lawyer.
His Romantic Preference
Although Travolta has rarely spoken about these allegations and his private life in general, outside of his time with Kelly Preston, he has recently spoken up about it. This is what he had to say: “I found it most offensive with the loss of my son. I felt like that was the lowest I’d ever felt. [That] stuff is always going to be interesting to somebody, but you stay away from family. This is every celebrity’s Achilles heel. It’s just about people wanting money. That’s all. It happens on many levels.”