Happy Birthday John Travolta! Grease Star Turns 70 Today

Happy birthday to John Travolta, the beloved actor who turns 70 today.
Credit: Alamy

Happy 70th Birthday to the one and only John Travolta!

From his breakout role in Saturday Night Fever to his iconic portrayal of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction to his starring turn in Grease, Travolta has become a household name.

So, to celebrate his life, let’s take a look back on all of his incredible achievements along the way…

Related Article: Grease Is Being Branded ‘Sexist’, ‘Misogynistic’, And ‘Problematic’ By People Rewatching Iconic Movie

Born February 18, 1954, in Englewood, New Jersey, Travolta hit the big time in 1977 after being cast in Saturday Night Fever.

He also famously played the lead Danny Zuko in 1978’s Grease, alongside the late, great, Olivia Newton-John.

He’s enjoyed many iconic roles over the years and even earned an Academy Award nomination for 1994’s Pulp Fiction.

John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.
John Travolta first hit the big time in Saturday Night Fever. Credit: Alamy

Travolta’s performances in Get Shorty (1995) and Primary Colors (1998) earned him further nominations for a prestigious Golden Globe Award.

These accolades have only been topped by his Hollywood Walk of Fame star in 1985.

And you may also recognise Travolta from his performances in Carrie, Look Who’s Talking, Face/Off, Ladder 49, Hairspray, and many more.

But aside from the joys of his professional life, Travolta has faced some serious hardship behind the scenes.

Films such as Grease catapulted John Travolta to a household name. Credit: Alamy

Travolta’s first love, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble co-star, Diane Hyland, tragically died from breast cancer aged just 41.

“I have never been more in love with anyone in my life,” Travolta told People of Hyland shortly after her death. “From the moment I met her, I was attracted. We were like two maniacs talking all the time on the set of Bubble. After a month it became romantic.

“I picked out a house, and Diana and I were planning on moving in right after this movie. If she was alive, it is very possible I would have married her.”

Travolta did eventually marry Kelly Preston, and the pair welcomed son Jett in 1992, daughter Ella Bleu in 2000, and a second son, Benjamin, in 2010.

Tragedy struck in Travolta’s life once more when in 2009, he lost his son Jett.

John and Jett Travolta.
John Travolta’s son Jett passed away aged 16. Credit: @johntravolta/Instagram

Jett passed away aged 16 after hitting his head following a seizure, as per CBS.

Travolta shared a heartbreaking tribute to his late son in 2022, writing: “My dearest Jetty, I miss you more than words can say. I think about you every day. Happy Birthday. Love, your Dad.”

On top of this, in 2020, Travolta then lost his wife Kelly Preston to breast cancer.

John Travolta and Kelly Preston.
John Travolta lost his wife Kelly Preston to breast cancer. Credit: Alamy

He wrote on Instagram at the time: “It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer.

“She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many.  My family and I will forever be grateful to her doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Center, all the medical centres that have helped, as well as her many friends and loved ones who have been by her side.

“Kelly’s love and life will always be remembered. I will be taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother, so forgive me in advance if you don’t hear from us for a while.  But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead as we heal.”

John, Ella Bleu and Benjamin Travolta.
John Travolta with his daughter, Ella Bleu, and son, Benjamin. Credit: @johntravolta/Instagram

However, amidst all the tragedies of his life, Travolta has remained an inspirational symbol of triumph over the odds.

And today, he turns 70 years old!

Happy birthday, John Travolta!

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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.